Opponents Of Cell Phones On Planes Getting Desperate

from the oh-come-on dept

For years, we've heard of constantly changing reasons why using mobile phones in-flight was bad, but saw very little evidence to support the reasons. First, there were claims that it interfered with airplane equipment and could put the planes (and passengers) in danger. While there's been some evidence to support occasional interference, the lack of any mobile phone-induced crash suggests that this threat was overhyped. The second issue were claims that mobile phones in the sky would connect to so many different cellular towers at once that it would overload phone networks. Again, the fact that many people already do use mobile phones on airplanes without stories of major problems for phone networks suggests this problem has been somewhat exaggerated. However, there are also ways to deal with it, such as installing "picocells" on airplanes, that are basically the plane's own cell tower, which can then direct calls safely to the ground. So, of course, it's been no surprise over the last few years to hear of plans to finally reduce restrictions on mobile phones on airplanes.

Yesterday, the big news was Ryanair's decision to officially allow mobile phone use in planes, once they've installed equipment on planes, proven it's safe and received regulatory approval (quite a few steps). However, it didn't take long for more scare-factor scenarios to come out, with supposed "experts" warning just how dangerous this would be. Why so dangerous even if it's been shown to be safe? Well, apparently the equipment is only safe over 10,000 feet -- but by simply allowing mobile phone usage at all on planes, the nameless experts claim that it will encourage people to use phones below 10,000 feet. Of course, this is getting silly. For years, airlines have successfully kept people from using "approved electronic devices" below a certain altitude, and there's no reason why mobile phones are any different (whether or not they offer a real threat). Perhaps these so-called experts are really using this excuse as a way of supporting the real reason many people don't want mobile phones used on planes: the annoyance factor.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Jazzy, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:11am

    I used my cell phone on a plane today. Nothing went wrong. Even below 10,000 ft.

    CELLS ON A PLANE!!

    /first

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Gruffman, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:05am

      Re:

      It is about time that cell phones are used on aircraft. To all the worry freaks and whiners in the world, who will worry about every possiblity of event that can happen, such as a terrorist with a bomb phone .. BULLSHIT! You risk as much by eating a hamburger.

      Get a life and stop trying to take our rights and freedoms away. Stop whining. You will DIE someday, so learn to enjoy the freedom you now have to live and live it well.. and not screw all of the rest of us by your insesant pursuit of the eternal secure life..... I wanna be safe from this.. wah. wah.. wah... wah..

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Frank Miunroe, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:12am

        Re: Re:

        You are exactly the kind of jerkoff the rest of us will be stuck sitting next to -- you'll be yammering on your phone ('its my right to talk how I want' 'it's about freedom' yaddawhatever) and we'll be plotting sweet, painful revenge every time you rise for a bathroom break.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          gruffman, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Some idiots like to talk loud on cell phones. To those idiots... I ask them to speak louder so Everyone on the bus or aircraft can hear them. This usually works. Lets not strip more freedom.

          To ban a cell phone for 1) irritation 2) safety reasons are both illogical reasons. Cell phones can be used quietly with the advent of bluetooth and other technology. Also they are safe and provide people with the only freedom left in a plane... to talk.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          gruffman, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:32am

          Lets push to keep Cell phones on Southwest.

          Southwest Airlines needs to continue to allow the carry on of cell phones and they should be urged to let passengers use them.

          Most people are respectful on aircraft. It is not a greyhound bus and generally folks are cognizant of bothering others on aircraft. If they are rude then yell back at them.

          Lets keep our freedoms.. what few we have left.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    dorpus, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:15am

    Wild Animals

    So do we want people yelling into their phones in foreign languages on them long flights?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:45am

    them there long flights eh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    alfred, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 1:19am

    All cell phones shuld be placed in the carry on bag shut and left there, I'm pissed off by kids usein the little dvd players with the sound up so loud you know what there sayi n 3 rows behind you, now one phone is gunna go off a nd everyone is gunna go lookin for theirs. If you have business to conduct you probaly have a phone with a unlimited data access plan, so you can plug it into your laptop and use the internet. outher than that phones shuldent be used on the place. Also, the parent that gives the 5 year old kid a phone that is better than mine, shuld really see what they need one for, especially if there on the plane talking to someone 6 rows back 2 seats over.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      yangyang (profile), Sep 1st, 2006 @ 2:06am

      Re:

      Off-subject, but really alfred, you might want to re-read your posts before sending them off. At least put them through a spelling tool. I heard Word have one, and Google.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Gruff man, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      So just because you are pissed off at a rare kid, on a rare plane, you think it is OK to just ban all cell phones from useage on aircraft.

