Since the early 1990’s the FCC has banned all cellphone use once the aircraft reaches 10,000 feet. I am sure all of us have been on an airplane ride and had to stop texting, a phone conversation, or even reading an article once the pilot has stated to do so. At that point you can only hope that the airline you have chosen to fly with has WiFi and for that matter, free WiFi.
In December of 2016 the department of transportation proposed new regulations allowing passengers to continue to surf the web, Skype, Facebook, and FaceTime while in flight as long as the airline has provided its travelers with information on their guidelines. People have always been very negative towards this issue, wondering why at 10,000 feet you must shut off your device. To this day there has been no significant evidence proving that these measures need to be taken. Then you also have the opposite end of the spectrum, one I too can side with.
Allowing customers to take voice calls while in the confined space of airplane could lead to more problems than solutions. Who wants to listen to a passenger sitting next to you jabber on their cell phone about politics for two hours while you are trying to read, take a nap, or watch a movie. As recently as December Alaska Airline and Southwest Airlines told the Chicago Tribune they have zero plans to allow voice calls on airplanes. I would suspect this is due to flight attendants not wanting to deal with people chattering into their phones during flights. That much noise could possibly cause some sort of safety issue. The FCC will continue to rule and discuss this matter but a real change doesn’t look realistic in the near future. Realistically you could leave it up to airline to decide. That way when someone flies with a particular airline they would know beforehand if it’s going to be a quiet or “chatty” flight beforehand. It’s looking like the “can you hear me now” pests won’t soon be visiting an airline near you.
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