The British Air Line Pilots Association (BALPA) has expressed concern over a possible increase in passenger aggression as a result of the forthcoming introduction of in-flight mobile phone services.

Aside from the fact, says the union, that there is still much regulatory work to be performed in order to ensure that the technology is safe for use, there are reasons to be worried that passengers' tolerance will be tested once it becomes available.

BALPA's chairman Capt Mervyn Granshaw says that, up to now, the high cost of in-flight calls have meant that they have been infrequent, short and left passengers largely undisturbed. General secretary, Jim McAuslan, says: "The latest proposal raises a number of problems, not least the reaction of other passengers." He adds: "We believe the climate within the passenger cabin could be such that we see more instances of 'air rage'."

Source: Flight International