      Gee I dont like old farts who fart on elevators. I think I will ban anyone from getting on an elevator who has not exited a bathroom AND CHEESED ONE.

      Your logic is stupid, selfish and adds to the fact that we love to strip others of thier rights.. We have created a police state in America because of idiots like you who think that it serves a good purpose to control others. Wake up and look around you. Your rights are stripped due to others thinking like you.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Spikyface, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 1:37am

    Re: alfred

    But like the Murphy's, he's not bitter

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 2:28am

    Re: yangyang

    has*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Yooperbacker, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 2:34am

    Passenger using the cell phone

    I know I wouldn't like the idea of having to listen to the person next to me talk and talk on a flight.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 3:30am

    The one percent

    I think bottom line is that using cell phones on an airplane is simply rude. I work in Japan now, and they have something known as manner mode for the cell phones here. Basically, it vibrates and makes no noise. (interesting?) On subways they pretty much imply that you are rude and should not use cell phones at all. The culture is different though. In america, there are too many rude "I don't care about me or my image" type people that they wouldn't care to lose face. In Japan, it is quite different. Everyone cooperates, everyone stands on the left side of an escalator if no one is walking up it, to allow others to pass. Execs and politicians already feel America is too stupid to simply learn creating extra socialistic laws for the idiots in which the responsible people must abide by as well. It is only caused by the stupid and the people who cannot accept responsibility and our prostitutes/ambulance chasers (lawyers) who will assist them in getting away with their stupidity. It is always the one percent that screws it all up for the others. Don't be that one percent.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Yoko Ono's Bastard Child #3, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 8:15am

      Re: The one percent

      Cell phones on a plane... that's just fine with me. I've always been a big fan of the libertarian creed "Deal with it."

      Sweet Moses, you guys are too much up into other people's business. Who cares if there is someone on the phone next to you? Another person's conversation will, most likely, not cause you any real standing emotional or physical harm. I hardly doubt that some many people are such 'Sallys' as to require absolute silence during a flight (unless you treat that time as you one chance to attain nirvana by deep meditation). You guys are too strung out if you are stressing this much about someone talking in your presence.

      Frankly someone talking on the phone is no worse than a baby crying through a flight... also, it is a needless way to disrupt commerce (lord knows it would be so much easier if you could check your v-mail, blackberry, and get some work done online via your cell during those long flights). Worst case scenario... ear plugs, two asprin, and two glasses of Jack... good night.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        grapeshot, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 9:00am

        Re: Re: The one percent

        My my, you must have never been sitting on an airplane trying to get some work done, and had an dipwad pull out a cell phone and start talking loudly into it right next to your ear. Or been quietly reading a book and have that happen to you. It not only jars your concentration, but now you have to listen to that self-important windbag tell one of his minions that he just landed and next he'll be picking up his baggage and after that he'll get a cab. (As if this "important" conversation couldn't wait until he's inside the terminal.)

        Preventing these sorts of idiotic phone calls will interrupt commerce, my ass!!! Seems to me that commerce works just fine with the current rules of no cell phones on planes. Or are you trying to tell us that the global economy is severely hampered by the inability of business people to make calls on airplanes? Puh-lease!

        Yes, we can try to ignore that utter inanity going on next to us, but its exactly the same as if you're trying to sleep but the neighbor's damn dog won't stop barking. Yep, you can plug your ears, or spend gobs of money to soundproof your home, but why the heck should everyone in the neighborhood spend extra money to get peace and quiet because one idiot can't be bothered to train his dog!

        I have an easier time dealing with a wailing infant, because I know the infant doesn't know better. The infant is just dealing with the discomfort of flying the only way they know how. The self-important jabberhead who's now invaded my space does know better.

        You libertarians think anything goes and nuts to the rest of us. Politeness is just for stupid idiots, eh?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Emanuel MOlho, Sep 5th, 2006 @ 7:29am

        Re: Re: The one percent

        Your point is well taken. However, where does one draw the line on encroachment of another's "personal" space. What if your seat companion had an unbelievable case of body odor that you found repugnant (but was perfectly acceptable in some societies).? Would you suggest nose plugs, a strong drink and a couple of asprin?

        I doubt it.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 8:58am

      Re: The one percent

      AC Wrote:
      > I work in Japan now...

