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.
Source: The Wall Street Journal