Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Cell phones in the skies?

If you're flying over Europe, you'll soon be able to yammer away on your cell phone. But not in the U.S. -- at least yet.

The European Union has confirmed what many of us have long suspected: the turn-off-your-cell rule isn't a safety issue per se. But it could be a sanity issue.

Europeans use their mobile phones differently from Americans. They tend to text -- much cheaper in Europe than calling -- and talk briefly. Yes, right, fine, thanks, ciao.

Americans, as we all well know, use their phones as an extension of their personal space. A trip to my local grocery is an involuntary expedition into fellow shoppers' health issues, marital distress, love affairs -- and in amazingly graphic detail. It's not unusual to find someone so engrossed in their business negotiation or gossipfest that they stop in mid-aisle or forget to pull out money at the register.

Now, let's take that scenario to the skies. 3B is yelling about the deal that went south, 12C is placing a bet with his bookie, 14D is making a salon appointment, 16A is chattering about last night's hot date, and the teen in 22C is plotting parental revenge. My husband is the guy complaining -- loudly -- that his Bose noise-cancelling earphones aren't protection enough, and whose stupid idea was this cellphone thing anyway?

With those images in mind, I think I'm in favor of keeping the cell switch turned off in-flight.

What about you? Click to comment below and take our poll at right.
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NOTE:
We removed the poll to add our most recent question about airline safety. But the cell phone issue was a hot button: 128 people voted the first day, with 20 percent in favor of allowing cell phones in the air and 80 percent against.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think phones and smart phones should be allowed on flights for unlimited texting and internet, but I would draw the line at making calls. Many people like the relative peace and quiet of a flight. Now we just have to ban crying babies.

Anonymous said...

We should be allowed to text and surf the web but not talk on it like if we were at home. I hate those people with volume control problems the most and don't hesitate to tell them to shut up.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, using a smart phone and phones should not be allowed because, the system might over lap the airplanes Radio system. Many people just want a relaxing trip with out hearing click,click and clicks. join the ban of laugh out loud(lol)

Anonymous said...

That is a great idea text and internet only

Short said...

http://tallandshortofit.blogspot.com/2008/04/get-ready-for-air-travel-to-be-even.html

Anonymous said...

Bad idea all around...I agree with the poster above that said that this MAY cross with the communications signals of the aircraft. Last thing we need is the airplane not being able to communicate with the ground or its GPS systems getting interrupted. Allowing 100+ people the ability to talk telephones in a small space spells total chaos! Come on people can't you stay out of contact for a couple of hours for the simple purpose of getting from to point A to B safely????

Anonymous said...

if their was no interference...we should be allowed to text and web surf all we want...but no actual phone talk time...relax and enjoy the flight....you have to be able to have some time to yourself...

Anonymous said...

You think AIR RAGE is a problem now? Wait until someone with a couple of drinks in them is forced to listen to everyone's nonsense on a cellphone. Violence is imminent, and most aboard would proobably applaud when Miss Loudmouth or Mr. Important gets going on about his/her business. Is ANYONE'S need to communicate so severe that they cannot wait until they get where they're going? Most of us are not brain surgeons on our way to the hospital, relaying vital information to those in desparate need of the talker's thoughts right away. For God's sake, Please No!

girlsgottatravel said...

I'm definitely against cell phone service in the sky, but if there was a way to allow text messaging only I'd be happy.
I think it's important to stay connected to those on the ground (especially on long haul flights) I just don't want to hear someone fighting with their sister in Oklahoma while I'm trying to get some rest on a red-eye.

Newest Cell Phones said...

Here in Australia our good friends at Qantas are testing SMS and web browsing in flight which I don't have a problem with. But the first airline who approves mobile phone usage in the confines of a plane will lose my my business permanently.