London Calling ... and Calling ... and Calling

I've long believed that in-flight cellular phone use was a certainty. Perhaps that's because I'm naive. The thought of a cellular phone bringing down a 777 jumbo jetliner strikes me as silly.

What isn't silly -- "chilling" might be a better word -- is the thought of being seated next to some terminally connected moron on a transcontinental flight as he screams into his cell phone. Sleep? Who needs that?

Not me, apparently. Nor you. That's roughly the conclusion of European Union regulators who, on Monday, decided to lift the ban on cellular use in-flight in European airspace before the year is out.

There's a part of me that nods in agreement at the idea of in-flight connectivity. Carriers are struggling to see profits, especially here. Just ask the good folks running US Airways (NYSE: LCC  ) .

We're not alone. Air France-KLM and Alitalia are nearing a deal, for similar cost-cutting reasons as those expressed by domestic carriers Delta (NYSE: DAL  ) and Northwest (NYSE: NWA  ) .

And let's be honest: The idea of snagging a few hours of writing time while crossing the ocean makes sense, and would be made easier by having some connectivity. Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) knows this and fills the need for some carriers -- UAL (Nasdaq: UAUA  ) partner Lufthansa is one -- via its on-board Connexion service.

But I don't need a cell phone to write. And other knowledge workers don't need a phone to be on email. The only reasons to have cellular service in-flight would be for (a) emergencies or (b) terminally connected morons who really believe it'd be worthwhile to suffer through the muted whine of jets while listening in on a conference call.

Welcome to the sleep-deprived new world of international travel, Fool.

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