The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2, to consider lifting its in-flight cell phone ban. On the same day, the Department of Transportation took steps to block this action stating that it wanted to determine if lifting the ban is “fair to consumers”. Regardless of the actions of the FCC and DOT, Delta President Richard Anderson said the airline will continue the ban on cellphone use even if U.S. regulators allow the use of mobile phones during flights. Mr Anderson said that a survey of Delta customers demonstrated that calls during flights, would be “a disruption to the travel experience”. In a memo to his staff, Anderson wrote, “Even as technology advances and as regulations are changed, we will not only consider what we can do, but as importantly we will also consider what is right for our customers and our employees.” In a recent poll, about half of those surveyed said they would not want mobile phone use during flights. The number jumps even higher among frequent fliers.
With WiFi now available on must longer duration flights, there is no reason for cell phone use during flights. People can work and communicate with their computers. But more importantly, even large planes, are confined spaces. If everyone was involved in a phone conversation it would be chaotic. Kudos to Delta for adopting this no cellphone policy. Hopefully all of the other major U.S. Airlines will do the same.