In-flight calls? The American people are overwhelmingly opposed

A passenger on Jet Blue Airways checks his cellphone before disembarking at the Long Beach airport. The Department of Transportation has completed accepting public comments on a plan to continue a ban on cellphone calls on planes.
(Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images)

If you think that allowing mobile phone calls on commercial flights is a bad idea, you are not alone.

That is the main conclusion that comes from reading the more than 7,000 comments made by Americans in response to a proposal by the U.S. Department of Transportation to keep in place a ban on in-flight phone calls.

Nearly every comment submitted to the DOT website was strongly opposed to the idea. The deadline for submitting the comments was Feb. 13.

Peter Keierleber of Sugar Land, Texas, called allowing calls on planes “outrageous.”


“Space is already very limited and why would you give someone the right to annoy me over my right to peace and quiet?,” he wrote.

Even flight attendants voiced opposition.

“Personal space is a major component in sparking confrontations between passengers,” wrote Waynetta Keeling, a Texas resident who has been a flight attendant for 33 years.

The DOT’s proposed rule comes in response to a move by the Federal Communications Commission in 2013 to considering allowing mobile phone calls on planes. The FCC pointed out that new technology exists to allow calls without disrupting the navigation systems of an airline.


The FCC rule change is designed to address the technology aspect of allowing cellphone calls while the DOT is considering issues of onboard safety. The proposed FCC rule change is still under consideration.

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