This post has been corrected. See the note at bottom for details.
WASHINGTON — Members of
But when it comes to sitting on a plane next to a passenger jabbering on the phone through a long flight, a lot of lawmakers prefer silence, so much so they are contemplating legislation to stop in-flight calling.
“The last thing I’d want is to be seated next to someone who’s carrying on a five-hour conversation from L.A. to D.C.,’’ said Rep.
“Simply put, the flying experience in the United States would be forever changed for the worse if voice calls are allowed on flights,” added Rep.
The political turbulence that in-flight calling faces comes as the
Plenty of members of Congress are promising to weigh in; even those who are often seen in Capitol hallways with phones stuck to their ears hate the idea of in-flight calling. The issue has done something that few other issues have achieved in this hyper-partisan Congress: brought together members of opposing parties.
The usually regulatory-wary Sen.
The issue strikes close to home for many members of Congress, who are among the most frequent fliers. Some California lawmakers log more than 100,000 miles a year.
Even the tech-savvy Rep.
Member of Congress are accustomed to limits on the use of cellphones. House members only recently were permitted to tweet from the chamber but still are prohibited from talking on their phones in the chamber.
Some lawmakers are wary that airlines will see in-flight calls as a new opportunity to make a buck, charging passengers to sit in a non-talking section or charging people to use their phones.
Congress tried to ban phone calls on planes once before.
The issue came up in 2008 after the
For the record, 5:25 p.m. Dec. 10: An earlier caption accompanying a video with this post said that on Thursday the House would consider a proposal to ban airlines from allowing cellphone calls while a plane is in the air. The proposal will be considered by the Federal Communications Commission.