Print 26 comment(s) - last by johnpombrio.. on Nov 24 at 4:19 PM

  (Source: CNA Traveler)
In-flight cell phone calls may be coming to a domestic flight near you in the future

With the rise of tablets and in-flight internet, passengers began to complain loudly about the restrictions placed on electronic devices during flights — specifically during takeoffs and landings. After years of debating the matter, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finally caved last month and allowed airlines to grant passengers the ability to use their tablets and cell phones (in airplane mode) during all phases of flight.
The change in policy culminated today with Southwest’s announcement that it would provide in-flight internet access to its passengers from gate-to-gate.
However, while the overwhelming majority of regular airline passengers seemed to support passengers to use their electronic devices in their own “cone of silence” courtesy of headphones, it seems that an equally overwhelming majority don’t want passengers to have the ability to talk on their cell phones during flights.
That may be soon changing if recent comments [PDF] by new FCC chairman Tom Wheeler are to be taken seriously. In a brief statement, Wheeler said the following:
Today, we circulated a proposal to expand consumer access and choice for in-flight mobile broadband. Modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably, and the time is right to review our outdated and restrictive rules. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues, the FAA, and the airline industry on this review of new mobile opportunities for consumers.
According to NBC News, the proposal will be debated at the commission’s December 12 meeting.
Not surprisingly, negative reaction to this news has already begun to spread, with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) taking the first shot. "Passengers overwhelmingly reject cellphone use in the aircraft cabin. The FCC should not proceed with this proposal," said the AFA in a statement. "In far too many operational scenarios, passengers making phone calls could extend beyond a mere nuisance, creating negative effects on aviation safety and security that are great and far too risky.”
Travel analyst Henry Harteveldt, however, probably best summed up public reaction to this latest news by stating, "There are bad ideas, and then there's this."
"The constant chatter of passengers on their mobile phones has the potential to further increase tension among already stressed-out passengers. It will be a catalyst for increased cases of 'air rage.'"

Sources: FCC [PDF], NBC News

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By chmilz on 11/21/2013 6:55:15 PM , Rating: 5
The time is never right. That's all reasonable people need: to be stuck on a plane with d-bags who take calls on speaker phone, holding the device like a slice of pizza.

There will be murder in the skies if this happens.

RE: No
By Icehawk on 11/21/2013 7:03:25 PM , Rating: 3
This is the worst idea I've heard in a while, I already wear earplugs to drown out the babies crying.

RE: No
By Reclaimer77 on 11/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: No
By Brandon Hill on 11/21/2013 7:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
What difference does it make if they happen to run it on the phone?

As to that "other" matter, it will be taken care of.

RE: No
By Reclaimer77 on 11/21/2013 7:55:20 PM , Rating: 2
You know I actually thought at this point we would have Bluetooth military-type throat mikes. So we could hold a conversation while being barely audible, but alas...

I think people are overreacting to this, but that's just me. If you want to exist in your own little bubble, charter a private plane lol.

RE: No
By kfonda on 11/21/2013 9:32:04 PM , Rating: 2
So you would be okay if I sit next to you and sing along to justin bieber out loud while you are trying to talk on your phone?

(Please say no, I would hate to have to ever actually hear a justin bieber song.)

RE: No
By Reclaimer77 on 11/22/2013 12:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
Did it ever occur to you people may have legitimate reasons to use their phones that doesn't involve doing it JUST to annoy you?

RE: No
By kfonda on 11/22/2013 1:40:49 AM , Rating: 2
Did it ever occur to you that I might have a legitimate reason to sing along with justin bieber..... oh, never mind, nobody is going to believe that. :-)

Luckily I haven't been on a plane since before the TSA existed.

RE: No
By icrf on 11/22/2013 9:12:15 AM , Rating: 2
Send a text. You don't need to have a verbal conversation. I understand it may at times be faster or more convenient, but I quite frankly don't trust you to do so courteously. When you're talking about being in a confined space like an airplane, those are serious concerns.

RE: No
By ebakke on 11/22/2013 11:34:21 AM , Rating: 1
So, to be clear, you want the FCC to ban an activity because you don't trust others to be courteous to you? Why not ban driving because some people cut you off? Or ban the internet because some people troll? Or ban commerce because some unscrupulous people lie, cheat, and steal? Oh, we could ban major league sports because fans are rarely, if ever, courteous to one another.

Your argument sucks. It's a cop-out, and it's cowardly. I support freedom, and I reject artificial barriers to it. Let the airlines decide. They will cater to their customers. And if the guy next to you is a douche... gasp... ask him to stop.

RE: No
By tamalero on 11/22/2013 9:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Are you really comparing an enclosed plane with no change to leave or go for the few hours remaining on the plane versus the internet where you can just shut down the computer to dont get affected by trolls?

please.. STAPH!

RE: No
By ebakke on 11/23/2013 12:38:36 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, they're not exactly the same thing. But you've ignored my point entirely and instead chose to focus on the shortcomings of a particular comparison.

