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  • 34

Congress Considers Bill to Prohibit In-Flight Mobile Calls

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A member of the US House of Representatives has introduced a bill to ban the use of mobile phones to make calls during a flight. The bill was presented by republican Bill Shuster to the House on Monday. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to make a decision by Thursday. A recent survey conducted by Frequent Business Traveler found that over 90% of frequent flyers are opposed to in-flight calling. (www.frequentbusinesstraveler.com) Ещё...

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MattHauke
Matt Hauke 3
Maybe somebody can answer this for me. There may have been a time or two that I forgot to put my phone in airplane mode on a flight. I noticed at 30,000 feet, I have no cell reception. Even if it is aloud, how would anybody be able to make a call at 30,000 traveling at 540mph?
preacher1
preacher1 1
Seems to me they are talking something having to be put on the plane, equipment wise. Seem like I heard something somewhere that just the 4g service was all that could be accessed up there. idk We have an in house wireless on all our planes so we can call or do data as well.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 2
There are lots of different solutions possible. Some involve placing a pico- cell (a mini cell phone tower on each plane that then relays the calls, texts and data/Internet to and from ground via satelite or ground to air transmission.

Other solutions involve using an airline app on the device to connect via the plane's wifi network to make calls, send & receive texts, etc.

Cell phones without service at FL 340 going 540mph just aren't going to ring otherwise.
preacher1
preacher1 1
You are correct in that equipment will have to be added and I'll guarantee you that it won't be free, especially if everybody jumps on the bandwagon. It will be interesting. LOL
tchien69
tchien69 2
Has everyone forgotten that not too long ago (10-15 yrs ago) almost EVERY plane used to have a phone in EVERY seat back?!? Disturbance-wise, how is that any different from cell-phone calls?!? Granted, it would cost like $5 / min. (in today's $'s) which probably deterred use and/or reduced durations.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
You're absolutely right, but I think people's view of phone usage with the advent of the cell phone has changed. Phones used to be for important communication. Today it's for entertainment.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
As annoying as this could become, I have to agree that the novelty will wear off. Personally, though, I imagine with enough frowns, glares and comments - callers will get the message and put the phones away. From what I've read, the providers are going to charge some astronomical fees for these calls. That alone may help.
tbpera
Tom Pera 2
it's the inconsiderate....especially some of the younger generation... that will not react to social clues that will be the problem
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 3
Then it's our generation's fault for not teaching them acceptable behavior. My sons know when and where they're acceptable, because they learned that along with no elbows on the table, etc. The buck has to stop somewhere, Mr. Pera.
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
It may be my generation, but it's not my fault....do you feel responsible for all our generations children?
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
No need to be defensive, sir. I didn't specifically state you ruined the younger generation.
spootcat
JD Williams 2
You'd think so, but then I see the number of folks on phones in the restroom I think maybe not so much. :)
preacher1
preacher1 1
'Bout time you posted a picture so we could see who we were talking to. LOL
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
LOL - i have to admit to toying with the idea of posting one that's 20+ years old, but then remembered to spilling the beans about being retired!
preacher1
preacher1 3
I did for awhile, one that was taken about 05, then somebody called my hand on it. LOL Regarding teaching manners, most of us have kids that were RAISED, not like some that were just allowed to grow up on their own devices. Couple that nowadays with all the freebies out there and you have to look long and hard for anybody that has a decent work ethic. Over this last year, I hired 5 pilots, for which we had over 1000 apps. A whole lot of them looked like saints on paper but the personal interviews killed them. It was sad that most just literally didn't know any better.
preacher1
preacher1 3
The other sad thing was that a lot of them were well qualified and performed very well in the air, but they just literally couldn't understand about interaction with other people. The world revolved around them and as long as you agreed with their twisted view, you were their friend but you were an old fogey, racist pig when you disagreed with them. What they failed to realize is that old fogey, racist pig was the one that was doing the hiring for the job that they wanted.
crk112
crk112 2
In their argument FOR the bill they are saying that this should be a refuge away from cell phone conversations.. which is a good reason NOT to pass the bill.

