Man, I know that people are tied to their cellphones, but I would think that even the most die-hard gadget freak would enjoy somewhat the tranquility of the enforced no-phone zone on airplanes.

I would be wrong.

The E.U. has announced that you are now free to yap about the cabin:

Viviane Reding, the EU’s Telecoms Commissioner, said: “In-flight mobile phone services can be a very interesting new service especially for those business travellers who need to be ready to communicate wherever they are, wherever they go. However, if consumers receive shock phone bills, the service will not take off…

…Reding paid scant lip service to the fact that the Commission will have made air travel even more stressful and intrusive, by forcing passengers to listen to businessmen and holidaymakers braying into their phones above the engine noise.

“I also call on airlines and operators to create the right conditions on board aircraft to ensure that those who want to use in-flight communication services do not disturb other passengers,” she said.

Given that budget-conscious airlines are loath to even allocate you a seat before you get on the plane, we look forward to seeing how operators work out how they can best monetise peace and quiet

She calls on airlines and operators to fix the problems? Riiiight. I don’t see how they’re going to control the annoyance factor there – any suggestions anyone? They can’t have phone-free cars like some trains, and I doubt they’re gonna find room for sound-muffling mobile use booths since they can’t seem to spare room for their passengers’ legs. Perhaps someone will invent lovely little helmets that entirely cover the passengers’ head (with a hand-hole on the side for the mobile) to keep their obnoxious conversations from nearby travelers? Hmmm, probly not.