In-flight voice calling expected to face opposition from U.S. Department of Transportation

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: August 4, 2014

iPhone 4s dialer

Late in 2013, there were rumblings that suggested that the Federal Communications Commission could lift the ban on in-flight cellphone use, including voice calls. The U.S. Department of Transportation vowed to look into the matter, and now the DOT has revealed that it’s planning to argue against in-flight calls.

A U.S. DOT spokesperson confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the agency is prepping its arguments against allowing voice calls during flights. The plan is to allow more comments from companies and travelers through February before it would make a final decision.

The DOT is concerned that voice calls could be very disruptive during a flight, and Secretary Anthony Foxx says that he thinks both passengers and flight crew are against in-flight calling. Meanwhile, it’s said that airlines feel that the DOT is abusing its power and that the companies themselves should be allowed to set rules on in-flight phone use as a way to stand out from one another. 

We still have a while to wait to see how this situation plays out, but it’s definitely interesting to watch. Use of electronics during flights was recently expanded when consumers were allow to read books, watch movies and play games during take-off and landing, but talking on a phone is quite different and could be distracting for a lot of folks. Of course, there are likely just as many people that would love having the ability to conduct calls during a flight.

Where do you stand on in-flight calling? Do you think it should be allowed or should a ban be put in place?