Fix the airplane cellphone problem before it is one

posted at 8:31 am on November 23, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

Ed wrote about the breaking news yesterday regarding the FAA potentially allowing the use of cell phones on airline flights in the near future, but this dire situation require a bit more serious approach. Also, I’d like to proffer a possible compromise which can avoid the inevitable bloodshed and full-blown zombie apocalypse this could lead to.

There are a variety of reasons why this is a horrible idea, some of them found in rational, technical analysis. One fine example of this comes from Sascha Segan at PC Magazine.

Phones on airplanes won’t be connecting to the usual cellphone networks, which aren’t designed to operate at 35,000 feet. Rather, calls would be batched and bounced down to the ground through a satellite or specialized air-to-ground cellular system. This would also let the airlines charge much more per minute than standard carrier rates.

Right now, Emirates Airlines uses OnAir’s GSM/satellite system to enable in-flight calling; “charges are in line with international roaming rates,” the carrier says, which means they aren’t cheap. GoGo, which powers most of the in-flight Internet systems in the U.S., recently rolled out a talk-and-text feature, which it said it could enable if airline customers requested it.

These are fine reasons, and nobody wants to find their bill skyrocketing or deal with jammed, restricted access networks in this new wireless environment. Of course, it’s still not the really important reason. You see, I have a wife to care for along with a variety of other responsibilities, and I really can’t afford to wind up in jail. And if you allow people to start using cell phones on planes, I’m fairly sure that I’m going to kill somebody. I fly more than I want to and the flights are getting worse and worse in terms of leg space, service and pretty much everything else. The one saving grace is that most everyone else – even if traveling with a companion in the next seat – is pretty much as miserable as me. For the most part we all sit there sullenly, reading our analog books (in my case) or digital device. Napping is fine if you can manage it… I’ll even forgive you if you snore. But if I have to sit through four hours with some chipper little co-ed chirping “Oh ma’ god!!!!!’ and going on endlessly about the pointless minutia of her life into her phone, I’ll be hard pressed to not attempt an experiment to see if she can be shoved through the double plated window.

But there is a possible solution. If cell phones are deemed “safe” to use in flight, let people use them… for everything but calls. The kids these days are wild about texting. Hey… text away! You can communicate just as well that way. Check your e-mail on your phone. (Not everyone wants to bust out their laptop or tablet on a plane. I carry my laptop in my bag, but the seats are too cramped to use it for my tastes.) Play Angry Fruit Bat or Words With Psychos or whatever you hipsters are doing on your phones these days. I’m fine with it. Just no phone calls, please.

I really don’t want to have to do a stretch for murder in the crowbar motel.


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Flying to Europe with someone next to me droning on about some cutie patootie they’re going to meet in Amsterdam could cause the entire section into some avian road rage.

itsspideyman on November 23, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Yuck. No to phones inflight…

OmahaConservative on November 23, 2013 at 8:38 AM

A point you missed, Jazz, is that the noise level in the cabin is somewhere between 70 and 135 decibels, depending location in the plane, and the type of aircraft. That means anyone sitting around you who uses a cell phone will have to scream to be heard. People are already loud talkers on cell phones, this will compound that greatly.

I’m right there with you, I’d probably have to stuff the loud talker on the cell phone in an overhead luggage compartment.

simkeith on November 23, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Could get punchy.

Murphy9 on November 23, 2013 at 8:43 AM

The upside is it will thin out the gene pool and eliminate people who should not be reproducing — or voting.

clippermiami on November 23, 2013 at 8:43 AM

And to think people used to laugh at the “Cone of Silence” on Get Smart.

DarthBrooks on November 23, 2013 at 8:48 AM

…I’m lucky I refuse to fly…since 9/11!…I’d be doing… “knockout!”…for anybody on phones.
I don’t like to hear …anybody’s ‘conversation’..

KOOLAID2 on November 23, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Throw in some alcohol at let the cage match start! Seriously, there will be fights and someones expensive Iphone is going to end up in pieces. This is not a good idea but the airlines may find a way to make money off it.

major dad on November 23, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Prediction: the sale of noise reduction head phones will increase greatly over the next year. Maybe they will even be sold on the airplane with your coffee, tea, and soda.

esr1951 on November 23, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Let the free market decide. I don’t need the government to protect me from being annoyed. Let the companies decide what’s best for their business and let the consumer decide what’s best for them. The government dropping the ban doesn’t mean airlines have to allow it.

