Feeds

'Disruptive, irritating' in-flight cellphone call ban mulled by US Senate

'2m passengers a day, hurtling through space, trapped in 17in seats, yapping their thoughts'

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The US Senate is considering a bill that would ban in-flight cellphone calls.

Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) crafted the bipartisan legislation to outlaw voice calls on all commercial flights. The bill would still allow passengers to use mobile devices for texting, plus web browsing and other data traffic.

Dubbed the Commercial Flight Courtesy Act, the bill would apply to passenger flights in the US, and would trump efforts by other government agencies to permit the use of mobile phones for mid-air voice calls. The legislation's authors claim they are not motivated by safety concerns, rather consideration for passengers who would otherwise be subjected to the chatter of others.

"Keeping phone conversations private on commercial flights may not be enshrined in the Constitution, but it is certainly enshrined in common sense," said Alexander.

"This legislation is about avoiding something nobody wants: nearly 2 million passengers a day, hurtling through space, trapped in 17-inch-wide seats, yapping their innermost thoughts."

The bill, if passed, will put an end to the emerging conflict between officials over in-flight calling. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering new rules that would let airlines decide whether to allow passengers to make calls. But the US Department of Transportation (DoT) is mulling a ban of its own on in-flight calls that it said would trump any FCC regulations.

"Flying on a commercial airline — in a confined space, often for many hours — is a unique travel experience that is, candidly, not conducive to numerous passengers talking on cellphones," said Feinstein.

"This bill recognizes the use of cellphones to make calls during flights can be disruptive and irritating to other passengers and would prevent such communications during domestic flights."

While the matter is still up for debate, some airlines are pushing forward with plans to allow limited calling during flights. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.