For the very first time, I read on my Kindle during takeoff and landing. There was explicit permission to leave my phone on, “as long as it’s in airplane mode.”
Felt like the kid who gets a surprise chocolate chip cookie.
But now—yesterday—the FCC has announced a study whether to allow cell phones on commercial airplanes.
Truly. What are they thinking? There are technical issues to work out, cell technology doesn’t work at altitude. But that’s nothing to compared to the human factors.
Do you remember how awful it was when there were smoking sections? Before smoking was outlawed on commercial airplanes in 1988, you might be in non-smoking at row 20. Smoking section started at row 21. Horrible. With 19 inch wide seats you have absolutely no personal space.
And you know those impolite folk who snore on planes, and drink too much get rowdy, who shove on your airplane seatback, or who have their music cranked up so loud the whole plane can hear it through their headphones? Those people will be talking too loud the whole flight. And they will probably be seated next to me.
Forcing us to listen to smarmy details about the party at Betty’s, and the deal they are hoping to close on the Camaro, and the reminder to put the tuna casserole.
Forget airport security, cell phones will cause terrorism in the skies for sure. Pity the flight attendants, who are going to need whistles and striped shirts.
Back 15 years ago when there were phones in every seatback, it was never a problem because they were so bloody expensive— $5 a minute—that people only used them for emergencies. And not even much of those, since phones on planes have gone the way of the smoking section.
Airlines are having an ever more difficult time competing, but how about a “no talking” airline?