      Well good for you. I lived there for quite some time myself. Yes, the Japanese have sheep-like behavior down to a science. Their culture is a thousand-year history of following the herd. Samurai during the medieval period had absolute power over the regular populace, they could remove a head for any reason whatsoever. This creates a culture that makes it non-optional to not stand out.

      Americans, on the other hand, come from a pioneer culture. You had to do for yourself or you'd die. Direct opposite of the Japanese history. Its no mystery why 90% of the world's innovation comes from America. There are few people here to tell you you have do it a certain way.

      Sure, "execs and politicians" feel Americans are too stupid, we just don't get the "fact" that execs and politicians know what's best for us.

      Thank god.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    kuronoir, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 3:50am

    oh sure

    It is undenyable that Japanese culture dictates social order. If the US was a small island chain with millions of people densly packed on, it would be wildly different than the way it is..

    So to compare and contrast one culture over another is a folly.

    And for all the grammer and spelling checkers out there, I'm posting from a cell and don't have tools for checking. I did reread my post but I can't spell to save my life so don't bother telling me what I spelled wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Pope Ratzo, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 4:29am

    Koronoir has a good point

    It's OT, but a good point nonetheless.

    It is partly America's size that is to blame for our general lack of manners. There was, for a long time, enough room for us to stay away from one another. That's coming to an end now, of course, but the effect lingers on.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Ron Ridgeway, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 4:44am

    Cell phones breed rudeness

    I honestly cannot believe people value their privacy and personal time so little now a days that they will interrupt grocery store, dining out and every other activity by allowing that phone call to come through.

    I no longer have one, have no intention of having one and have gone back to the old fashion policy of if it's dinner time talk to the answering machine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Gemini, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 5:27am

    Old Fashion Policy

    I have a cell phone. I use it to keep connected to my family, friends, and for business. But I come from a generation that doesn't formalize the mealtime as much as my parents generation. I don't mind taking a call from most people at most times, but on the occasion that I don't want to take the call, I don't. Just because someone is calling, it doesn't obligate me to answer. I see no difference between my cell and a traditional land line with answering machine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Krum, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 5:43am

    Registering...

    I'm not saying that "First-Post-Jazzy" didn't use his phone on a plane, but going over 550 mph between 25 & 40,000 feet, it's gonna be pretty hard for you to maintain a decent call. Think about the problems you have just on the ground with warble, echo, dropped calls, regardless of carrier. I know there are the few that have never experienced these problems but overall everyone has at one time or another. If the phone was able to register and perform the hand offs between cell sites at that speed, it would use up a hug amount of the handset's battery so I don't know if the call would be worth it. Even Qualcomm has stated that it would be rare for a handset to maintain a quality call from a jet hence this article and their excitement over providing a mobile cell-site on a passenger jet..::
    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1624543,00.asp

    Just my 2 cents...


    BTW, Googles spell check works great!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Krum, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 5:47am

    Dang...

    There I go bragging about spell-check and I spell "huge" wrong. Doh!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 6:28am

      Re: Dang...

      According to the spell checker, you did not spell "huge" wrong. You did however, use "hug" out of context.

      The most amazing thing? Anyone not being language-anal-retentive read your post without even noticing your typo. The ones that noticed it, just corrected it themselves.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 5:51am

    remember, japan is an honor based society. america has a guilt based society. you wouldn't do something in japan because it would disgrace your family and ancestors. you wouldn't do something here in america because you'd get thrown in jail....

    quite different.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    thecaptain, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 5:51am

    I see nothing technically wrong about using cellphones on a plane...except ONE THING:

    PEOPLE.

    In general people are self-centered, inconsiderate, impolite assholes.

    Flights are bad enough these days with all the security measures (hassles), add to that the occasional crying baby (can't be helped, but it does annoy), increasingly undisciplined kids (cue outraged parents), decreasing service (half a can of coke anyone?)...the LAST thing I want is to hear some idiot yammering at the top of his lungs about what he had for breakfast this morning, or the girl he'd like to pork, or how the client he's flying to see is a rich moron he can milk...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Andy, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      Sorry, I have to through my unsolicited travel advice in here. Skip Southwest, and other discount airlines, and spend the $100.00 extra dollars to get a flight on a major Airline's premium economy section, like the United's Economy Plus section. All the screaming babies and kids end up in the back of the plane with the cheapest seats possible. In the premium economy sections, it's usually people like me: consultants and business travelers. From someone who flies on a weekly basis from Chicago-New York-Los Angeles, trust me it's well, well worth the few extra dollars. However you will never escape the screaming babies and kids on Southwest, TED, or ATA.

