In-Flight Cell Phone Calls – Hijacking Your Personal Space

texting on planeI was really surprised to hear that there is talk of lifting the ban on cell phone use on planes. Allowing the use of text messaging on planes is one thing, but how would you stop people from invading your personal space with their cell phone conversations if they lifted the ban?

Imagine how distracting it will be to have hundreds of passengers talking on their phones while squeezed into a plane filled with people!

We are a society that are addicted to being connected. That’s for certain. And because of this, one of the perks of air travel is the forced break from making, receiving and hearing phone calls. But that may soon change. Under a new proposal by the U.S. Federal Communication Commission, passengers would be allowed to use their cell phone to make calls and send text messages once the plan reaches 10,000 feet.

With the limited personal space allowed us on planes these days, I just don’t see how this could work. Many travelers use the “airtime” to catch up on reading, enjoy the quiet, and even take a nap. And how can you do that when someone is invading your personal space with a phone conversation?

In a recent CNN article, Spud Hilton, travel editor for the San Francisco Chronicle spoke out against lifting the ban. “People would be carryon on loud, full voiced conversations right next to someone who doesn’t want to hear it.”

And I agree with him. We shouldn’t have to listen to another person’s private conversation when squeezed into such close quarters!

Even if they had a section of the plane where you could be “connected” – sound travels. Take AirAsia as an example. Last year they introduced a “quiet zone.” An adult-only section located between first class and economy, the intention was to provide a respite from the noise of those unhappy tiny passengers. But like cigarette smoke, the sound of a crying baby travels across the invisible barrier. And the same would be true of a cell phone section of the plane, should this be a consideration. It just wouldn’t work.

In our everyday lives, we’re already being hijacked by loud cell phone talkers – at the grocery store, restaurants, and doctor’s offices – and without the ability to separate from the noise, it would be very annoying.

It is TRULY a hijacking on an airplane!

I’m definitely not alone in my feelings about the use of cell phones on places. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found that most people want silence when they fly. Almost 60% of those polled said they don’t want the use of cell phones on planes and only 30% said they were in favor of lifting the ban.

It’s also important to note that even if the U.S. Federal Communications Commissions is ready to allow in-flight cell phone use, some airlines might not be so eager to change the rules. Delta Air Lines has stated that voice calls will not be allowed on flights, even if the FCC allows it. Other airlines are saying that they will “study it along with feedback from customers.”

In the end it comes down to respecting a person’s personal space. The people who don’t – the loud talkers you encounter – are the very people who will spend the entire flight on their phone, without regard for the person seated next to them.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you think it’s a good idea to allow passengers to talk on their cell phone during a flight? Take our quick poll!

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