Who the hell do they think they are trying to pass bills like this? In no way is it the government's job to make airline flights a "haven" for people that don't want to listen to cell phone calls.

If cell phones don't work on an airplane they don't work on an airplane. Bill Shuster needs to consider his priorities and maybe pass some bills that make sense.
Zav
Zav 2
People dislike listening to someone else's phone conversation. So the first solution to clamor for is to pass a law banning it.

Am I the only one that finds this somewhat pathetic?
Darrens
Darren Shields 4
Putting aside the issue of whether or not it's an irritant to other passengers, "How is this any of Congresses business?" This is an issue that government does not need to be involved in. This is a prime example of the peril of big government.
preacher1
preacher1 1
My thoughts exactly. I think the market will quickly take care of this one if they will just stay out of it.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Let the airlines determine the policy on their own planes. I don't foresee cell phone will be anywhere neat the problem that some insist will be. But if it turns out that way the airlines will control it.

The cell service will be expernsive enough to deter all but the most determined callers. Even then with he most most will keep it short.

Those who want quiet zones can ask the carriers to create quiet zones (for free or small seat selection fee). Quiet zones would be a good idea for way many more reasons than voice calls. There are all kinds of loud conversationalists, crying babies, kids who kick the seat backs repeatedly, sounds from portable gaming and personal entertainment devices, vacationers, partiers, spring breakers, and others who want to start the festivities early or keep the good times going after a fun time away.

Anyone concerned about a small number of short phone calls will have many more reasons to choose a quiet zone seat, that have little to do with cell phones and cell phone users.

The airlines should be able to accommodate passengers with different preferences. They already do so. I see no reason why the airlines will fail to be able to manage this item differently than all others that are potential disturbances.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I can't state this with any degree of certainty, but I think the FCC governs cell phone usage, in which case it has not only the right to be involved in the decision but it's required.
tradi
Jean-Fr. Didisheim 1
Passenger communications with people on the ground can be both convenient and useful. The technology is there. Let it be restricted to texting and have the best of both worlds.
osovitsky
David Jacobs 1
Airlines are always looking for ways to add fees. How about $50 per flight for cell phone calls? This will eliminate most usage. Texting, however, should be allowed without a fee.
stevemondral
steve mondral 1
But anyone who paid a $50 fee would not shut up for the entire flight due to the fact that they paid so much for it.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Voice calls would be only second to video streaming in bandwidth hogging.

Voice calls would most likely be charged by the minute (and fairly expensive to boot - likely at least $3-$5/ minute), in order to pay for the equipment, and to having a plane full of cell phone users yapping away and hogging bandwidth.
warmwynds
warmwynds 1
So the technology (cell Phones etc.) to communicate with the Ground now exists and is in the process of being placed in Aircrafts. So it did not exist in September 2001. Would that be a correct summation?
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
The plane was flying low enough that the cells could pick up signals from the ground towers. By then the cell service providers had figured out how to deal with cell signals that come from above and that passed quickly from tower to tower. At least moreso than when the FCC instituted the the ban.
warmwynds
warmwynds 1
Cell Phone Frequencies could NOT penetrate the metal body of an airplane back then and never will............Period! They need a secondary device to retransmit the mumbo jumbo that the caller deems important. Oh......it won't have to be important in the future.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Cell phone have been working inside planes on the ground for years. I've never myself 'forgotten' to turn off my electronic device(s) but I have a 'friend' that has seen solid cell phone reception inside a plane from the gate to over 10,000 ft.