      Personally, I would like to see the airlines concentrate on offering some sort of internet service first. I like the fact that no-one can reach me for 8 hours on a New York to L.A. flight. Once they have cell phone service, I'm screwed, there's goes my only relaxation time :-).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Gruffman, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:38am

        Yes Charlie... You are correct about the kids.

        Those screaming kids are more of a hassle than cell phones on a plane flight. And they are just about as dangerous - same order of magnitude.. plant a bomb on them too.

        Lets abolish any screaming kid . Lets just kill them.

        Lets just throw them off the plane when their ears pop . Throw that fat young mother off also.

        Cell phones should stay on air flights and people should enjoy the freedom of having one and using it.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 6:22am

    While I agree that the so-called "reasons" for keeping cell phones off during flights are ridiculous, and have no merit. There is simply no valid scientific proof that could support such an argument. In fact, the show Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel pretty much debunked that myth by rigging up a seriously juiced-up cell tower inside a plane and making calls through it. Any plane that has the proper shielding in place for electronic interference will not be bothered by cell phones at all.

    However, I also agree with the problem of rudeness. On the ground, people being rude with cell phone can be asked to leave an area. That's kind of hard to do on planes, unless they come up with separate cell phone and non-cell phone seating (wouldn't that be a riot?). If they do allow cell phone usage, they had better make it clear that it's basically for emergency use only, and that they can confiscate your cell phone for the duration of the flight if you don't behave yourself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Scott, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 7:30am

      Re:

      Stop using Mythbusters, they used a top of the line, all digital, private jet.

      They did not use the POS circa 1987 Boeing 737 that makes up an all too large percentage of aircraft. I love the show, but absolutely hate that episode.

      They were not allowed to use a common carrier aircraft, or even a private aircraft in flight, so that episode and test are meaningless.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Emanuel Molho, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 6:39am

    Cell Phones on Planes

    Is it really necessary to use cell phones on planes, especially when there is the real possibility of potential danger? How about a quiet area for those who cannot bear the insufferable boors who subject all of us to their cell phone stupidity?

    Cell phone addicts are unconscious, disrespectful, discourteous and obnoxious. Public transportation and areas; doctors' offices; theaters; restaurants; checkout lines; just about everywhere. In their own dream world walking in the street, or "driving" their cars. Their business, everyone's business. Unable to bear silence or be by, or with, themselves for a moment. Totally oblivious to---and inconsiderate of---their neighbors.

    Cell phones will be as ubiquitous in airplanes as they are in places where we are all held captive. These (ab)users ought to be relegated to their own soundproof cabin, compelled to suffer one another's inanities. For the entire flight.


    I, and hopefully those who share these feelings, will give our business to the airlines that have the sense to ban them.

    Emanuel Molho, New York, NY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      gruffman, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:15am

      Re: Cell Phones on Planes

      Dude.

      You are condoning the abolishment of yet another freedom that we enjoy or could enjoy. Just because it irritates you, you think it is OK to abolish it.

      That logic justifies the inquisition. That logic justifies the control of all others for the common good. You are left with no freedoms and no ability to choose even the most simple things in your life.

      For instance - I dont like McDonalds food. I think I will abolish them from existance. Same as anybody who drives over 55mph. Same as anyone who looks like they had a bad hair day. Lets stop being so overcontrolling in the United states and let others have some freedoms instead of killing off every freedom left. We are already a police state.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 6:46am

    didn't mythbusters say that there was a plane crash due to someone getting a txt message?

    so, either that's true or false. if it's false, how can you expect complete truth in the rest of their show?

    if it's true, then there is fact that cell phones can be dangerous.

    now, the science is sketchy on how cells affect planes. however you must also weigh in other factors such as the social factor before makin a true decision. it is often overlooked, in face of the "major" concerns...safety and money. so there...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 6:48am

    OK, OK, OK, everyone knows that people using cell phones on planes would be annoying. We get that.

