Cell phone use on planes is a bad idea
Published: Thursday, February 27th, 2014
We can’t imagine anyone who flies being in favor of passengers being allowed to use cell phones while in the air. Yet an Associated Press poll three months ago showed 19 percent in favor, 30 percent neutral and 48 percent opposed to cell phones being used for voice calls while planes are in flight. Those surveyed who flew four or more times in the previous year were against cell phone use by a whopping 78 percent.
This really shouldn’t be an issue at all, but for the Federal Communications Commission. This government agency, for some reason, voted recently to lift the 23-year-old ban on cell phone calls while in the air. This didn’t go over very well with the traveling public. We sometimes have to ask ourselves how the FCC, or any other government agency, comes up with these bad ideas. They must be living in a bubble.
To its credit, the federal Department of Transportation, which regulates aviation consumer issues, said in a notice posted last Friday that it wants to retain the lengthly ban on verbal cell phone calls in the air. Obviously, this federal department heard from the traveling public, via their elected representatives and senators.
FCC chairman Tom Wheeler would like to see the current ban repealed, calling it restrictive and outdated, according to a recent AP story. Wheeler wants the airlines, and not the government, to have the final say regarding in-flight cell phone calls.
Responding to the concerns of many travelers, the Transportation Department said it is of the opinion that allowing passengers to make airborne cell phone calls “may be harmful or injurious” to other passengers. They further went on to say this is because “people tend to talk louder on cell phones than when they’re having face-to-face conversations.” Passengers would likely talk more and further increase the noise level on a flight.
We believe use of cell phones during flight would be an invasion of the privacy of every person on that flight. Try to read a magazine or a newspaper. Good luck. Try to close your eyes and take a cat nap. Good luck. Try to catch up on your work load on your laptop computer. Good luck.
How can anybody concentrate when the person in front of you or behind you, or on either side of you, is yacking away on their cell phone? It doesn’t even have to be a person in close proximity to your seat. We have all heard people talking loudly on their cell phones as if they are the only person on the planet.
Some of the most vocal opponents of cell phone use in the air are flight attendants who fear that phone conversations will lead to arguments between passengers which may escalate to violence. They have an excellent point. Not too long ago, a Florida man texting in a movie theater was shot and killed by a former Tampa policemen sitting behind him who was annoyed at this practice.
Verbal cell phone use on planes in the air is a really bad idea and should never be allowed.
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