Hey, welcome to my new blog. For the last couple of years I’ve been able to vent my spleen on issues on my radio program Maritime Morning. That all came to an end in November when Rogers traded me in for the NHL.
Today, while tooling around Halifax listening to Jian Ghomeshi, I heard a discussion that finally forced my hand to start blogging. It is one of those talk show topics that screams righteous indignation.
Allowing cell phone calls on flights. Possibly the worst idea…ever.
In what could become another great debate between common sense and personal entitlement, airlines will wrestle with the idea of allowing passengers to use their phones in the air. With any luck, the sensible airlines will follow the lead of Delta. Delta are explicit out of the gate. It’s not happening on their flights. Chalk one up for the Skyteam.
Delta are by no means luddites. They already offer in flight WiFi but they are drawing the line at people yammering about what’s for dinner or closing a business deal 18 inches from your ear.
People talking on their phones on buses, in restaurants or on street corners is one thing, people yacking on passenger aircraft are something else again. Once you are seated, it is the closest thing to bondage allowed in public.
It’s bad enough when you win the lottery and be seated next to the 315 pound sausage salesman or the pioneer mother and her colicky newborn, but air-rage would hit new thresholds if your seatmate was allowed to haul out the iPhone and spend 45 minutes jibbering his or her one sided conversation.
Flight attendants would have to be issued zap straps and handcuffs…if not tazers.
The US regulatory body, The Federal Communications Commission might be ready to permit cellphone calls in flight. In some circumstances this might be a good idea. For example, if a group of terrorist take control of the plane and threaten to crash it into an office building, passengers might be excused for dialing 911. Otherwise, if it’s really that important to let someone know when your plane is landing (information that is readily available online from most airports), send a text message.
The airlines experimented with phones on planes. Remember those clunky handsets that rarely worked, fitted into the seat backs? They were okay because it cost about 19 dollars a minute and most people’s conversations were limited to “Guess where I am?”. Those worked so well they lasted long enough for airlines to figure out how to install video screens.
If the FCC allows this, Transport Canada will most assuredly be in the sights of these service providers.
But, perhaps there’s not that much to be concerned about. In a free-market system the first airline to adopt a restriction on cellphone use policy will quickly grab market share away from the airlines who do allow inflight cell phone use.
It’s the right call to make.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
- Frequent flyers loathe idea of in-flight cell-phone calls (vancouversun.com)
- FCC chairman: Calls on planes up to each airline (utsandiego.com)