Operators are pushing hard for legislation that would give airlines permission to allow calls on board planes
Do you think it’s inevitable that cell phone calls will eventually be allowed on planes? You might be right. In fact, you might be betting against it.
This week, a long-awaited decision on allowing cell phone calls on planes passed at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC board voted 3-2 to vote in favour of allowing for cellphone calls on planes.
If and when carriers do allow phone calls to be made from planes, they will need to abide by multiple Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules to comply. In short, no talking on airplanes without giving people about 10 seconds notice, and in planes above 35,000 feet. But, given the volume of safety-related documentation involved and the popularity of that comment thread on air travel forums, it may be that consumers won’t mind the rule bending – for instance, through improvements in technology and noise cancelling headphones – in the long run.
Also unclear is what flight attendants will do when they discover the closet cell phone callers aboard their aircraft. With personal devices like Samsung’s new Bixby, the big-scary fly-by-night feature of the phone, perhaps all that’ll be needed is a Galaxy S10.