Flange on November 23, 2013 at 8:55 AM

I would have thought that any airline that did this would suffer a downturn in passenger numbers. I know that I wouldn’t fly on such, no matter how keen I was to go to Jackson.

OldEnglish on November 23, 2013 at 8:59 AM

The solution that Jazz proposes is what the Japanese have in place in their mass transit system. There is a no-talk rule, but texting is allowed. It works quite well. In their case, it is enforced by rules, but on airplanes they could do so with technical limitations.

STL_Vet on November 23, 2013 at 9:01 AM

The only group that lifting the cell ban benefits are traveling businessmen that will be even more pompous and crabby for a four hour flight. There has to be money involved somewhere with this; it’s the worst idea since Obamacare.

BettyRuth on November 23, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Prediction: the sale of noise reduction head phones will increase greatly over the next year. Maybe they will even be sold on the airplane with your coffee, tea, and soda.

esr1951 on November 23, 2013 at 8:53 AM

I already consider them a necessity on a long flight. The Bose noise cancelling headphones are the most expensive but it is dead quiet when wearing them. For a 12 hour flight to the far east they are a essential.

simkeith on November 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM

How about getting the control freaks out of the situation, and letting the airlines decide

If there is a market for airplane rides where no one is allowed to talk, an airline will offer it.

If there is a market for flights where people are allowed to use their phones, an airline will offer it. I would choose the cell talk allowed, even though I rarely talk on cell.

You already get sexually assaulted just to get on the plane. Now they want you to shut up too

The flights that ban talking, ought to ban regular talking too. IMHO it is discriminatory to ban talking to a cell, and not ban talking to a person.

Or just get it over with, ban choice, ban big gulps, ban sugar on airplanes, ban snoring when sleeping on planes. Make the world perfect by regulating. Regulation is addictive. It takes intervention to get people to see their addiction to controlling others

entagor on November 23, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Let the free market decide. I don’t need the government to protect me from being annoyed. Let the companies decide what’s best for their business and let the consumer decide what’s best for them. The government dropping the ban doesn’t mean airlines have to allow it.

Flange on November 23, 2013 at 8:55 AM

…you’re right!………….they could tell me…I “HAVE TO FLY”!…and I choose…not to!

KOOLAID2 on November 23, 2013 at 9:04 AM

The market can handle this

m2 on November 23, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Don’t worry Jazz, no jury would convict you. Some of us might even give you a medal.

rbj on November 23, 2013 at 9:07 AM

A nice arbitrarily high roaming charge – like what you’d get on a cruise liner or higher – should keep the phone use down, at least in the cattle pens of economy class. No-one with the spare cash for a lengthy $10/minute call for anything other than a genuine emergency will allow themselves to be squashed in there. Cost really will keep abuse down, those pay-by-credit phones built into the seats have been around for years and never became a problem, because they just weren’t worth it for anything besides tense calls to hospitals. Everything else can be handled by SMS or email. (Note: must remember to block services like Skype or Google Voice.)

Sure, they might suck the joy right out of first class. See me cry.

bittergeek on November 23, 2013 at 9:10 AM

The idiots who rush to switch their phones on so they can call someone, somewhere to breathlessly announce the earth-shaking news ‘I’ve just landed’ will now be inflicting their mundane, self-involved nonsense on fellow passengers for hours on end.

jangle12 on November 23, 2013 at 9:11 AM

“And so then I says to Suzy, Suzy I says, Suzy you’ve just got to tell him what you think. Suzy, you’ve put with this stuff far too long, Suzy. Know wut I’m saying?…And then Suzy says to me, she sez…”

Galtian on November 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM

simkeith on November 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Thanks for the tip!

esr1951 on November 23, 2013 at 9:13 AM

I’m too often in planes (200k miles YTD)and fly upper classes noting the biggest problem I encounter currently is parents bring children into those classes and let them run wild with no care or concern for others. I pay 4-8k per flight (mainly int’l)so that tweaks me as you can imagine, throw in these same type of “adults” talking on cel phones.. it could get ugly.

I will not fly any airline that allows it.

theblacksheepwasright on November 23, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Airlines have offered phone service (at exorbitant rates) before, and there were no problems.

I’m with the people saying to let the market decide. Each airline can come up with its own policy for phone use, and customers can choose the airline with the policy they prefer.

