Does this make you breathe a sigh of relief or frustration? U.S. airlines aren’t in a hurry to allow cell phone use on their flights, even though technology is available that doesn’t pose a threat to aircraft communication and navigation, according to a story in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times.
Foreign airlines offer the service, which is especially popular among passengers traveling on business. Federal regulations prohibit cell phone calls over U.S. airspace, though federal officials say they are open to arguments to change that.
But the airline industry isn’t biting, noting the high cost of implementing a cell phone system that could be used on planes. From the report:
And airlines point out that passengers are not clamoring for the service, according to several surveys that say most air travelers expect that in-flight cellular service will lead to loud phone conversations and onboard fury.
“Cellphone offerings and voice-over data is not something that our members are seeing strong demand for from their passengers,” said Victoria Day, a spokeswoman for Airlines for America, the trade group for the nation’s airline industry.
Even flight attendants have voiced opposition, saying cellphone calls would only make their jobs more difficult.
What customers are clamoring for, however, is Wi-Fi service, a way to quietly stay connected without disturbing other passengers.
So what do you think? Would you welcome in-flight cell phone use? Or do you see it as an unnecessary annoyance?
Talk about it in the comment section below.
(Journal News file photo)