Passengers: Do You Want to Make Cell Phone Calls on Flights?

Maybe the Federal Communications Commission is jealous over all the praise heaped on the FAA’s recent decision that allows passengers to use small portable electronic devices on flights from start to finish. In any event, the FCC has now reportedly waded into the fray of device use with a controversial proposal: Allow passengers to chat on cell phones in flight.

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Why Cell Calls Now?

The idea has been kicked around for some time, but has always met with resistance by government agencies, airlines and in many cases by passengers themselves. What’s changed? CNN quotes FCC chief Tom Wheeler as saying, “Modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably, and the time is right to review our outdated and restrictive rules.”

Find the best possible airfare, cell phone-free (for now)

Some Non-U.S. Airlines Allow Cell Calls

Certain airlines outside the U.S. have allowed cell phones on planes for years now with no ill effects (or none we’ve heard of) and we should point out the FCC’s proposal would not allow unlimited gabfests. Calls (and texting) would be outlawed during take-offs and landings – under 10,000 feet – which is probably a good idea so everyone could hear the flight attendant’s safety demonstration.

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What Do You Think?

But, here’s another thought:  Could phone conversations during flights on crowded planes increase the rare but not unheard of instances of air rage? Is it worth finding out?

Please let us know if this is an idea that should have been launched long ago – or if you find yourself wondering, “What are they thinking?” We’d love to hear.


Published: November 22, 2013