Passengers Could Soon Be Allowed to Make Phone Calls on Flights

Dec 10, 2016

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Historically, planes have been the one place where we can go to totally disconnect (from phone calls, at least). And that worked both in terms of avoiding calling people, but also having to listen to passengers around you chatter incessantly. That might be changing soon, however, as the US Transportation Department said yesterday that it’s considering allowing passengers to make in-flight calls.

In order for that to be passed, there are two important conditions. The first is that each airline will have the option of whether or not to allow it and second, passengers have to be informed in advance if that specific flight allows phone calls. However, the decision regarding if phone calls are actually allowed on board is still far off — and airlines could veto it altogether.

It’s worth noting that now, more than ever, we can stay connected while 35,000 feet in the air with in-flight Wi-Fi. Because of that, many services also allow you to make calls just by having access to Wi-Fi; however, current federal restrictions and airline rules ban voice calls altogether. Several airlines in Europe, Asia and the Middle East allow passengers to make voice calls, but US carriers haven’t jumped on the trend just yet.

There’s no doubt that this is a heated issue, and we might not get a firm answer from the DOT and individual airlines for a while. So, there’s nothing to worry about now — your seatmate won’t be talking while you’re trying to sleep anytime soon. But if it ever is allowed, be prepared for a fiery debate!

Do you want passengers to be able to make phone calls on flights?

H/T: Wall Street Journal

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