    Fact is, there is still scientific evidence that electronic signals "could" cause an accident. In fact, Carnegie Mellon (OK, if I spelled that wrong who cares, if you do, you probably wish you could post in red) even stated "its not a matter of if, its a matter of when"

    With this out there, do we really want to risk killing people so that people can talk on the phone?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 6:48am

    "While there's been some evidence to support occasional interference, the lack of any mobile phone-induced crash suggests that this threat was overhyped." - Some evidence!? overhyped? I don't want ANY interference on the flight I am on. I don't understand the author's thinking on this one. So if only one plane goes down (or diverted, or delayed) out of how many makes this interference "acceptable"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bob, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 7:02am

    Cell Phones

    I'm glad that an airline is opening up the use of cell phones. Not because I want to be rude, but because there was no reason to ban them in the first place. I always thought that they banned cell phones cause it was a slight loss of revenue for the cheezy air phones that were in planes. I understand soon they will allow text messaging in some planes which will be excellent. What I really find annoying is the recline feauture of the seats. There is hardly any room in your seat as is, and then someone has the nerve to push back. I don't recline just out of respect for the person behind me and I understand what an invasion that can be especially if your working on a laptop or using the drop down table(ett). Anyway, I'm tired of our government creating laws to govern our behavior. You know what is right and wrong, be an example and do the right thing.

    peace

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Chuck, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 7:08am

    Roger Beep

    More annoying than hearing one side of Mr/Ms Loud Talker's cell phone conversation is hearing both sides. I can't wait to be on a flight where every few seconds a distorted voice and loud Nextel "chirp" pierce my eardrums.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ibeetle, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 7:16am

    Why Airlines are against this.

    Airlines are against cell phone usage for two reasons.

    One, they cannot figure out a way to make money off of it.

    Two, it would really upset the people in first class. Having flown in first class many times I can tell you they get a lot more perks than the passengers in coach. Meals, their own bathroom. and never being told not to use electronics at certain times. This includes cell phones. I have used my cell phone in first class, hell my step-mom spent half the damn flight on the phone. Not only did the flight attendant not say anything, but she will practically dial the number for you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 7:33am

      Re: Why Airlines are against this.

      Re: Business Class and phones...
      Totally untrue. I fly business class regularly and although the service is better, they don't "actively ignore" the rules as much as you say. The worst thing I've seen is a woman being allowed a bag that wouldn't fit under the seat in front of her. We're told when we're allowed electronic devices, and we're told not to use cell phones. You're citing an isolated case, but to say this is the way things work is totally untrue.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    KevinG79, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 7:29am

    I agree, keep banning cells on planes

    I don't care how silly or stupid the reasons the airlines use for banning cell phones. Please keep those bans in place or I will never fly again. No way in hell I want to get a headache listening to 100+ cell phone (ab)users talking about their pathetic personal lives and such.

    I fucking hate cell phones. I only have one for emergency use. When I go in to a store or a publiic place, the phone stays in my car. I don't carry it with me like some damn baby with a pacifier. It is sick of so many people "feel naked without their cell phone." Like they need it to fuicking survive. And good heavens if you're at the grocery store and someone can't get ahold of you on your damn cell phone.

    We didn't need cell phones 25 years ago. We don't need them now. NOTHING is so important that you have to bother someone (and everyone near them) on a damn cell phone. Call their landline, leave a message, they'll get back to you when they're able to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Emanuel Molho, Sep 5th, 2006 @ 7:33am

      Re: I agree, keep banning cells on planes

      Bravo: your comments are right on. Send them all to a remote island where they can all listen to one another's stupidities.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sean, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 7:33am

    Wait a minute...

    "the lack of any mobile phone-induced crash suggests that this threat was overhyped."

    So a downed plane caused by a cell is the only thing that justifies banning them? Proof by body count, I guess.

    Just one more reason why Arnold Schwarzenegger movies were a bad idea.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bryan Price, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 7:38am

    Before there were rules...

    I remember when some big wig at Tandy had flown in from Chicago, and she mentioned something about talking to somebody while she was in the air because she had one of those new cellular bricks. She talked long enough on it for the battery to die, which, considering, probably wasn't that long actually.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 8:20am

    the deffinition of need varies from person to person.

    i'm glad my sister had a cell phone last year when an old lady almost totaled her car. she was able to call home as soon as it happened, allowing my parents to get to the scene.

    i'm glad i had mine last night, when i was grocery shopping for my mother. she was able to call me and ask me to pick up some extra groceries we needed. saved us both an extra trip to the grocery store.

    however, we didn't talk on the fone for 10 hours. she said what she needed, i asked a few details, and bam 5 minutes we were on our ways.

    so its all a definiton of need. that argument is flawed. just because you don't need to talk to somoene at a moment's notice, doesn't mean everyone else doesn't as well.

    so with that being said, if ONE cell phone caused ONE crash, i would support banning it. air travel (although the "safest" mode of transportation) is still risky. and if something goes wrong, end of story. there aren't too many plane crashes that people walk away from. so if banning a cell phone will take an unnecessary risk away, i'm all for that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mike Brown, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 8:26am

    Technology moves on, but not the rules...