But the FCC and/or FAA mat bot approve the use of cell phones below 10,000 ft yet.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
For the past 10 plus years, I've had a friend telephone me from his seat, securely belted in to let me know (quietly) what time his plane's departing, and we'll say our good-byes and he shuts off his phone at push. Seems to me those frequencies penetrate the fuselage just fine. I'm still puzzling over that emphatic statement from warmwynds. Each and every time he telephoned, I'd hear the muted drone of a plane packed to the gills with people chattering away, overheads slamming closed, etc., no one would be able to discern he was using the phone rather than just visiting with someone seated nearby. I know there are a lot of buffoons out there, but I prefer to think most people feel the closeness of quarters and modulate their voices accordingly. And just like crying babies, this is simply one more issue to which we'll need to adjust.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I really wouldn't worry about his comment. You can use them outbound til door close and you can use them after touchdown. They work just fine.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
"And never will" ??? 40 years ago cell phones weren't even a glimmer of an idea. And just look at us now. Never say never. Humankind is pretty incredible, and I have every faith it shall overcome the metal body bump in the road.
warmwynds
warmwynds 0
You missed the whole point......does you pc have a shut down function.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 2
Yes, I did miss the whole point. I'm clearly massively dense, because even re-reading it I still don't get the point. But that's just me.
warmwynds
warmwynds 0
My original question was posted but I already knew the answer. I have nothing better to do. If you want to see what the original question related to you will find it embedded in your word processor. Open WORD or whatever, Type Q33NY with large capitol letters. HIGHLIGHT Q33 then change Font size to 72.
This will be the last message to this nothing better to do with my life site and.... I do have a shutdown function.
nigelites
Nige Lites 1
How much of an 'Issue' is this really?
I've flown Emirates for many years. With their first 'Seat Back' screens the controller was also a phone handset, with a slit down the side to swipe a credit card. You could use this to call Terra Firma, presumably at great expense, I never tried it, nor did I ever notice anyone around me using it.

More recently many of their planes have 'AeroMobile', you can use your own phone to make a call presumably via a 'Cell' on board linked via satellite. I guess this would be billed as 'International Roaming' by your telecom.
Again, never tempted to use it, never noticed anyone else doing so around me.

I can only assume that either these services were not widely used, or that anyone using them did not stand out any more than someone in a nearby seat having a normal conversation with an adjacent passenger.

Just maybe 'Social etiquette' will be sufficient for most people to be discrete in their use of phones on planes, and it micht be considered a 'Quiet Place' where only the most urgent calls are made or taken.

Of course there will always be the odd Buffoon who insists on calling a friend to announce loudly "Hey, you'll never guess where I am..", but I'm sure the novelty will soon wear off.

And if all else fails there's always some Headphones, the in-flight entertainment, or your Music player.
tbpera
Tom Pera 2
not up to us to hide from the buffoon... don't want to wear a headset.. just want peace and quiet like 80% of us that fly regularly
jackmabry
Jack Mabry 1
I cannot imagine a greater hell than sitting between two people who are constantly making calls on their cell phones for hours. What's more, probably at least one of them will be yelling into their phone. I don't care if technically you can now do this, please don't allow it. For the sanity of the vast majority of plane passengers.
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
I'm wound a little tight....if an idiot sitting close to me starts blabbing loudly on the phone, I'll start singing as loud as I can to keep him from hearing his call....will probably have to fight... I'm sure I'm not alone...after being fired in 1981 I got a job that required flying every other week... It was bad enough with the few idiots on board...can't imagine adding phone calls... just gotta' say ...most..almost all others kind and considerate
jwmson
jwmson 1
As much as I hate government interference in business, this is one proposal that should be enacted. Who wants to sit near the idiot that want to babble in a loud voice for hours?
preacher1
preacher1 1
John, I can appreciate what you are saying but this is the same government, albeit a different branch, that is going to authorize it in the first place.
ToddBaldwin3
ToddBaldwin3 2
I'm not so sure that the FAA is actually authorizing in-flight cell phones, just that they see no technical reason for it. For my part, I have to wonder how well an aircraft lavatory can handle a cell phone. I'd sure be tempted to stuff one down the drain
ToddBaldwin3
ToddBaldwin3 1
Let me correct my own post. I said FAA, I meant FCC.
MattHauke
Matt Hauke 1
They can authorize it, but ultimately it is up to the airlines to establish their own policy on the matter. I suspect that most airlines will ban talking on the phone while in flight. They know that if they don't, they may lose a lot of customers (like me).
br100x
br100x 1
Or the airline will allow you to pay an extra fee to sit in a "quiet zone" with no cell phones.
ToddBaldwin3
ToddBaldwin3 2
I thought of that too. Great, just what I need, one more fee to pay.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 0
The way people are going on and on about cell phone usage on planes, the airlines are going to make a fortune on these quiet zones. Except not because of cell phones so much, but because of much more disruptive in flight experiences. Crying babies, yelling pets, spring breakers, personal entertainment devices and portable gaming device, and overbearing bores who insist on makin pleasant conversation.

