Please don't make phone calls while on an airplaneEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
It's almost not fair. When I was flying around all the time, I wasn't able to use my electronic devices during take-off or landing. What kind of ridiculousness is that, right? But we had to be concerned about the pilot's electronics, and obviously not using a GameBoy for 20 minutes, even if it's during the worst part of the flight (usually), is way better than that theoretical alternative.
Now, though, we're out of the stone age of banning devices, and people can use their (way better) technological devices whenever they want during their flight. Want to read your book on your digital eReader during take-off? Go for it. Want to play that mobile game on your tablet while you land? Shoot, why not? I guess all of you should be thanking me, because I stopped going on flights right around the time they changed the rules. So . . . you're welcome.
In all seriousness, it's pretty great that we can finally use our gadgets when we want. I still hear a few horror stories about how people aren't allowed to on some flights, but for the most part it seems to be an adopted practice at this point. But, for all the good there is, apparently there might be some bad tossed in for good measure.
Right around the same time that our electronic devices were given the green light for usage during the full duration of a flight, the FCC wanted to go ahead and say that voice calls during the same period of time would be okay, too. As you can see from the image above, which is super colorful and informative, that's obviously not the way that people want it to work. It's already not allowed, and from what I can tell, a lot of people who work at the airlines don't plan on making it a thing, even if it were up to them.
Today, it was revealed that the United States Department of Transportation was working on banning in-flight cellular phone calls, and I think that's great. Seriously. Full stop. I completely understand why all of us were yelling about using our tablets and other electronic devices during take-off and landing, so we could help pass the time, maybe even keep our minds off the idea of landing or taking off, but to make a phone call? No way.
It's to the point where if this had been the "but if..." moment, where someone making the rules said, "If you want to use your gadgets at all during your flight, including during take-off and landing, then you have to agree to let people make phone calls..." I would have just changed my tune entirely right then and there. If that had been the case, I'd be perfectly okay waiting.
It doesn't bother me when I see people using their phones or tablets all the time. I've grown up with them and I've watched them become integral pieces of our lives, so I guess I'm used to it. I'm probably part of the problem, too, but whatever. I'm okay with that. But, there are moments when you shouldn't use your phone, in the literal sense. Where you shouldn't be talking to someone else.
The elevator, for one. Movie theaters? Yeah, no, stop it. (Especially when the movie's playing! Yes, that includes the trailers.) I realize I'm probably being unreasonable here, but that's just how I see it. And it is definitely like that for phone calls on an airplane. I'm just going to call shenanigans, and hopefully that'll do it.
Obviously, all of these things get thrown out the window in the case of an emergency. If something really has to be handled right then and there, I get it. That's understandable. But, I really don't need to hear about some crazy ice cream flavor you found in Maine, thanks.