Top 5 Reason US Airlines Should Allow In-flight Cell Phone Use
Admit it, you’re addicted to your cell phone. It’s the last thing you look at when you go to bed and the first thing when you wake up. But what do you do when you travel? When flight attendant tells you to “please turn off your phone,” and all you want to do is politely respond with “shut the front door.”
US airlines still hold the outdated regulation of no mobile phone use during a flight. However, this is not always the case outside of the States. Starting in 2008, travelers flying in parts of the Middle East and Europe were allowed to talk and/or text on their phone once the aircraft reached 10,00-feet. TAP Portugal and Emirates Airlines are just two of the companies that allow this service…they’re also two airlines we partner with so when you’re in the air give us a ring and say “hello!”
If for the past four years cell phone use has been operating with no problems on international planes then why won’t US airlines join the trend? Here are the top five reasons the US should allow in-flight cell phone use.
Texting Over Talking
There is a concern that use of cell phones during flights will add excesses noise and disturb passengers. We completely agree that if multiple people were on their phones for a long length of time it’d be extremely annoying, especially if it’s the kind of person that is sharing their life story! However, OnAir’s survey found that text messages are preferred over calls on planes. In fact, only 11% of passengers said they would call over text. Even those who do call, the average phone conversation is two-minutes. With that being said we think that other passengers can handle hearing brief phone chats. However, airlines could also set guidelines for lengths of in-flight phone calls in order to avoid those talkative and jabber mouth passengers.
In 1991, The Federal Communications Commission prohibited cell phone use during in-flight because they were worried about network interference. However, it’s been 22-years and since then a new report from Federal Aviation Administration states there are no real concerns for safety issues from passengers that use their phones. The FAA also found no reports where cell phones interfered with navigational equipment for international airlines. If each US plane creates their own cell phone tower, like foreign airlines have, then there should be no concern for safety issues. Also, foreign airlines with in-flight cell phone usage only allow the service when the plane is at a certain level. Therefore with no cell phone services used during takeoff and landing there should be no worry of interference during critical times of flight.
Technology Is Growing Fast
Mobile technology has been growing rapidly. People count on their cell phones for much more than just calls. As advancement in technology continues there will be a higher demand for use of cell phones during in-flight. Also, with such advance technology airlines and cell phone carriers should be able to find a way to eliminate any worry about cell phones interfering with planes. That way we can all yak and yabber to our friends on the ground.
Come On, Everybody Else Is Doing It!
Phone use on airplanes is rapidly expanding through international flights. In Europe and the Middle East there are two main providers for mobile access on airplanes. OnAir works with British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, TAM and TAP Portugal, Aeroflot, Air New Zealand and more. While AeroMobile is now with Emirates, Thai Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Gulf Air. More airlines are committed to joining this trend including Lufthansa, Aer Lingus in Ireland and Scandinavia. Singapore Airlines said they will provide the service on 20 of its Airbus 350 aircraft by 2014. It seems like everyone is doing it, so come on America! Jump on the bandwagon….which is really not a wagon but an airplane in this situation.
Using cell phones in flight would be helpful for passengers dealing with personal emergencies. For instance, say a parent is traveling for a business trip and had young children at home. If something was to happen during a flight then the parent could use their in-flight phone service to help resolve the emergency promptly without being there. Or what if there was a medical emergency during a flight? Cell phone usage would allow passengers to contact their doctor for medical advice instead of waiting until they’ve landed.
With the world constantly attached to their mobile deceives, US airlines should please customers demand for in-flight usage of cell phones. They can avoid their fears of safety issues and annoyance by having rules and regulations regarding how often and when a passenger can use their phone. We personally can’t wait until the day we hear “At this time, please turn on all cell phones for in-flight use.” And when you do be sure to gives us a call while up in the air.