U.S. proposes ban on all in-flight cellphone calls


If you’re worried about noisy plane passengers being able to make calls in the air, the U.S. Department of Transportation is on your side.

The government agency is looking to ban all in-flight calls from cell phones, which would mean that every airline would have to comply with the rule. The other solution is that each U.S. airline gets to establish its own rule on the matter.

“Regulators are focused primarily on the disruptive effects of voice calls rather than texting or other data use, having last year loosened restrictions that now allow airline passengers to use electronic devices for these purposes from gate to gate,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

It’s unclear as to whether the proposed ban would apply to video calls from services like Skype and FaceTime. Many airlines now offer in-flight WiFi that allow passengers to connect for a small fee. Southwest even has an iMessage-specific plan for $2 that lets passengers use Apple’s messaging app for the whole day.

If the Department of Transportation doesn’t ban making calls outright, airlines could start offering the ability to make calls in-flight as a competitive advantage (or disadvantage, depending on how you look at it). The decision is expected to come out in December. Until then, please respect your neighbors when flying.

  • Cdb Spender

    Why do people feel the need to control every aspect of other peoples lives?

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a journalist and co-host of The CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." He lives in Lexington, Kentucky. If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Follow him on Twitter.

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