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Delta Says it Won’t Allow In-Flight Calls

by Todd Haselton | December 18, 2013December 18, 2013 11:00 pm PST


As the Federal Communication Commission continues to consider allowing passengers to place phone calls during flight, at least one airline is stepping up to say it’s not going to allow its passengers to do so. It’s refreshing, at least for those who take the side of the Department of Transportation, which is considering stepping in and issue a ban to prevent chatter up in the skies.

“Our customer research and direct feedback tell us that our frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin would be a disruption to the travel experience,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson said in a memo to 80,000 of Delta’s employees on Wednesday. “In fact, a clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the ability to make voice calls onboard would detract from – not enhance – their experience. Delta employees, particularly our in-flight crews, have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls onboard… Even as technology advances and as regulations are changed, we will not only consider what we can do, but as importantly we will also consider what is right for our customers and employees.”

The decision comes as the FAA and FCC issue more relaxed rules on in-flight gadget use. U.S. airlines are now allowed to offer passengers the option to use gadgets and surf the Web via Wi-Fi from gate-to-gate, for example. However, any changes made by the FCC and FAA in regards to in-flight phone calls can also be denied by each respective airline. While Delta may continue to ban it, for example, another airline such as JetBlue may try to woo customers by allowing the practice.


Todd Haselton

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