The Guardian’s David Fickling used to love long haul flights, because they let him escape from that scourge of moden civilization, the mobile phone.

Yes, the food is bad; yes, the films are worse; and yes again, all that aviation fuel is fatally damaging to the environment. But what the hell? Being waited on in a state of complete passivity has a certain luxury to it. Added to which, there’s a hypnotic calm that comes over you once you manage to screen out the background roar of the aircraft. No one talks much; in-flight radio subdues the passengers into silence.

Best of all, you are in one of the last mobile phone-free zones in the world. Ever since Neil Whitehouse, a Nottinghamshire oil worker, was jailed in 1999 for using his mobile on a flight to Spain, we’ve all known to switch the thing off.

It was a beautiful dream, but it couldn’t last: now BMI is to become one of the first airlines in the world to test a new system that allows passengers to spill details of their private lives to their neighbours from the comfort of their seats.

The system will be rolled out on BMI and TAP Portugal from the end of next year – so you don’t have long left to catch that flight to a corner of the world still free of the Crazy Frog.

Who in their right mind listens to in-flight radio? If “being waited on” is a common experience for Fickling, he certainly hasn’t been flying coach very often. I could go on about the useless anti-cell phone crusaders, but the whole tired subject has already been beaten to death.