The Monster on November 23, 2013 at 9:17 AM

I already consider them a necessity on a long flight. The Bose noise cancelling headphones are the most expensive but it is dead quiet when wearing them. For a 12 hour flight to the far east they are a essential.

simkeith on November 23, 2013 at 9:03 AM

I do the SF to HK often and my Bose have been a saving grace — but I’ll cease using United if they allow cel phone use.

theblacksheepwasright on November 23, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Just like a conservative. You want to control lives just like any progressive. You can’t use a cellphone on an airplane because I won’t like what you are going to use it for!

tdarrington on November 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM

tdarrington on November 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Okay, how about let’s go back to smoking. I have never believed that b.s. about second hand smoke anyway.

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Two markets will form. The cheap flights will ban phone use, while premium flights carve out talking zones. Southwest will probably get a huge uptick in business for those avoiding annoying calls.

nobar on November 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

People already can text, etc., on any planes that have GoGo Inflight or similar services, so your compromise doesn’t really mean anything.

As for calls, I think the high rate they would charge would solve much of the problem — most people won’t want to pay that to make a long call.

In the end, I don’t care much. I doubt I’d make a call unless it was urgent — I’m too cheap — and I’ve been trapped on planes where people next to me have loud conversations, so a phone conversation would be no different. All I care about is that the decision not be made by the government. This is a matter for the private sector to decide.

woocane on November 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

tdarrington on November 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Even your average full-on libertarian recognizes that my right to be free is constrained at the point that it imposes harm on others. I’m a libertarian but I don’t believe I should be able to blast music out my windows at all hours of the night and prevent my neighbors from having peace and quiet in their homes.

On a separate note for those who point out that the market can handle this . . . I can’t believe I’m using Amtrak as an example of market forces at work but they do in fact offer a “Quiet Car” on some of their trains where cell phone use is prohibited. It works quite well in my experience.

SoRight on November 23, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Hey Cindy,spot on.

celtic warrior on November 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM

“And so then I says to Suzy, Suzy I says, Suzy you’ve just got to tell him what you think. Suzy, you’ve put with this stuff far too long, Suzy. Know wut I’m saying?…And then Suzy says to me, she sez…”

Galtian on November 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM

I didn’t even have to get on an airplane for that one. Went to a Subway the other day, sat near some sandwich artists on their lunch break, and got a literal blow-by-blow of a domestic violence incident. No mention of calling the police, of course, even though this didn’t sound like a one-time thing. “Kurt” threw “Sheila” off the balcony, and we lucky customers got to hear alllllll about it.

pookysgirl on November 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM

It’s bad enough at the gate. Not on the plane, please!

I love hearing some dufus call friend after coworker and loudly discuss things that could wait two hours.

Overhearing a one-sided cellphone call is more distracting than eavesdropping on both sides of a conversation, a new study finds.

Akzed on November 23, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Just like a conservative. You want to control lives just like any progressive. You can’t use a cellphone on an airplane because I won’t like what you are going to use it for! tdarrington on November 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Wow, finally there’s a thread a troll doesn’t mind joining on HA.

You shoulda mentioned 0b00baCare somewhere in this post Jazz, and this commie wouldn’t have chimed in.

Akzed on November 23, 2013 at 10:15 AM

why do you think it is the responsibility of the federal government to allow or disallow cell phone usage on commercial flights?

Shines on November 23, 2013 at 10:18 AM

On a separate note for those who point out that the market can handle this . . . I can’t believe I’m using Amtrak as an example of market forces at work but they do in fact offer a “Quiet Car” on some of their trains where cell phone use is prohibited. It works quite well in my experience.

SoRight on November 23, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Yeah, it is kind of hard to believe that a company pretty much unrestrained by costs because the government is seriously subsidizing them is your market forces argument.
It is much harder to offer a quiet section of a plane unless they build in bulky barriers which will have weight and likely cause safety issues. They cannot afford to have quiet only flights, there just simply are not enough runways to accommodate the added traffic and it is not just that easy to add a runway to a current airport or start new ones.
When you got a train with 5, 10, 20 cars, you can probably find 20%, 10% or 5% of the people who would like to group and be quiet together. For an Airplane, it is hard to find 100%. I doubt the trains are running at near capacity either, but if they are, train cars are an easy add on. So easy, a 5th grader can do it, supervised of course.

astonerii on November 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Two markets will form. The cheap flights will ban phone use, while premium flights carve out talking zones. Southwest will probably get a huge uptick in business for those avoiding annoying calls.

nobar on November 23, 2013 at 9:49 AM

I think you have it backwards.
Since you have to go through the airplane’s system, the cheap flights will offer talking, and make up the low price in charges, and if you want peace and quiet, well, its going to cost you.

astonerii on November 23, 2013 at 10:21 AM

If the airline wanted to run an auction on board, with the cell user buying the right from his/her co-passengers to spend “X” minutes on a call, I’d be fine with that. Pay me and I’ll learn to tolerate the temporary noise.

