If Europe Can Handle In-Flight Cellphone Use, So Can America

U.S. fliers are not children. Besides, there are built-in limitations to keep things quiet.


Lastly, the proposed ban is just bad public policy. It would pick marketplace winners and losers and decide which communications technologies can be used and which cannot—decisions better made by consumers. The ban would ensure that the older seat-back phones are the only option for voice communications on flights. At the same time, it would attempt to ban new satellite-based infrastructure and Voice Over Internet Protocol, or VOIP, in flight. Now that WiFi is available on many U.S. flights, anyone with a laptop can make a phone call. Short of banning laptops outright or asking flight crews to become the laptop police, this approach is not feasible.

The proposed ban is based upon the incorrect assumption that everyone else on the planet is just more polite than we are and that American flight crews cannot maintain cabin decorum as their foreign counterparts have done and continue to do every day. As with all technology advances, Americans can and will rapidly learn to make the necessary etiquette adjustments.

Having more options for communication adds enjoyment and productivity to our lives, and this service can be safely extended to our time at 30,000 feet. America is ready to join the rest of the world when it comes to in-flight communication connectivity.

Read why cellphones would make air travel even more annoying, by Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon.

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