Using mobile phones in airport lounges

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This topic contains 55 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 23 Jan 2011
at 18:12

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  • Anonymous


    I am sitting here in the BMI lounge at Manchester airport. I am fuming (again) as yet another ‘very important businessman’ talks loudly into his mobile discussing his business in full voice.
    Am I alone in finding this offensive?
    The lounge, in my opinion, should be a place of quiet, allowing the ability to work & concentrate or simply relax if desired. If I need to make a call, I exit the lounge in consideration for those who may not wish to hear my one way conversation.
    Why do people think it’s ok to let their phone ring in a loud annoying tone (it’s not difficult to put it in beep mode) and then yell down the thing, in public places such as lounges?
    Most of us are very frequent travellers so I presume we all see & hear similar things…..What do others think of this practice?


    Hi Seasonedtraveller,

    I could not agree with you more. There really is nothing more annoying and in fact on several occassions I have approached people to ask them to speak more quietly or to exit the lounge. most were happy to do so but one or two quite aggressively told me where I could go.

    The airlines could help by having a firm policy on this topic and enforcing it rigorously. Some may not like it but I believe that most would be quite happy.

    Like you I would be interested in the views of others.

    Safe travels to all,



    I would like to add also the club lounges on the hotels.

    Actually the BA lounge at ATH is designated as a quiet zone and there is also a separated room for children. Probably this is not possible for T5’s Club Lounges as there are many passengers there, but on other airports (like EDI) would be more than welcome.


    I am with you all on this one. I cannot stand it.

    A point I have noted over the years is that the loud, sometimes aggitated or aggressive conversation is not being directed to the person at fault.

    “Tell Clive that he’s not going to get it that way and he needs to have a better idea.”

    “He’s an idiot. Tell him to go and do it again.”

    The mark of the man, that which hands out a bollocking vicariously. I can’t imagine they would take that tone with Clive, David, Brendan or anyone else, as I’m sure they would be told where to go.

    …of course this is a massive generalisation, but you get my drift I’m sure. I’ve also found (through personal experience) that people with this attitude will only go so far, so don’t expect to see them in your local lounge too often 🙂


    Where space permits, lounges should be sectioned to allow zones for quiet time, TV, mobile phones, in the same way that some trains have been designed.

    I too am fed up with the “I must make a confidential phone call so everyone can hear” brigade – however, business lounges by their sheer nature will always attract people who insist on making sure everyone else knows of their presence.


    Same applies to the so called quiet coach on trains and no doubt other such places.

    The skill is to appear that you have been able to exploit the disclosure of the apparent commercially confidential discussion. Either approach the culprit and thank him / her for the valuable inside information, or pretend to make a call to your own CEO revealing it. Works with disclosure of personally confidential information too. Remember the old poster about careless talk costs lives…

    I was on a train once where the lady opposite was discussing interview candidates in detail – she was either travelling to be on a panel or had just been. On leaving the train, I thanked her for the constructive comments on my next door neighbour’s performance. Same with a Unite regional officer who was attending some kind of disciplinary hearing and had the full case broadcast to the whole carriage. And my favourite was a lady from a NHS Trust who was taking and making patient condition reports to / from the hospital and local media while not even attempting to move to the vestibule. The ringtone was a classic too, both in tone and volume.

    Also got a good one in the BD lounge at GLA one day, a guy I didn’t recognise got on the phone and announced himself as “the intransigent chairman of Motherwell FC” which the BBC had apparently labelled him on the morning news. Sadly I’d left my BBC jacket at home that day…

    Turn the nuisance into an opportunity – or at least a worry for them – remember they have no idea who you are. Nice to saunter past and say “nor do you know who I am…”


    1. Remember, it is not your lounge, it is a public place

    2. Buy an iPod

    3. Install some soothing music or back ground noise

    4. Buy a decent pair of noise cancelling headphones

    5. Turn on, tune in, drop out and get on with your thing

    6. Remember, if you find someone irritating, take a look in the mirror and you will see half the problem


    I think I stand somewhere in the middle here – Lounges are public paces and are generally full of business travellers therefore its unreasonable to expect people to step outside to make calls.

    That said, its easy to make a call discretely without it looking like a Dom Jolly sketch and annoying everyone within a 10 mile radius!


    6. Remember, if you find someone irritating, take a look in the mirror and you will see half the problem

    Hey DS – you may see half the problem in your mirror, fortuantely my mirror only sees benefits and beauty!


    Hi Disgusted,

    What’s got into you – a bad day? With respect, you are talking a highly uncharacteristic load of b*llocks, my friend.

    “Public” place or not (and it actually isn’t public), exactly the same principles apply there as others have applied in the flogged-to-death thread about “obnoxious” kids. It’s about having a little THOUGHT for others and their needs, and not acting in an utterly selfish manner. Discretion, dear boy. Discretion.

    As far as 6 is concerned, I see the same as Martyn (except it’s me, of course, not him).

    Needless to say, I agree with the other posters on this one.

    I once saw an excellent sign in the Scandinavia (*A Gold) Lounge at CPH (where, incidentally, they provide soundproofed booths for making mobile phone calls). It said:

    “Remember. A mobile phone only needs one loudspeaker.”

    How true. How true indeed.

    Regards (said sotto voce of course),



    By the way, the biggest self-important prat I ever saw was many years ago, before the days of mobile phones. I was on a train and a guy was talking into a Dictaphone (remember the old joke “Can I use your Dictaphone?” “No, use your finger like everyone else”?). Sorry Tom, you can censor that bit.

    Anyway, he was dictating letters (allegedly), saying things like:

    “And if payment is not received by…..I will have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings…” This went on for an hour and he was obviously doing it simply to “impress” people. I guess it wholly backfired as in the end someone went up to him and asked him to keep it down or he would take legal action against him! A great line (which I wish I’d thought of).

    He was a very sad individual and probably has a very small Dictaphone…..

    Happy travelling,



    Another one on the LGW express, a guy in the token pinstripe suit was talking loud shop until taken out by that tunnel just inside the M25. On re-entry to the earth’s atmosphere his phone rang again – but the Britney Spears ringtone just added to his already record high score on the Dick scale.



    That’s reminded me! I travel on the Chiltern Line every day and there is NO signal at all, on any network, for a period of around 10 minutes between three particular stations (Warwick Parkway and Lapworth, for the record). On more than one occasion I have heard self-important plonkers (but not as bad as the guy op cit) carry on a pompous mobile phone conversation when I know damned well they’re talking to themselves. There are some sad people about, James.



    Hi all,

    great thread! Reminds me of a chap who was showing off the many amazing new features on his new mobile some years ago….after about half a dozen examples of state of the art technology, he announced that he had to ring somebody (of great importance on a matter of equal importance !!)……

    Having made several unsuccessful attempts to do so, he had to concede to the (by now greatly amused) audience that this new fangled phone wouldn’t let him make a call……..

    Oh yes, we laughed to see such craft!!!

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