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Smartphones On A Plane: DoT Weighs In
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Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Author
12/16/2013 | 10:15:00 AM
Re: Not interested
I'm with you, SaneIT. I would defnitely appreciate more time to check email, and text family members during takeoff and landing. But I can't imagine a cabin filled with passnengers, all talking on the phone during a lengthy flight. In my hometown, there is a commuter bus service to Boston that doesn't allow phone calls during the one-hour trip to Boston. I think that is a sensible policy for the airlines to adopt as well. 
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
12/16/2013 | 8:27:22 AM
Re: Not interested
I can say that I would love to be able to use the data connection or SMS when in the air but I would never make a phone call on a plane.  Having a data connection would let me do a little more work than I already do when flying and would keep me from sitting down for a half hour when the plane lands to see what came in while I was in the air. I really don't want to be on a plane that takes an extra 15 minutes to taxi away from the gate while flight attendants try to get the attention of all the people on cell phones so I don't see a need to allow them on take off or landing and I hope that rule never changes.
aditshar
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aditshar,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/16/2013 | 4:59:48 AM
Re: Not interested
Frankly i dont see any point in making smartphones available during takeoff and landing, i am still struglling to find the difference.
Eric Zeman
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Eric Zeman,
User Rank: Strategist
12/15/2013 | 8:06:05 PM
Not interested
I am definitely not interested in listening to people gab on their phones whilst on a plane. I very rarely work when on planes, and instead try to relax. It's hard to relax when forced to listen to someone else's conversation.

This isn't limited to phones, though. Sometimes you get a big group of people traveling together who yap the entire flight. Or, like what happened to me on a recent 9-hr flight from Berlin to Newark, a baby that screams in your ear and smacks you in the arm the entire time. There are so many things already wrong with air travel, this would be just one more thing. 

We've survived, what, almost 100 years of commercial air travel without the need to make phone calls when in the air. I hope the DoT deigns to keep it that way. 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2013 | 10:37:01 PM
Re: Smartphones are not the problem
It makes sense. The FCC's mandate is communications, and with the state of the art as it is now, cellphones no longer have to be a hazard. It is a matter of governance, convenience and passenger comfort and safety, which is where DOT comes in. Cellphones make traveling on busses and subways miserable enough, even when the duration of the trip is short and one does, after alll, have the option of getting up and moving away. This isn't practical on an airplane, so I, for one, hope the ban stays in effect, no matter who mandates it.
PaulS681
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PaulS681,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2013 | 6:13:11 PM
Pay for it
I don't see any problem with it if the FCC doesn't. If people want it they will have to pay for it. You still won't have mass usage because of the rates you will pay to use it.
Somedude8
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Somedude8,
User Rank: Ninja
12/14/2013 | 12:34:47 PM
Re: Smartphones are not the problem
Shh... quiet with that standing up thing, don't give them any ideas!
Tom Mariner
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Tom Mariner,
User Rank: Strategist
12/14/2013 | 10:40:55 AM
Smartphones are not the problem
I probably would not like my seatmate yelling into a flat rectangle at 38,000 feet, but getting from here to there has lots more problems.

First, there is the shrinking number of airline companies with the imperative to never let a seat go unoccupied, or a knee not touching the seatback in front. The sport of travelling in style in the sky now has accomodations worse than a Greyhound bus filled with a college team that has just won a championship.

My favorite is "charging for checking bags". This new tradition has encouraged the stowage of 50 pound "carry on's" over my head, where my unwrinkled suit jacket or coat should go -- instead of in special places under the plane designed for the purpose. Loading and unloading takes insanely longer and I have to wait for a 98 pound grandmother to coax a bag that weighs almost as much as she does into or out of four feet above her head. Charge for carry-ons, not checked bags you ninny's!

TSA -- yes, an essential part of preventing another 9/11, but $8 billion a year and 55,000 employees? For the traveller who years ago could skid to a stop outside a terminal 15 minutes before flight time and make it to their seats, the ritualistic reaction to every rumor from the tiny band that wants us all dead is ingrained in all of us in "get to the airport three hours ahead' chunks. We are taking off shoes, not bringing anything sharp or anything liquid on board because of rumors or incidents. Yeah, its way better than the Ghanan refugee pretending to dispense security, but 55,000 federal employees makes me safer?

Fortunately, for the airlines, the loss of revenue for the stupid tethered phones in the seat back in front of you will be offset by wifi fees, so they don't have to take the next innovation step in airline profitability and have us stand holding on to straps as in the subway.
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