No. (Updated)

westernairlines

So the FCC is considering lifting the ban on cell phone conversations and texting during flights on your favorite airline. When I saw this story on the news this morning it made my heart rate jump up by 10 points (I was working out at the time).

Honestly, I only need one word as a response to this asshattery: “NO”.

I tweeted earlier that I would seek out the airline that does not allow cell phone calls during a flight. Texting wouldn’t really bother me, because that’s something that can be done in relative silence, but the phone calls? Absolutely not.

Let’s think about this for a moment. We have all been in that situation where a person is screaming some really inappropriate things into their phone whilst standing in the middle of the mall/grocery store/museum/restaurant/etc. Do we really want to be essentially trapped in a inhumane 17-inch wide space next to a person carrying on in such a manner for four hours? Really? People can’t even be bothered to take off their damn pajamas for a cross-country flight nowadays and we think that they’re going to be courteous on their telephones?

No.

This is such a bad idea. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am willing to pay extra to fly the airline that doesn’t allow cell phone conversations on their flights. I don’t care about mileage points, MQMs, MQDs or anything like that, if you can guarantee me a relatively peaceful flight without having to listen to someone yak on and on on their phone, I’ll pony up the extra dough to do so.

Ideally, this same airline would institute some sort of dress code, barring passengers in flip flops, sweat pants and clothing otherwise reserved for the bedroom. Am I snob? You bet your sweet beverage cart I am. If I wanted a MegaBus experience I’d take my chances and ride a MegaBus. If you want to yak on your phone, by all means get on a MegaBus. Ride it down the Onondaga Lake Parkway for all I care, but do not talk on your cell phone after the main cabin door has been closed on any flight I’m on. Oh hell no.

There’s a part of me that wonders if the cell phone carriers are pushing for this, because they’d have to charge more for these calls what with upgrading plane communication systems and the like.

Whatever the reason, the fact of the matter is this is a bad idea. It compromises safety (talking passenger doesn’t hear in flight safety information) and it compromises passenger comfort.

Do you want to talk on your phone during a flight? Feel free to do so, whilst sitting on the wing.

22 Nov 13 1317 ET Update:
Delta Air Lines has emphatically stated that they will not allow the use of cell phones for voice calls even if the FCC changes its policy. Congratulations, Delta, you officially get all of my airline travel budget.

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Ultimately, it’s not the FCC’s job to control etiquette matters and I get it if they say the science is sound that a cell phone conversation isn’t going to crash an airliner. It’s ultimately up to the traveling public as to whether they want this sort of behavior on a flight and the airlines to provide a safe and relatively stress free atmosphere. I commend Delta for taking a stance on this.

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