If just the mere presence of cell phones that could be functional is so upsetting, then it will be worth paying to avoid all if hear others as well.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 0
I really believe the novelty will wear off and it won't be an issue for long.
xmacfly
ALLEN McLEAN 1
Please..It doesn't matter who does it as long as it is done. Air travel is already miserable enough.
geofscott
Geoffrey Beth 1
In my opinion, it would be no different than sitting at the airport. I don't see what the big deal is over 'privacy' while flying. We gave that up after sept elevn. And some of those people alerted us to the terror threat while using cell phones in flight.
Also unclear why congress should be the only ones who do get to, and we know they do (talk on phones while flying in their private aircraft). And, as a former traffic reporter we had to use phones when the radios didn't work and as far as I know most commercial operations still do as well. Lets be real here. Thank you.
stevemondral
steve mondral 1
At least when your at the airport you can get up and move away, don't have that option on the plane.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
Maybe you can't move away, but maybe, just maybe if one were to politely and quietly let the phone user know people in the vicinity are trying to concentrate on their own business, you might find the caller willing to end the call or possibly even move elsewhere until finished. Worth a shot anyways.

Then again, maybe a lot of us are making much ado about nothing. We're all yammering away about something that may never happen.
Philm427
Philip Martin 0
I would rather sit next to screaming twin babies than next to someone carrying on a cell conversation for I don't know how long. Texting sounds like a reasonable compromise if whatever has to be said simply can't wait.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, Anderson has taken a stand with DAL this morning, or yesterday afternoon and said no. He is the 1st of the 121 heads to come out. Maybe the rest will follow suit. I think texting is some good middle ground but I figure it will be high priced as well, if allowed at all.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
I also prefer to text. But I have 2 or 3 reliable rides from the airport that still prefer the old-fashioned phone call, and couldn't be bothered with texts.

20 second phone calls to arrange a pick-up can't possibly compare to a screaming baby for hours or a kid kicking the back of the seat for the duration of the flight. I still think the worries are overblown.

Some people should consider investing in a pair of ear plugs. If sinply conversation is bothersome (via phone or otherwise), there is much more noise in the cabin of a plane to justify ear plugs (even without the voice calls).
preacher1
preacher1 1
Lot's of difference in a short call on the ground than 2hrs next to a yak yak
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
Not sure exactly what airlines would charge for in-flight lice calls, but at $5/minute, 2 hours of yak yak at altitude would cost $600.

There is virtually no one who would get a cattle class fare, and spend $600 to yak yak in the air, rather than wait a couple hours.

Most conversations would be short and sporadic.

I would think that airlines may choose not to offer voice calls because it may not make busines sense to do so. The Airfone of yeateryear was poorly used. Today most people make substantially fewer calls than the days of the Airfone.

Once the business decision is made, taking credit for 'listening' to customers is just good PR.
PhotoFinish
PhotoFinish 1
* in-flight phone calls.

[Come on guys. Give us an edit button.]
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 1
I was itching to make a joke of it, but thought better of it.
dbartel
dbartel 0
Only Text messaging should be allowed and only with vibrate enabled and ringtones silenced.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 3
Ah, if only our opinions counted.
Doobs
Dee Lowry 0
This is not going to "FLY"! Delta, Southwest, and Virgin America have already bailed out on the idea and most likely, many will follow. 99.5% of passengers don't want it. Even the FCC chairman opposes it and yet he approved it. It's all up to the Airline if they want to pursue this calamity of errors.

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