What’s the Fuss About Wifi on Planes for Frequent Flyers?

CNN - Morgan Spurlock Inside Man
CNN – Morgan Spurlock Inside Man

Flyers beware, the roll out of Wifi services across airlines continues apace in Europe.

Flyers choices are being led without an honest conversation about the facts. Airlines under pressure to compete in the marketplace are introducing Wifi without due consideration to the passengers they carry or the staff they employ. Furthermore, the challenges with Wifi on planes are poorly understood.

 In one fell swoop, the introduction of Wifi abolishes the romantic notion of peace and quiet in the clouds above the fray. Being incommunicado to collect your thoughts or otherwise will no longer an option. According to a NYT report up to 40% passengers are already turning up at airports stressed before their flights.
Wifi radiation which is a non-ionising electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) is still a threat to the immunity of the body. As well as Wifi, EMFs  are discharged when you use mobile phones, cordless phones, baby monitors, computers, light dimmers and more.

Morgan Spurlock’s Inside Man on Toxins demonstrates how Wifi emits electromagnetic frequencies that bombard the body and damage immunity. This kind of exposure is known  or suspected to be a causal factor in a number of illness including cataracts, mental illness, cancer and the interference with brain nervous and reproductive functions. The important thing to note, is that most flyers use some or all of the gadgets mentioned above and are exposed to an increased burden of radiation than they would be if Wifi were excluded from planes, furthermore no one is mentioning that increased exposure can have cumulative effects.

All radiation is not the same. As well as Wifi on planes, frequent flyers and flying crews are already facing exposure to cosmic radiation in the upper atmosphere. This is more damaging than Wifi, as cosmic radiation exposure has the potential to damage DNA. The double whammy is that if you have cosmic radiation exposure as an occupational hazard, you don’t want to have low immunity, exacerbated by Wifi exposure as your only defence.

For some in the aviation industry, like pilots and crew the major concern is that given the conditions of the job such as constant flying, the working environment becomes a trap they can’t escape from. They can’t just pop outside for a quick breath of fresh air at altitude! The bottomline is their burden of exposure to ionising and non-ionising radiation is increased.

Now, the truth is it doesn’t have to be a case of a total ban on Wifi so long as flyers are educated about the risk and given tools to help them mitigate the risk. This is where airlines should be doing more, unfortunately it seems they are only concerned with the short-term benefits of giving flyers what they want and or the income stream Wifi can provide the airline. This is bad for the flyer and bad for business. It is worth repeating that the indiscriminate introduction of Wifi is a re-visitation of the smoking on planes fiasco of the 1970’s, only this time much worse.

We need a new and honest conversation between airlines, flyers and crews before the toll of Wifi becomes another discouraging episode such as the current Aerotoxic Syndrome problem.