Cell phones during flight--no thanks

Cell phones during flight--no thanks

Summary: Ben Charny has an FAQ on the building consensus by the FCC with a push from cell phone operators to allow cell phone usage, perhaps by December 2006, during transit on U.S.

TOPICS: Mobility

airbus.jpgBen Charny has an FAQ on the building consensus by the FCC with a push from cell phone operators to allow cell phone usage, perhaps by December 2006, during transit on U.S. commercial flights if the Federal Aviation Administration approves. Technical issues about interference with pilot to ground conversations and airplane radio communications are not yet fully resolved, but don't appear to be insurmountable.

My hope is that cell phones remain banned during flight unless a "whisper" law is enacted, which doesn't seem feasible, given the definition of a whisper depends on the listener. Perhaps cell phone users in flight should be required to wear microphones that amplify their voices, requiring only a hushed whisper to communicate. Maybe there is a way to shut cell phones off automatically if the speaker's voice reaches a specific decibel level. In any case, the thought of 300 people (or even 2, especially if they are sitting next to me) talking on their cell phones (at weekend rates) constantly at the typical loud voice levels, even while eating, for 5 hours and 50 minutes traveling from New York to San Francisco is horrifying.  For many of us who travel frequently by air, the plane is a kind of sanctuary, providing a few hours of reading, watching, sleeping and computing time, free of people talking on their phones about whatever as if they were in a restaurant shouting over the music and the conversations of other diners.

Law enforcement agencies have different reasons for opposing cell phone usage during flight. They worry about terrorists remotely coordinating with people on the ground and detonating explosives. Some flight attendants are concerned that cell phone usage could result in more air rage among passengers.  I would agree--the incidence of air rage would skyrocket if passengers were forced to listen to hundreds of simultaneous cell phone conversations at 30,000 feet, with no way to escape except wearing expensive helicopter pilot headphones...

Topic: Mobility

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  • Compel use of a head mask

    I hate the idea of ignorant people yelling into their cell phones on flights. I hear these clowns every day on the subway to/from work, too many bozo's see these spaces as merely an extension of their office and don't give a cr*p about the people around them.

    The only way that I could accept the notion of cell phones on flights is if the cell phone users were compelled to rent (or purchase) a hat or helmet of some sort that would completely encase their head and phone, thereby permitting them to scream away without disturbing the peace of everyone else around them.

    Possibly there could be a bathroom like space that could accomodate these people, on a rent-by-the-minute principle.

    What a nightmare this has the potential to become.
  • Maxwell Smart had the answer

    All we need is the Cone of Silence.
    tic swayback
    • Thanks, tic

      That made my day.

      Carl Rapson
  • The Technology can be developed to allow cell phones to surf the web.

    I agree that the Cell Phones should not be allowed to carry out Moble Conversations aboard the airplanes. But I'm advocating the redevelopment of client aerver roles that will allow these cell phones to be used to surf the internet.
  • NO Cellphone on Airplanes

    Give me a break! Please! A flight to anywhere is stressful enough, what with the kid crying or kicking the back of your seat. I use the flight time to grab a bit of rest and attempt to relax, that will be impossible with cellphone conversations going on around me. I don't want to hear about your weekend plans or how your company is screwing you around, zip it and do it privately. Don't pollute my space!
  • viable alternatives

    There are some occasions when I wish I could make contact with people on the ground during flight, however, I don't which to hear the personal soap opera of the person sitting next to me. It seems to me that the solution would be to allow cell phone use only for text messaging. The only exception would be physically handicapped people who can't key in a text message. Not only would it maintain current sound levels on the plane but the messages would be brief.