MTF on November 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Just like a conservative. You want to control lives just like any progressive. You can’t use a cellphone on an airplane because I won’t like what you are going to use it for!

tdarrington on November 23, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Funny, because I consider the seat I rent on a plane to be similar to the apartment I rent from my land lord. My neighbors are not allowed to play loud music or pound on the walls sending those sounds into my space. They can hold conversations which might bleed though a little, or watch tv at a reasonable sound, which also bleeds though a little. But when it gets to the point that it cannot be ignored, then I have the absolute right to shut them up.
No different in a flight. If someone on a plane is holding a normal conversation with someone next to them at a reasonable level, no problem. But with cell phones, people talk up to ensure the mic picks up their voice fully, you will have significantly more people talking, since all the solo people will now have someone to talk to. As the number of people talking gets more and more, you eventually get to a rowdy bar level of noise. That there is no longer acceptable.

astonerii on November 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

Hey where did tdarrington go. I thought we were going to have a lively discussion. You know, one that you could choose to be a part or not. That’s the thing about non-captive audiences.

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Looks like Jazz has some anger issues to deal with, welcome to the club Jazz…… ;)

angrymike on November 23, 2013 at 10:41 AM

Hey where did tdarrington go. I thought we were going to have a lively discussion. You know, one that you could choose to be a part or not. That’s the thing about non-captive audiences.

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 10:29 AM

She is at a movie talking on her cell phone.

Wade on November 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Wade on November 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

LOL!!!

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I really don’t want to have to do a stretch for murder in the crowbar motel.

*facepalm* It’s the gray bar motel, Jazz. Not knowing a meme like that explains a lot about your sheltered life. *shakes head sadly*

GWB on November 23, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Okay, how about let’s go back to smoking. I have never believed that b.s. about second hand smoke anyway.

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I hate smoking but people ought to be allowed to set up a business that caters to smokers.

IMHO it was a big fall away from the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, when so many agreed they had the right to define happiness for others.

They let people euthanize themselves in some states, but will not allow them to smoke in assemblies of like minded people

Pragmatically, smokers save the public money. They live about 10 years less, collect less pension, and when they die, the net medical cost is lower than average. Rush Limbaugh had the numbers on his program years ago. The long lived people are the ones costing more

tdarringto is wrong to blame conservatism but might be right to blame conservatives who subscribe to the Control State. I wouldnt call Bloomberg a conservative but he does

Too many people say they are constitutionalists, but cannot stand free men choosing ‘wrong’

entagor on November 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

astonerii on November 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

So a heavier curtain, like they use to designate “first class” won’t cut it? /

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 10:49 AM

entagor on November 23, 2013 at 10:48 AM

While not a smoker myself, (raised by a couple of lovely chimneys) I have been astounded to see them relegated to one notch below Klan members on the despicable citizens list. The smoking section of a restaurant was usually a pretty good bet for a no screaming kid seat. I use to listen to Bortz when I worked and I was always amused at that proud Libertarians venomous hatred for smokers and overweight people. Just goes to show that we all have our limits.

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 10:55 AM

The barn door is already open. Inflight wifi allows calling already. If someone needs to call… they’ll figure Skype out.

Prufrock on November 23, 2013 at 10:55 AM

then I have the absolute right to shut them up.

astonerii on November 23, 2013 at 10:27 AM

No, you don’t have the absolute right. You have a balanced right to stop their infringement on yours. Otherwise, spot on.

If the airline wanted to run an auction on board, with the cell user buying the right from his/her co-passengers to spend “X” minutes on a call, I’d be fine with that.

MTF on November 23, 2013 at 10:23 AM

Excellent solution! Would make it more expensive to talk on overnight flights, less so on flights full of teens traveling to a band competition or cheerleading camp (which are already annoying, anyway).