    Leaving the nuisance factor aside, this rule made more technical sense when it was enacted than it does today.

    Back then a cell phone was an analog device, and each phone took up one channel. The system was set up to minimize cell sizes, so that the same channels could be reused in relatively close proximity. If a cell had 16 channels, not unusual at the time, all it would take is a relative handful of phones at 35,000 feet to blanket every channel in the cell.

    Nowadays all new cell phones are digital, and the few remaining analog phones are being phased out. These digital phones use various techniques to use the available spectrum, and the problem of using up all available channels simply no longer exists.

    The interference question needs research - GPS signals are very faint, and while a single cell phone might not pose a threat, if the rule is rescinded it would not be unreasonable to see lots of phones on at once. I would be very very careful about the possible effects on the airplane's avionics if 100+ people all start using radio transmitters inside the aircraft. I can envision the captain announcing a delay in arrival, and all of a sudden half of the passengers on a 747 whip out phones to tell Mom they'll be late.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 8:31am

    What the #&)$ is wrong with you people? I like to converse with people on planes. This creates around twice the noise as someone on a cell phone.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 8:57am

    From a safety standpoint: the entire earth is awash with radio signals, a low watt cell phone signal probably shouldn't be any worse than what is being transmitted already. I hope the avionics are not that easily messed up or we'd all be taking a huge gamble just being on a plane, with or without cell phones.

    Yes it is an overabundance of caution, a response to the small possibility of a problem. But personally i prefer to err on the side of staying alive over making a cell phone call in flight.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Nic Stevens, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 9:00am

    Uh ... most planes have phones in 'em already. I have used them. They're very expensive as opposed to a cell phone.

    What's so objectionable about a guy on a cell versus two guys conversing? It's that you can't hear the other side of the conversation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 9:09am

    It's not that serious.

    The annoyance factor is there and I don't think it should be ignored. I don't want to hear a bunch of people yammering on their phones not matter what they're talking about. The longest flight I've ever been on was about 3hr. and I know I'd be homicidal if I had to listen someone yacking that long (and believe me someone would talk that WHOLE time). Imagine an international flight. Technical issues aside I'm still against cell phones on a plane. And if I were a coporate big suit I would definitely oppose them. Corporations will only use this an excuse to have literal 24/7 access to their employees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    charlie potatoes, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 9:12am

    Honor

    Japs have no honor anymore. That is gone. It's myth. If they had any they would have all killed themselves long ago.
    Meanwhile they lie like fucking dogs and eat our whales...god damn..whales..
    ever watch them kill a great whale? it takes a long time for them to die and the butchering begins before they are dead.
    let them eat koreans. they arent endangered and it would make the world safer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Asher Schweigart, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 9:20am

    Exactly

    #34 has it right. What's the big deal about talking on cell phones in public? It's no different then talking to someone they're traveling, shopping, or walking with (unless they're one of those cell screamers), so why get your panties in a bunch over a simple converstion.
    As for being available 24/7, just cause you have a cell phone doesn't mean you have to be available all the time. You can ignore a cell phone just as easy as a landline. In most causes, easier, because unlike a landline you can see who it is, an the push a button if you want to ignore the call.
    I have never used a cell phone on a plane, mostly because i haven't ever flown anywhere, but if i did, i wouldn't see the problem with talking with someone for the whole 2-5 hour flight, esp. if i was traveling by myself. Helps pass the time to be able to have conversation.
    Really, cell phone use is a matter of common sense. If you're talking on the phone in the grocery store, when you get to the cashier, put the phone down and give them you antention when you are paying for your stuff. If your phone rings in the resturant when you out to dinner with someone, if you MUST take the call, excuse yourself and take the call. Don't shout into the phone, don't put it in walkie-talkie mode, just quietly talk to them, just like if they were sitting next to you

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 9:25am

    Why do we assume that people have a right to quiet in the plane anyway? I wish I had a right to quiet in a goddamn restaurant, maybe theyd turn off the music and all the other patrons would quit yelling. But I dont tell you people what to do, and so will you all kindly *$(@ off and quit telling me what to do?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bert Hamtree, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:06am

    Are you CRAZY?

    Bottom line: the annoyance factor is the REAL reason we should never allow cellphones on planes. For god's sake, why would anyone ADVOCATE and SUPPORT such a thing? Are you all insane? It's going to add such a degree of rage and frustration and annoyance to flying experience that's already been getting increasingly horrible (cramped and uncomfortable ) the last few years.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:13am

      Re: Are you CRAZY?

      booohooo I fly coach all the time and its a pleasure.

