Oh thank goodness! Congress and the House of Representatives are representing me! Congress urged the DOT, DOJ, FCC, and Homeland Security NOT to allow cell phone usage during flights. In their letter to these governmental agencies, they wrote, “Passengers making voice calls during flight could impact the ability of crew members — flight attendants and pilots — to perform their jobs, keep passengers safe and the cabin environment calm…” The House of Representatives echoed this sentiment in their letter to these agencies, stating “Arguments in an aircraft cabin already start over mundane issues, like seat selection, reclining seats and overhead bin space, and the volume and pervasiveness of voice communications would only serve to exacerbate and escalate the disputes.”
Amen! In my opinion, there are only three things left that airlines can do to make flying a worst experience:
1. Get rid of the lavatories to make room for more seats. Don’t laugh! This has been discussed and is still under consideration for shorter routes.
2. Not allow any carry-on items or severely restrict them. Yes, even more so than currently! Less carry-on luggage= less weight=less fuel=more profit. And they can justify it because of terrorists being able to make bombs out of almost anything AND the continuous battle over overhead bin space. They could even go so far as to say they are doing it for our well being!
3. Allowing passengers to use cell phones throughout flights.
Think about it. Do you really want to hear the guy next to you explain for THREE hours to his girlfriend why he didn’t call her but once (when he arrived) during his five-day conference in Las Vegas? Or the woman tell her sister or BFF every detail of their trip to Disney?
Stress levels are already high enough. Recently, there were three ‘altercations’ in three weeks time (late August – early September) that forced pilots to divert flights. One involved a woman throwing a cup of water in a man’s face, which may seem silly, but pilots are required to divert flights any time any kind of ‘assault’ takes place between passengers. This results in unscheduled landings, lengthy delays, and possibly missed connections.
The FCC has been reviewing the ban on cellphone calls that has been in effect since 1991 since December 2013. The review process came about because it is believed that cellphone calls do not interfere with the plane’s navigation and communications systems. Most of the response the FCC got from the public was opposition. If, however, the FCC does lift the ban, the airlines could still decide not to allow calls during flights. I pray that if they do they realize it’s a chance to add another auxiliary fee to the dozens they already have by offering ‘premium’ seats in a section in the back of the plane for those who wish to be able to use their cell phones en route.