Flight Attendants, Passengers Don't Want Cell Phone Calls Allowed on Flights

You probably heard that the Federal Communications Commission said the time has come to reconsider its long-standing ban on making cell phone calls on planes. That doesn’t mean such calls will actually be allowed – that decision will always be up to individual airlines – and some of those have already said they’re not crazy about idea. A lot of flight attendants are now saying the same thing.

The latest on other electronic devices on planes

Flight Attendants Say No

Two different flight attendant unions with a combined membership of 76,000 have given a resounding “no” to lifting the ban.

USA Today quotes one cabin crew member saying, “We cannot and will not be the ‘cellphone police’ on board as people yack loudly in a confined space.”

Airlines including Delta, JetBlue and Southwest have already said they won’t allow these calls even if the FCC says OK, but American and United are taking a wait-and-see approach.

It will be interesting to see if passengers would ever choose one airline over another simply because they do or do not allow cell phone calls (or texting). Judging by the comments received by the FCC, most would probably opt for call-free flights.

Passengers Say No

Passenger comments about cell calls on planes can be viewed at the FCC website and here are some of them, reproduced as originally posted:

  • “Today, one cannot escape the endless chatter of others in the workplace, the marketplace, in parks and open spaces, and while navigating on highways. It would be unbearable to be within the confines of an aircraft with a cabin full of people, all on their telephones, talking about nothing important, for hours on end.”
  • “DON’T ALLOW PHONES TO BE USED ON PLANES! It’s bad enough that people can use them in restaurants–at least there you can get up and leave.”
  • “Even sitting next to someone who is texting the entire flight will be annoying if their phone is pinging every time they receive a text.”
  • “[A plane] is a closed environment, with no escape from our fellow passengers (those who snore, or whose babies cry, etc). Those intrusions cannot be legislated away, but cellphone use can be, and I think SHOULD be!”

And What Do You Think?

As always, we’d be happy to to know what you’re thinking and if you like, share with us via Facebook.


Published: February 18, 2014