      Babies cry on the plane. Babies cry on the street, on the bus, at restaurants. People talk, phones ring. Trucks vrooom by. Planes fly over. Police sirens blare by. Intelligent urban youths pass with their subwoofers liquifying their brains. Look, theres a parade on main street. Some nutcase is handing out pamphlets on the corner. Your taxi driver's radio is beeping and saying roger that charlie.

      Your airplane serves PEPSI and your ears are popping. The bathroom is occupied and the guy sitting next to you is seriously fat. You wanted pretzels, not peanuts, but nobody asked you.

      And youre worried about a CELL PHONE? This world is full of noise and disruptions. You learn to cope with it.. and if youre smart, you learn to like it.

      Whoever said an airplane was supposed to be your oasis of peace and serenity? I'm flying to take care of business and get from point A to point B. If you want @*($ing serenity, go rent a sensory deprivation tank and shed your tears there.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    gruffman, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 10:20am

    Lose your Cell Phone - police state thinking

    We are constantly offended by others these days.

    We also are thinking selfishly and negatively about how anything is so dangerous to what ever activity we are doing. Our Rights are inpuned. How awful.

    As a result we have made a police state in America, full of laws and regulations and full of bullshit rules so complex we cant shit forwards unless it is on a proper toilet. .. and we outlaw anybody doing anything that can harm or irritate us in any way shape or form. Ban cell phones from aircraft. Simple example of our continued loss of liberty and freedom. We will soon be droids. Controlled sheep. Baaaaaaaaa & wah..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 11:02am

    cars are like cell phones: the medium of freedom

    I used to measure my freedom by the fact that I could get in my car and drive wherever I wanted. Maybe the war on drugs is not good for my freedom, nor a Real ID act, nor airplane safety regulations... I will be calm and reasonable about considering those. But I will not permit you to take away my CAR --that would sever me from my freedom.

    So what if some people misuse their cars? Take their cars away from them. I don't misuse mine and no force on earth will take mine away from me.

    I am coming to think of cellphones the same way.

    Cars give me the freedom to go anywhere.

    Cellphones give me the freedom to be anywhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Curly Putnam, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 11:06am

    Why?

    Do you need to talk all the dang time anyway? What in tarnation did you people ever do before cell phones were invented? What sort of phone yabber is so important it can't wait? You know, business did happen before these phones were invented--and relationaships stayed together--and poeple sat on planes and made it through just fine.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      KevinG79, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:25pm

      Re: Why?

      Quote:
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Why do you need to talk all the dang time anyway? What in tarnation did you people ever do before cell phones were invented? What sort of phone yabber is so important it can't wait? You know, business did happen before these phones were invented--and relationaships stayed together--and poeple sat on planes and made it through just fne.---------------------------------------------------

      THANK YOU!!! This is exactly the point I was trying to make. But no, everyone whines and crys about how yet another "freedom" is being taken away. Give me a break. You don't NEED to talk on your damn cell phones during a 1 hour flight, do you? What is so fucking important that can't wait an hour? Seriously. Yes, planes are already noisy from screaming kids and such, but idiots on cell phones just adds more to the annoyance factor during my flight. I can tune out crying kids. Anyone who is a parent knows easily how to ignore a child having a tantrum... But it gets hard to ignore every other moron on a plane shouting into their cell phones and talking about shit that DOESN'T need to be talked about until they are somewhere private.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 2:59pm

        Re: Re: Why?

        why do you NEED a plane to be your quiet peaceful sanctuary? maybe the people on their phones cant be peaceful unless they transact their business asap.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Erik, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 11:36am

    A couple of points:

    I think you may be over estimating the amount of cellular coverage that exists in uninhabited areas of the west. Wyoming, Nevada, Nebraska and the like have coverage over the highways, but not so much over uninhahited areas, airplanes don't follow the highways.

    The cellular system is not designed to switch cells for 100 handsets on a plane moving at 500 mph. It could be, but it is not now.

    Finally, it's not that the phones interfere with the electronics. It's that there is no certification that they don't interfere with the electronics. Without certification (for each kind of handset) the airlines insurance companies are unlikely to insure them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    KevinG79, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 12:34pm

    Also...

    In regards to cell phones being unsafe on planes. Yes, it's been proven they don't interfere with radio communications in the cockpit. That's not the main concern. The concern is with the threat of terrorism. Terrorists can use the batteries in cell phones to ignite bombs. Or they can use their cell phone to dial a pager number that ignites a bomb. Hell, I'm sure the terrorists are finding ways to make bombs that LOOK and function like cell phones.

