Feds Think Passengers Should Decide If They Want Phone Calls on Planes

Barack Obama talking on the phone on a plane in 2008 | Image: Getty
Barack Obama talking on the phone on a plane in 2008 | Image: Getty

Federal Communication Commission ban certain radio frequencies on airplanes, meaning traditional voice calls are prohibited, but Thursday, the Department of Transportation proposed the consumer should decide whether it’s OK to make wi-fi calls on planes.

“Consumers deserve to have clear and accurate information about whether an airline permits voice calls before they purchase a ticket and board the aircraft,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. “[We want to] ensure that air travelers are not unwillingly exposed to voice calls, as many of them are troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight.”

The DOT proposed that airlines must disclose whether passengers are allowed to make voice calls on flights before tickets are sold, so consumers have the option to make alternative travel plans as to not cause “unfair surprise” or “harm.”


What do you think about phone calls on planes? Express an impassioned opinion in the comments.

[US Department of Transportation via AP Technology]

Eve Peyser was the night editor at Gizmodo.

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If I’ve learned anything in a career of business travel, it’s that people on airplanes have no goddamn respect for those around them.

One idiot on a phone can make 20 people around them miserable. 5 people could ruin an entire flight.

The only people who benefit from this are the manufacturers of noise-cancelling headphones. If you absolutely need to communicate with someone while flying, pay for the Wifi and send a message.