U.S. Department of Transportation to Pursue Ban on In-Flight Cell Phone Calls

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    The United States Department of Transportation has plans to pursue a ban on in-flight phone calls, reports The Wall Street Journal. In a speech last week at the International Aviation Club, general counsel of the Department Kathryn Thompson suggested restrictions were in the works, and a DOT spokesperson later confirmed the plans.
    The Department of Transportation's move to pursue a ban on in-flight cellular phone calls follows an FCC proposal to overturn the current restrictions that prevent airline passengers from making phone calls and using cellular data while in flight.

    The existing rules state that all cellular telephones on board an aircraft must be turned off when an aircraft leaves the ground in order to keep them from interfering with ground networks, but the FCC no longer believes in-flight interference is an issue. In 2013, the FCC officially relaxed its restrictions on the use of portable electronics in flight, allowing them to be used during landing and takeoff while in Airplane Mode.

    After the FCC suggested it might permit cellular phone usage in flight, the Department of Transportation, airlines, and several other consumer groups expressed concern over the disruption voice calls could introduce if permitted in flight. Though airlines have largely been against in-flight cell phone calls, they believe the final decision on in-flight calls should be left up to them rather than in government control.
    The FCC is continuing to investigate the safety of allowing cell phone service on planes, and a ban on voice calls from the Department of Transportation, which supersedes any FCC decision, may result in a situation where customers are permitted to use cellular data in-flight for texting and web browsing but are banned from making voice calls. The Department of Transportation is expected to release more information on a potential ban in December.

    Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

    Article Link: U.S. Department of Transportation to Pursue Ban on In-Flight Cell Phone Calls
  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    It is already too loud on an airplane, we don't need people loudly shouting into their phones as well.
  3. chirpie macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2010
    For the sake of my and everyone else's sanity, I pray this ban goes through. LOL.
  4. ct2k7 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2008
    London or Florida
    Most equipment are built to resistant to interference.

    I personally wouldn't use a plane in-flight... as a pilot or a passenger.
  5. Col4bin macrumors 68000


    Oct 2, 2011
    El Segundo
    Can you imagine…? Sitting next to a bunch of teenagers or snooty business peple yapping into their cell phones for an entire flight??? NO THANKS! At least I listen to music, but it would still be very annoying. :eek:
  6. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    There is a device that would kill cell signals within a certain area. If you don't use something like that, there will always be someone circumventing the rules.
  7. FieldingMellish Suspended

    Jun 20, 2010
    It’s going to be the equivalent of no smoking. Addicted individuals will do extra feverish yakking and texting before boarding the plane.

    On a darker note, isn’t cell phone use the preferred means of igniting bombs?
  8. Squeak825 macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2007
    People that are worried about everyone talking on the phone while in flight is forgetting one critical thing: most cell phones can't reach a tower reliably while cruising.

    That means that the airlines would have to put into place their own microcell on the plane to provide reception -- like they do for wifi.

    And access to that won't be cheap or free.
  9. tigres macrumors 68040


    Aug 31, 2007
    Land of the Free-Waiting for Term Limits
  10. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    In-Flight calls is a sweet and sour note for me. Many benefits if something is urgent, but at the same time... imagine those loud mouthed people?

    It be great to be able to dial and tell the other party picking you up "Captain says we are landing in 15 minutes."
  11. Marzzz macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2002
    The Desert
    Even during the short period of time between boarding the plane and taxiing for takeoff, people talking on cell phones are particularly annoying. I don't know exactly what it is, but people tend to speak so LOUD while using their cell phones. I am all in favor of this ban.
  12. Z400Racer37 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2011
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank my lords at the DOT for knowing better than my lords at the F'nCC, about exactly what is best for me. Don't know what I would do without 'em. :rolleyes:
  13. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
    I am all for bans on take off and landing.

    However what cell phone works 5 miles away from a tower while in a shielded tube. Unless you are walking around with a 50+ dBi antenna it just isn't going to work.

    I say leave it up to airlines, maybe they could have a cell phone use sections on the plane like back in the smoking days.
  14. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    I'm not keen on being forced to listen to someone phone conversation on the plane either, but is this really the reason the airlines want to prohibit it--or is it that they want you to use the super expensive air phones that you can conveniently activate with your credit card?

    If they think allowing cell phones is dangerous or distracting, it would seem those shouldn't be allowed either.
  15. nt5672 macrumors 68000

    Jun 30, 2007
    All we need to do is use the technology, they can develop a feed from a noisy neighbors phone call directly into my noise canceling headphones. Best of both worlds and no more over the top regulations. http://cdn.macrumors.com/vb/images/smilies/cool.png
  16. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    Great time for Apple to be pushing their Voice Messages, I see. Not only that, just in time to prevent a bunch of people talking to their wrists on flights.
  17. kupkakez macrumors 68000


    Apr 4, 2011
    Yes! This HAS to be banned. I could not imagine sitting next to some motor mouth yapping the entire flight. There is nobody THAT important that you absolutely have to talk to during a domestic flight, international maybe a little different.
  18. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    I agree, this has nothing to do with offering air travelers a pleasant flight. I also wonder if it's harder to snoop on conversations 35,000 feet in the air.
  19. RyanFromQA macrumors member


    May 15, 2008
    How much of a problem is this?

    The last flight I was on, I turned off airplane mode on my iPhone. I know -- Danger is my middle name. Thing is, I had no service even well before we got to our cruising altitude (and were still over a heavily populated area with plenty of coverage).
  20. squirrelist macrumors regular


    Jun 27, 2006
    Silver Spring MD
    Does this really need a law?

    I can understand the DOT banning phone calls if there was a technical or safety reason. But why should they make a law for people to be courteous? As far as I see it, this is no different than talking on the phone in a theater. Theaters ban phone calls in the theaters not because of law but because it is disrespectful to others. Airlines can (and probably should) do the same thing.
  21. PocketSand11 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2014
    I'm almost sure that device would create the same interference with equipment that a cell phone would, most likely worse. But still, I don't want people talking on cell phones in-flight anyway because it would be annoying.
  22. ghettochris macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2008
    I would like them to also ban having conversations or having kids on planes for my peace and quiet. :rolleyes:
  23. dannyyankou macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2012
    Scarsdale, NY
    Macrumors is a different website than it was in 2000.

    And I like the idea of a private phone booth.
  24. DJsteveSD macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2011
    Dallas, TX
    I would hate it too but sadly, if it were legal, people just wouldn't how annoying it would be.
  25. ghettochris macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2008
    I was on a plane with free wifi, and you weren't allowed to do skype calls... That is the type of thing this argument is about.

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