Delta CEO nixes dreams of cell phone calls in the sky

Delta CEO nixes dreams of cell phone calls in the sky

Summary: This actually won't come as a surprise to frequent fliers of the airline.


The friendly skies just got a little chillier.

Following movements by the Federal Aviation Administration to consider lifting a ban on cell phone use (in terms of calls and texting) during flights, Delta's chief executive officer Richard Anderson is nipping that idea in the bud as far as his airline is concerned.

Anderson penned and issued a pointed memo to Delta's 80,000 employees worldwide on Wednesday, citing customer research that allowing voice calls within the cabin would be "a disruption to the travel experience."

Here's more:

Delta will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications onboard Delta or Delta Connection flights.

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. 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.

However, frequent fliers of the airline probably aren't surprised by this stance.

Based on personal experience just this past weekend, Delta hasn't entirely gotten onboard with wireless device use (such as smartphones, tablets and e-readers set to Airplane Mode) during takeoff and landing yet either.

Anderson argued in his memo that Delta was "the first to file our plan with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to allow customers to use portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet," although that clearly hasn't extended to all flights yet.

Nevertheless, Delta isn't alone in that regard in the slightest. Virgin America and a few other domestic carriers have been slow to accept the new policy as well, in stark contrast to airlines such as JetBlue and United that have embraced the FAA's decision to allow use of personal electronics below 10,000 feet.

Topics: Mobility, 4G, Networking, Travel Tech, Tech Industry

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  • Good news

    Allowing a bunch of jabber jaws free reign to yak it up during a flight would be a bad idea. It reminds me when there were smoking sections on planes - as if the smoke stays with the smokers and doesn't choke the non smokers 10 feet away. In a plane you can't move away from the person being rude and telling them to shut up could start an "incident".
  • Chillier?

    Friendlier. If a majority doesn't want to be subjected to their neighbor's calls while on the plane, it is right for the airline to not let a few jerks trample all over those stuck next to them for hours.
  • Awesome

    So with that I can tell the flight attendant to make the people next to me stop talking to each other. I too find it really annoying on every single flight I take that people traveling together talk really loud, across seats, etc.. Next time I will inform the flight attendant and if they refuse to keep it down they should be escorted off the plane. Correct?
    • You are an idiot.

      Tell you what...don't like the fact that you won't be able to yap on your cell phone on an airplane?

      I have a solution...TAKE A BUS, ARSEHOLE.
      • You are such a genius

        No, I just want the loud people on the plane to shut the hell up! Nowhere did I say I wanted to talk on a phone.
        • I don't want to talk on my phone

          As a matter of fact I would rather txt on the plane and I think you guys are ruining it for us. I'm tired of not being able to use my smartphone on a plane and I barely ever talk with it. As of 2011 over 1/3 of Americans text instead of using voice to communicate.
          I see a lot of overreaction to this. I see so many noise canceling headphones on travelers they look like the new fashion.
          Do you see everyone else in the world as selfish creeps and not mindful of others around them? I would give Americans the benefit of the doubt to work this out socially. No more nanny rules!
          • Naive...

            "... I would give Americans the benefit of the doubt to work this out socially."

            You are either really naive or have increadible faith in humanity in this. There is NO WAY this works out socially. have you been on a train or bus where someone is yapping away? the offender, clearly unaware of social manners is talking loudly on the phone, for an extended period of time. And then the enforcers, fed up with the jabber, eventually tell the offender to "STFU". Which is always met with, "No, you STFU, a-hole".
  • Same as the bus

    If you sit next to me and yap incessantly, you have no expectation of privacy (or just no clue) and I may make comments on your conversation or join in. :) Try it, its fun!
  • The FCC should still lift the ban...

    ...unless there are real reasons to believe that cellular traffic interferes with communications between the cockpit and the control tower.

    That way, airlines can make their own decisions and take full credit/blame for them.
    John L. Ries