    So... again I ask. What is so damn important that you MUST talk on your damn cell phone on a plane.. you'd rather have your "freedom" to talk on a cell phone and compromise your safety and/or your LIFE? How sad. You will still get that "business deal" if you wait an hour to call the client when you're on land. Nothing is so damn important that you must whip out the fucking cell phone everywhere you go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 1:06pm

    here's my plan. if you can talk on the phone and bother me, i have the right to beat the fucking shit out of your ass, and then cram that phone up your bunghole.

    if you'll allow me to do that, i'll be more than happy to let you talk on the plane

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Roy Carthage, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 1:14pm

    Cells on planes

    So cells on planes cause accidents? Modern cars are almost as sophisticated as planes, how many cars quit working when you make a call?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Frank Muinroe, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 2:54pm

    "here's my plan. if you can talk on the phone and bother me, i have the right to beat the fucking shit out of your ass, and then cram that phone up your bunghole.if you'll allow me to do that, i'll be more than happy to let you talk on the plane"

    Ha!! Right on, I am so with you on this one, dude!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    zarquon, Sep 1st, 2006 @ 8:10pm

    Part 15

    Part 15 of the FCC Rules mandates "Operation is subject
    to the following two conditions: (1) This device may not cause harmful
    interference, and (2) this device must accept any lnterference re-
    ceived, including interference that may cause undesired operation."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Tek'a, Sep 2nd, 2006 @ 2:36am

    remember kids..

    "In regards to cell phones being unsafe on planes. Yes, it's been proven they don't interfere with radio communications in the cockpit. That's not the main concern. The concern is with the threat of terrorism. Terrorists can use the batteries..blah blah blah terrorists blah blah."

    this is a sign of dangerous thinking.. "yes, we know that concerns over X is false, but the real concern is TERRORISTS!!! might could maybe possibly consider one day doing Y with X! gasp! scream!"

    if we want to be sure we never do anything or have anything or think anything a terrorist could use or think or do.. then it worked.

    we have been Terrorised into limiting what we do or have or think by extremists who want exactly that.

    consider politness, consider cell tower palcement not reaching airplan overfly areas.. even the Remote Tiny risk of system interference etc.. but dont try to pull out the Terrorist Trump Card.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    foob, Sep 2nd, 2006 @ 12:39pm

    Bring back the comfort zone in flying

    I would gladly pay more for a comfortable flight that promoted sleep, entertainment, and good food. But not $1000 per seat more. I think there's an untapped market for civilized travel out there.

    I don't care if people talk on phones on planes as long as I can't hear them. Put the phoners in the back with some soundproofing or create phone booths. Remember them?

    Currently though, air travel is a maddening business that enrages the customers and inconveniences everyone. Why pay more for less each year?

    We need to demand better treatment for our high-cost travel money. This is ridiculous.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Amy Alkon, Sep 4th, 2006 @ 11:35am

    Does it count as "dangerous" if I'm compelled to strangle my seatmate with my bare hands?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    knight37, Sep 6th, 2006 @ 9:51am

    Sick of these mother-phoning cell phones on the mo

    I'm sick and tired of these mother-phoning cell phones on these mother-phoning planes!

    I think any excuse they can come up with to keep fat ass big business tards from yaking away the entire six hour flight until I get a massive migrane is not only fair but justified. Whatever works, just stop it. Please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mark Snedecor, Sep 6th, 2006 @ 10:18am

    Win-Win Situatioin

    So many people want to talk on their cell phone during flight, and many people DON'T want to hear someone on their cell during flight. If the Airlines simply make a rule that only people using a ZipIt like device can use their cells during flight, everyone will be happy! Check them out: www.ZipItInc.com.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    MB Hall, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 5:52pm

    I'll stop flying any airline that lets phones be used in flight. They're annoying enough on the ground.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    J. Myrick, Jan 9th, 2010 @ 5:58pm

    Cell Phones on Airplanes

    The ban on cellphone use should be contined. There is no technology reason to continue the ban. However, phones must be banned because of people.

    I do not want to sit beside a person who is going to talk for a great length of time nor do I want to listen to a conversation from a person 2-3 rows from me. A lot of us are already irritated with cellphnoe use on the streets, stores, offices, and elevators. Just imagine 20 loud conversations of questionable content in a confined space as a plane for hours on end.

    Banning the use of cellphones is just a issue of courtesy among flyers. If the ban is lifted, restrict the calls to the restrooms.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This