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Dept. of Transportation Considering Ban on In-Flight Calling

by Todd Haselton | December 15, 2013December 15, 2013 11:00 am PST


The the Federal Aviation Administration continues to change its rules on in-flight practices, from Internet access to gate-to-gate gadget use, another federal agency is working to make sure we don’t go too far. The Department of Transportation is currently considering a move that would ban the ability to place calls during flight, Bloomberg said Thursday.

Right now, you can’t place calls while on an airplane unless you use one of the seatback telephones. However, the FCC is considering its own move that would allow passengers to place calls if and when that service becomes available on aircraft. The Department of Transportation is clearly listening to those of us who would prefer to fly in a quieter cabin, where people aren’t gabbing away on their phones next to you. It’s unclear if such a move would prevent all calls, however, such as those placed over a VoIP client like Skype.

“Over the past few weeks, we have heard of concerns raised by airlines, travelers, flight attendants, members of Congress and others who are all troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight –- and I am concerned about this possibility as well,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx told Bloomberg.

Some opponents think that it shouldn’t be up to the Department of Transportation to step in, however, and that it should remain in the hands of airlines to choose whether or not they want to allow in-flight calls. One company that provides a service, OnAir, said it hasn’t had any complaints from people who already use its service, or their fellow passengers.

How do you feel about in-flight calls?


Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...