Like many readers in the industry, I'm pretty skeptical that mobile handsets can cause problems with aircraft electronics. I always thought the laws were a legacy of the old, more powerful analog phones of the past. At worst, I thought there might be the sort of "dum di di dum" sounds in poorly-shielded headphones - the type you get through the sound systems at conferences when the speaker's phone rings in his pocket close to the microphone.
Which is why I was rather surprised to hear an announcement this afternoon, midway back from Barcelona on an Iberia Airbus A320 saying;
"The pilot has requested that all passengers check again that their mobile phones are switched off, as the aircraft systems are registering interference"
and again 15 minutes later
"The aircraft systems are still experiencing interference. Would passengers please switch off all electronic products now"
Anyone else ever heard something similar? I'm guessing that a flight back from Barca today after 3GSM would have a higher than usual number of cellular gizmos.... and perhaps some precertification prototypes, but this still really surprised me.