In-Air Cellphone Calls on Flights Poised to Gain FCC Approval. Could Policy Cause an ‘Air Rage’ Problem?

Nov 22, 2013  •  Post A Comment

"Rules against making cellphone calls during airline flights are ‘outdated,’ and it’s time to change them, federal regulators said Thursday, drawing immediate howls of protest from flight attendants, airline officials and others," reports the Associated Press..

The story continues: "Tom Wheeler, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said in a statement Thursday that the commission was proposing greater in-flight access to mobile broadband. The proposal will be considered at the commission’s Dec. 12 meeting."

Not everyone is for the idea, though, the article notes: "’Passengers overwhelmingly reject cellphone use in the aircraft cabin. The FCC should not proceed with this proposal,’ the Association of Flight Attendants said in a statement in response to the FCC chairman’s comments."

The article quotes Henry H. Harteveldt, a travel analyst with Hudson Crossing, saying: "There are bad ideas, and then there’s this. Unlike the ability to use their personal electronics and Wi-Fi from gate to gate, passengers don’t want this."

Harteveldt adds: "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.’"

JetBlue spokesman Morgan Johnston is quoted saying in an email: "Our customer feedback indicates people may not want that policy, but of course tastes and desires change. We would prioritize making the cabin comfortable and welcoming for all — for those who want cell service and for those who like peace and quiet."

2 Comments

  1. Harteveldt adds: “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.’”
    Can you imagine, on a longish flight, after a long hard day, sitting next to a 13 year old girl who is on the phone the whole time? Or trying to nap while 60 people are yammering away?
    My skin crawls at the thought of it.

  2. I have had to resit the urge to grab a phone out of someones hand and smash it here on the ground. Cannot begin to imagine how horrible it would be trapped on a plane with such a person!

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