- Hallelujah! We can finally use our phones even more than we already do!
The FCC has allowed phones to be on during plane rides. Long gone are the days where flight attendants hound you to turn off your phones and electronic devices every five minutes before the flight takes off.
Cell phone use is banned during take-off and landing but it is allowed once the plane is at 10,000 feet. Though the FCC is lifting this ban, it is up to the airline itself to allow cellphones on planes or not. According to the Wall Street Journal, “since 1991, the FCC has prohibited in-flight use of cellphones due to concerns that they could interfere with wireless networks on the ground. The FAA said recently that cellphones pose no safety threat to aircraft”– more on this below.
SILENCE ON PLANES
Most of us want to get on our flight and sleep until we get to our destination. We don’t exactly want to sit next to someone who is constantly on Viber or Skype with each of their family members the entire flight. I personally turn my phone off anyway when I get on a plane because it is nice having that time to myself without any sort of communication or the Internet for a couple of hours. Others might want to spend every waking minute speaking to their friends and checking their status updates.
The reason why it has taken so long for cell phones to be allowed on planes is that it can become a nuisance. People talking constantly on their phones can become an issue to other passengers on the plane and airlines don’t want their passengers to suffer this discomfort. A survey of 1,600 U.S. adults that was taken by the FAA showed 51% of the people with negative reactions to in-flight phone calls versus 47% responding with a positive reaction to inflight phone calls.
Jet Blue Airways spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said that “Our customer feedback indicates people may not want that policy but, of course, tastes and desires change. We would prioritize making the cabin comfortable…for those who want cell service and for those who like peace and quiet.”
WHY I DON’T THINK PHONES ARE NECESSARY ON PLANES
It’s simple: people talking on their phones during a flight can become annoying. I think people will be able to survive without their phones for the duration of their flight. Also, when people make calls, what do they even talk about? How smooth the plane ride is? Or how great the food was? Or where you are heading to? Snooze. Another reason I don’t believe phones are necessary is phone reception won’t be as great when you are up in the air. Another reason, as I mentioned above, is that it’s nice to be off the grid for awhile. Get some sleep and relax without checking your texts or emails every five minutes.
Some airlines will also be charging you a lot to access their WiFi. You know that one picture you took of your airline food to post on Facebook? Yeah, it’s probably costing you 20 bucks. The best is when people post photos out of their tiny windows flying over random masses of land. It’s these blurry picture of clouds and land and then two minutes later it’s on Instagram. #nobodycares.
AND to my biggest concern yet: does this mean airlines have been lying to us this entire time about our phones interfering with their systems?! All I remember from my flights were flight attendants watching me like a hawk until I turned my phone off. I was always scared that if the plane crashed it would be because I turned on my phone for a second to listen to a song and then it would be all over the news that the girl who didn’t turn off her cell phone caused the deadliest plane crash EVER. But now I realize that clearly wasn’t the case.
WHY I THINK PHONES WOULD BE A GOOD THING AT THE SAME TIME
One good thing I have found about my phones working on planes is that I can update whoever is picking me up at the airport with when I am arriving. Let’s say my plane becomes delayed or lands earlier than is supposed to, I can let my friend or whoever is picking me up what time I will actually be landing. I don’t have to wait until I land and then call and say that I have landed two hours earlier. This does not apply to you if you are a nice person who is taking a shuttle service or taxi.
Second plus to having a phone on the plane is being able to keep up with work or keep in touch with your boss while you’re flying. This is to all the people who work 24/7 and probably don’t have a second to take a break. It will probably help to be able to have WiFi while in the air to stay updated with emails and such.
Another plus I have found to having my phone on the plane is that I don’t have to watch the bad movies on the plane. I can entertain myself with my phone apps or my friends. Sorry, I don’t want to be stuck watching Godzilla on my entire flight home.
WHICH AIRLINES ALLOW CELL PHONE USAGE ON PLANES
So far these are the airlines that are allowing cell phone usage:
Aer Lingus – since September 2013
Aeroflot – since January 2013
Air France – since May 2013
All Nippon Airways – since summer 2013
Azerbaijan Airlines – since January 2012
British Airways – since July 2013
Cebu Pacific Air – since January 2013
Egyptair – since September 2010
Emirates – since March 2008
Etihad – since November 2012
Garuda – since January 2014
Hong Kong Airlines
KLM – since May 2013
Lufthansa – from February 2014
Qantas – since March 2012
Qatar Airways – since May 2010
SAS – since December 2012
Singapore Airlines – since September 2013
Transaero – since July 2012
Virgin Atlantic – since December 2011
What do you think of being allowed to use cell phones on planes? Would you rather have peace and quiet on your flight or be able to communicate with your friends and family back at home while you’re flying? Let me know in the comments section below!