Text yes, talk no

As we reported on November 14, the FCC is considering allowing cell phone calling on airplanes, and many people and organizations, including the Association of Flight Attendants/CWA, immediately said, no.

If anything, American reactions have gotten angrier. Aviation journalist Benét J. Wilson wrote an opinion on CNN that said simply, “Letting passengers talk nonstop during flights would be like being stuck in hell.” And, an online petition has hit the White House website saying that cell phones in the air are “not appropriate.”

It's true that most fliers would like to access and send data in flight. But people who don’t want loud-talking callers added to naturally loud people, crying children and jet noise are quite adamant about enforcing silence. And they include Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), the state’s new senator and longtime telecommunications expert. Markey said, “Staying connected and entertained by checking email and playing a game on your phone is one thing, but loud, intrusive phone calls would strain the social compact we all enter into when we board a plane.”

Think you hate flying now? (Speed Matters, Nov. 14, 2013)

Phone calls on planes? Please, no! (CNN, Nov. 22, 2013)

Instruct the FCC and FAA that cell phone use is not appropriate on flights (White House petition, Nov. 21, 2013)

Disruptions: Want Calls on Planes? You’ll Need to Speak Up (NY Times, Dec. 2, 2013)