As for calls, I think the high rate they would charge would solve much of the problem — most people won’t want to pay that to make a long call.

woocane on November 23, 2013 at 9:51 AM

With our current populace (at least the “47%”) it wouldn’t work out that way. Instead some moron would get a $5,000 bill for yakking on that flight from New York to Hawaii, and would cry about how unfair it was since they-couldn’t-be-expected-to-know, and it would hit the MSM, and there would be a hue and cry for Congress to Do Something!, and soon airlines would have to include the fee in the price of the ticket, spreading the cost to all the rest of us (who would have gladly shoved the little sweetheart’s phone up their 4th point-of-contact early enough in the flight to prevent the large bill), making flying even more prohibitive than it was before.

GWB on November 23, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Flying at 30,000 feet and not getting a cell connection except through the airlines is one of those situations where you pay through the nose or don’t use the service or buy the product because of higher costs due to limited supply vs. demand.

OK.

But it is not good business to tick off your customers, and in a truly free, competitive market this would become an issue. Other airlines could offer free or low cost cell connections in order to gain customers.

However, it would seem that more often than not, a monopoly, price-fixing mindset enters the bean counters’ brains and they all jump on board and squeeze out every last nickel. In short, the other airlines will charge higher prices because one airline got the ball rolling.

Solution-don’t fly unless you really, really have to and if you do, don’t use the damn cell phone. Somewhere along the line the consumers need to control their end in order to reduce prices. But, they won’t.

Dr. ZhivBlago on November 23, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Instead of cell-phone allowed planes, I would think that planes would have cell-phone allowed seats–sold at a high premium, of course–hopefully, with a sound barrier between them and the cheap seats. I’d guess that airlines are already running models and doing research to see if it would work.

HakerA on November 23, 2013 at 12:08 PM

These are fine reasons, and nobody wants to find their bill skyrocketing or deal with jammed, restricted access networks in this new wireless environment.

Actually, these are probably the dumbest reasons I’ve heard yet. Seriously, we shouldn’t let people decide whether to use their own cell phone and spend their own money because it might be expensive, lol? Hmm, where do I hear that kind of crap on a regular basis, lol?

xblade on November 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM

This will precipitate the end of civilization as we know it.

Mason on November 23, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Lefties always justify denying freedom because of the bad behavior of a few. Please think about your motives.

Binky Nabob on November 23, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Let the free market decide. I don’t need the government to protect me from being annoyed. Let the companies decide what’s best for their business and let the consumer decide what’s best for them. The government dropping the ban doesn’t mean airlines have to allow it.

Flange on November 23, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Exactly. We don’t need another law.

davidk on November 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Why all this regulating other people’s business. If someone wants to use a phone on a plane, stay the hell out of their business. Buzz off and take care of your own stink.

paulsur on November 23, 2013 at 12:58 PM

paulsur on November 23, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Yeah, buzz off. Go sit on the wing.

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 1:06 PM

I don’t fly that much anymore, except for short hops to Albuquerque, so I don’t have much of a dog in this fight.

But something to think about, when the person to the left of you is speaking in Mandarin, the person to the right of you is speaking Spanish, the person behind you is speaking in Arabic, you might wonder how you ended up on a flying, yammering tower of Babel.

MichaelGabriel on November 23, 2013 at 1:20 PM

And I forgot to mention, the person in front of you is speaking in Valley Girl.

Enjoy the flight.

MichaelGabriel on November 23, 2013 at 1:21 PM

in the crowbar crossbar motel.

FIFY

Bandit13 on November 23, 2013 at 1:31 PM

People can’t multi-task well. So engaged in a phone conversation, they tend to forget that there are others around them. On a packed commuter train a few years ago we got to hear in great detail (and loud volume) about a woman’s annual ob/gyn visit. She left the train before her stop when she ended the call and looked at a bunch of shocked passengers.

teejk on November 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

But there is a possible solution. If cell phones are deemed “safe” to use in flight, let people use them… for everything but calls. The kids these days are wild about texting. Hey… text away! You can communicate just as well that way. Check your e-mail on your phone. (Not everyone wants to bust out their laptop or tablet on a plane. I carry my laptop in my bag, but the seats are too cramped to use it for my tastes.) Play Angry Fruit Bat or Words With Psychos or whatever you hipsters are doing on your phones these days. I’m fine with it. Just no phone calls, please.