If you'd like to refute/counter my argument that enforcing 'courtesy' through the power of government is a terrible idea and impedes freedom, please, do so. I'm all ears.

RE: No
By marvdmartian on 11/22/2013 10:28:43 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, because how did people ever survive before they had cell phones?

Who needs illegal drugs?? Just become totally addicted to your cell phone!!

RE: No
By Reclaimer77 on 11/23/2013 7:47:53 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't about the cell phone. It's about the freedom of speech.

If you want to place barriers on our ability to communicate, you damn sure need to have a better reason other than "I might be annoyed".

And to be clear, I'm not a frequent flyer. Far from it, so it's not like I'm fighting for the personal right to annoy you with my phone.

But wow, talk about first world problems...

RE: No
By FITCamaro on 11/22/2013 7:23:46 AM , Rating: 2
I would much rather people not be able to talk on the phone during flights. I don't need some jerk arguing with his wife/girlfriend right next to me. Or to find out some upsetting thing and rant about it the rest of the flight. This will only lead to flying being less enjoyable. I hope the airlines don't allow it even if the FCC does.

Text, IM, surf facebook all you want. Just be quiet. Or talk to the person next to you. Is it that terrible to talk to the person next to you a little and maybe learn something about someone else? I've had some nice conversations with people on planes. Even got a girls number one time that ended up in a date.

Government Not Necessary
By ebakke on 11/22/2013 1:47:59 AM , Rating: 2
Remove the stupid restriction. The FCC shouldn't be in the business of creating pseudo Terms Of Service for the airlines.

If there's no safety issue or interstate commerce issue (such as cell towers being bogged down by constant connects/disconnects), GTFO of the way. This is an airline policy, not a government regulation.

RE: Government Not Necessary
By ebakke on 11/22/2013 1:49:03 AM , Rating: 2
This is an airline policy issue , not a government regulation issue .

(sigh.. no edit)

By The Von Matrices on 11/22/2013 5:40:38 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you for this comment. I completely agree with your argument. I don't like people talking on their phones near me, but the FCC has no right to prohibit electronic devices based upon their users' annoyance to other humans. Let the individual airlines decide on that themselves. If they all want to ban it, then so be it, but at least that leaves the opportunity for some airline to cater toward people who actually do want the option to talk during a flight.

who cares
By mchentz on 11/21/2013 9:42:50 PM , Rating: 2
I personally don't care if people talk on the cell phone while on a flight. Then again I can tune out anyone if I want to.

RE: who cares
By Dorkyman on 11/21/2013 10:42:59 PM , Rating: 2
Another vote for "don't care."

As soon as I board, in go the Shure canalphones, the foam expands, and the outside world just goes away.

FAA not FCC!
By danjw1 on 11/22/2013 9:26:51 AM , Rating: 2
The FAA gave airlines the option of submitting plans to allow use of WiFi and small electronics during all phases of flight and now has approved some of those. The FCC doesn't decide what happens on airliners. I think the FAA will, unlike the FCC, consider passenger's comfort.

Pay-per-use service?
By adrift02 on 11/22/2013 10:04:29 AM , Rating: 2
Just wondering how they plan to allow this. Assuming it's a pay-per-use service, it really won't matter because only a small percentage of people will be able to afford it (business). If they're just "allowing" it, it matters even less because there's no way you can hold a connection in flight.

By jharper12 on 11/23/2013 5:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone wants to draw the line in the sand, "I would rather not use my electronics than risk the plane falling out of the sky." Studies show it's safe, "I'd like to use my Kindle, but we don't want internet on planes, it's our only haven to avoid e-mails!" E-mails approved. "They had better not let people make calls, that's disturbing and awful, this should never happen." Eventually this will happen, and within a few years, people will forget it was even a thing to not allow calls on the plane. People will deal, I can't believe people get up in arms over cell phone calls. Every other driver I pass is texting, and yet 99% of people hate people who text and drive. Whine all day long about the future on in flight calling, but one day you'll answer the phone on the plane and be glad you can make arrangements for your family to pick you up at the airport, because you were running behind that morning and forgot to call them with your flight time.

By flyingpants1 on 11/22/2013 12:13:25 AM , Rating: 1
How strict is the USA about this crap? In Canada we've always been able to use our cell phones, laptops or tablets on a flight, whether departing or returning. They always announce over the speaker that they are technically not allowed, but it's not enforced at all..

By clarisayjn053 on 11/23/2013 4:51:37 PM , Rating: 1
if you need a job try this site JOBS61 (dot)COM. Dan does it at home and makes $17.92 hourly just sitting and typing stuff all day...No experience needed too

It's OK by me.
By johnpombrio on 11/24/2013 4:19:23 PM , Rating: 1
Mack's silicone ear plugs work great on jet engine noise, crying babies, and now chatting cattle. At least I can now use my Paperwhite 2 when I board.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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