This airport is giving away free Light Phones to social media-weary travellers

If you struggle to switch off from work emails and social media when you’re on holiday, London City Airport may have the solution.

The airport has teamed up with New York-based start-up Light Company to provide customers with a free Light Phone in a bid to help people curb their smartphone addiction while also giving them access to a phone line while abroad. 

Passengers travelling to any of London City Airport’s 44 destinations between August 13 and August 27 will be eligible to register their interest in receiving a Light Phone by visiting the dedicated website

Plain and simple

The Light Phone has a simple interface with an intentional lack of traditional smartphone features, and is only able to receive and make calls. Users can save just nine speed-dial phone numbers, and will be able to forward calls from their existing number. 

Designed to be used “as little as possible”, the Light Phone has a sleek, minimalist look with a simple OLED display, and was created in response to the growing complexity of smartphones. 

Digital detox

As part of the deal, customers will be required to sign a memorandum of understanding committing themselves to 48 hours of Light Phone use, with their smartphone turned off. The phone will come with a prepaid EE pay-as-you-go SIM card, which is valid for one month, and passengers travelling to New York’s JFK airport will be provided with a US SIM card.

Liam McKay, Director of Corporate Affairs at London City Airport said: “I know from personal experience that it’s not always possible to avoid screen time when on downtime, as my wife will attest. This is an opportunity for some of our passengers, including those who typically use the airport for business travel, to try a digital detox.”

With an increased focus on the amount of time we spend using social media, more companies are beginning to focus on the quality of the experience they offer. Recently, Facebook rolled out a new tool for users to track the time they spend on the app, with the option to set a daily time allowance and to suspend push notifications.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.