Okay, so you’re telling me, after numerous delays, being overcharged for checking a bag, you want me to be stuck in a plane with fifty other people with their cell phones dinging and donging every time they get a text? Have you heard how annoying the music in angry fruit bat is? We’re going to be on a plane with the lowest common denominator, the unbleachec gene pool, idiots, you know, democrats, that won’t put their phone on vibrate because the powers that be said they could play, text, whatever.

RovesChins on November 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Thank you Jazz. You gave me a good gut laugh there. Flew from Philadelphia to Aruba with 2 children and their mother in the row behind me. My seat took on the form of a heavy bag at Gold’s Gym. The mother did nothing and the father sat a few rows back chatting up one my friends. Luckily we were on our way there or there would be a new picture on those flight safety cards prohibiting poorly behaved children.

Eprider on November 23, 2013 at 2:05 PM

the problem isn’t the plane, it’s the ‘footprint’ of the transmitted signal, think about how a cell phone works, specifically the cell in cell phone, then think about high a plane flies, think about all the cell towers someone will hit.

RonK on November 23, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Tales of the modern world :

A girl is walking, texting to her friend that she never meets any decent men. Meanwhile, the man of her dreams walks past her, smiles at her, she never even looks up….

MichaelGabriel on November 23, 2013 at 2:12 PM

If cell phones are deemed “safe” to use in flight, let people use them… for everything but calls.

Yeah, good luck with that. Once you’ve let the ratchetjaw camel get its nose into the phone, there will be yakkers.

And attendants who tell ‘em to shut up run the risk of passengers going Baldwin on them.

Paul_in_NJ on November 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

do what I do, insert yourself into the conversations. you would be surprised how fast people shut up then when you join in.

dmacleo on November 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I don’t understand the problem.

Passengers aboard UAL flight 93, the one that crashed in Pennsylvania, were calling home and 911 emergency operators. There were no satellite connections on cell phone frequencies at that time. There seem to be no problem connecting with terrestrial towers from high flying jets.

I haven’t tried it, but I think you would get pretty good signal strength if you turned your cell phone on.

Corky Boyd on November 23, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Problem cell phone user next to you?

Get on your own cell phone, call a friend and say “I can’t talk more than a minute–the sun is projected to let loose with another coronal mass ejection, and I don’t want to get fried like that guy on last week’s flight. The stewardess told me that he is still in the hospital and had to have his ears amputated. I’ll give you a call when we land.”

zoyclem on November 23, 2013 at 4:05 PM

dmacleo on November 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Love it.

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 4:08 PM

How on earth is this anyone’s business other than the airline’s and it’s passengers’?

If you don’t like an airline’s cell-phone policy, don’t fly that airline.

RINO in Name Only on November 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM

RINO in Name Only on November 23, 2013 at 4:26 PM

And you feel the same way about smoking in privately owned restaurants?

Cindy Munford on November 23, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Corky Boyd on November 23, 2013 at 3:51 PM

They were below ~10,000 feet when that was occurring. They certainly weren’t at 30,000 feet anymore.

zoyclem on November 23, 2013 at 4:05 PM

LOL! Great possible solution!

GWB on November 23, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Hmmmm…I see a market for Bluetooth “throat mics” ….

Just make ‘em trendy, stylish, etc., and they’ll be all over it.

THAT is how we do it…solve the problem by providing an alternative …and one where someone can make some money at it as well.

—–
Yeah, they are annoying, but you can always go “tit for tat” and crack open your phone and “place a call” and talk about how annoying people are who talk loudly on their cell phones ;)


I’d also go with a noise cancelling headset, like the Bose.

Whether offense, defense or make cents, there are options to make it work. Though yeah, I can’t stand ‘em talking so loudly in the terminal, much less on the phone.

ProfShadow on November 24, 2013 at 7:39 AM

If this comes to be and Delta is the only airline that forbids it then I will forgive them all their sins of the past which made me swear off that particular airline, dust of my frequent flier account and be an exclusive customer of theirs until I die. That seems preferable to a planeload of witnesses at my murder trial.

alchemist19 on November 24, 2013 at 8:58 PM

The air to ground-link has to be airline-supported and to maintain voice-quality would be quite a premium with lots of “busy” signals. Anything to make a buck is fine, but most consumers will do a cost-benefit analysis and decide to play Angry Birds.

I enjoy other people’s personal calls and have no trouble joining in: “Yes, Syliva, take the job … I know he’s a moron, as Julie here says, but what can you do, Sylvia … I mean it’s better than nothing, fer sure.”

virgo on November 25, 2013 at 11:56 AM