When the lengthy arc of air travel which generally bends toward misery, passengers were just supplied a brief glimmer of hope.
The Federal Communications Commission(FCC) has decided to reverse a 2013 proposal that would have permitted cellphone use mid-flight. That’s correct, unbeknownst to many, we have been spiraling toward a future exactly where the passenger next to you may pick up his phone in the middle of a flight and call his mom, boss, bookie, or whoever. Fortunately, that tragedy has been narrowly averted and the only loud conversations you are going to be forcibly subjected to would be the ones involving “re-accommodating” passengers.
The Washington Post reports that the proposal should have allowed mobile phone use when a plane reached cruising altitude. While off-the-shelf smartphones may have trouble working at that height, airlines could have attempted to make technical accommodations to permit phone calls, had the rule not gone down in flames.
And we ought to all let out a mighty sigh of relief that it did. Think about a planet where sitting within a plane’s “no-call section” was a premium add-on.
In a uncommon example of government officials getting our back, FCC chairman Ajit Pai shut the entire factor down.
“I don’t believe that moving forward with this program is inside the public interest,” Pai wrote within a statement. “Taking it off the table permanently might be a victory for passengers who value a quiet moment at 30,000 feet.”
Flight attendants reportedly also objected to cellphone calls on planes for motives involving achievable tension amongst flyers. “I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants and the flying public against the FCC’s ill-conceived 2013 strategy to permit folks to make cellphone calls on planes,” Pai noted.
What with decreased legroom, enhanced fees, along with the ever-present likelihood that you are going to be beaten and dragged off a flight, air travel these days is decidedly lacking in simple amenities. Even so, the FCC’s decision suggests that not getting to listen to a fellow passenger scream “can you hear me” again and again.
It’s one modest vibrant spot on an increasingly crowded and overpriced horizon, but we’ll take what we can get.