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  • 29

(VIdeo) Why Can't You Use Phones on Planes?

"Angry passengers create turbulence for the airlines." ( More...

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linbb 16
Who in the H_____ want to hear someone talking about something they could care less about at the top of there lungs because they think that to use a cell phone one has to talk louder than normal. It is going to get very uncomfortable on AC with the use of phones along with those who are not wearing headsets to use there kindles and other devices.
crstardust 3
AWAAlum 5
Don't know about your Kindle, but mine doesn't make a peep. Doesn't "click" when I move to the next page - nothing. So let's not get after innocent devices, Boyd.
David Barnes -1
Kindle Fire is more of a full function tablet, so it can and does make noise.
Edie Smith 2
I've flown about 75,000 miles this year and I have not heard one computer, kindle, or any electronic device on a plane.
AWAAlum 0
How nice to read a bit of sanity. Your point is exactly why I said way earlier - it seems there's much ado about nothing. A lot of folks seem disturbed about something that hasn't even happened.
Paul Ahkolik 13
The real reason you can't use (voice) a mobile phone on aircraft without a repeater/sat relay has almost nothing to do with the FAA, as it's an FCC rule. Mobile phones are classified as "Ground Mobile Radio Service" and once you're above 150 feet, you're no longer ground mobile.

Paul, Radio Amateur W5PDA
CyranoSmith 4
Good point. Another is the fact that most mobile phones do not do well inside the virtual Faraday cage that is the aircraft.

Another OM, Dana, KB0VKG
Paul Ahkolik 1
73 es tnx OM :-)
Ben Thurston 0
The FCC is not considering allowing cell phones to connect directly to cell phone towers while in flight; what they ARE considering is allowing installation of picocells in commercial aircraft, which will then connect to the ground network via a satellite link. So all comments about whether cell phones do or don't work within planes are irrelevant. Similarly, comments about current FCC rules are not relevant, because the FCC is considering changing their rules to allow these devices.
pete480 5
Nobody wants to hear 100 different conversations going on simultaneously. Do people really need to talk on the cell phones that badly that they can't wait till they land? You can text on planes now. That should be enough.
ken young 5
The last dagger in the heart of air travel would be for air carriers to give their blessing to in flight cell phone use.
Imagine a plane full of people yakking away on their phones each trying to talk louder than everyone else within 10 feet of them.
No thanks.
Flights would turn into 1970's hockey game line brawls
lbjack 5
On flights that have WiFi VoIP is banned. On American, the ban says "...out of consideration for other passengers."

That says it right there. The majority of people are kind and considerate, but just a few exercising their precious freedom to be obnoxious can nullify the majority. You've probably experienced the POS with his "ear mullet" or his dangling headset loudly broadcasting his blather. (I experienced one in an AA lounge that had people reacting like he had Ebola.) Imagine one by your seat, on your row, in your cabin -- imagine lots of them! And with booze on board!

No, it's not a matter of safety, just the airlines' acknowledgment that there are already enough ways for these jerks to be nuisances without giving them one more.
larry clement 5
Cell phones should not allowed on planes, primarily because of the loud, obnoxious people who use them.. If it is decided that they are allowed, put them in the back of the plane where the smoking sections were, and let them annoy each other. remember one thing- they don't check anyone's IQ before selling them a phone.
I don't understand why it's such a big inconvenience to shut the device off for the few minutes it takes to become airborne. I used my automotive GPS on a flight from Orlando to Milwaukee. Reception was spotty but it showed altitude of 35,000 and speed of around 535 mph. Unfortunately, I had no idea where we were. The road names passed by too quickly and were unfamiliar to me to use as a reference.
Ben Thurston 2
Looks like you might have blundered into the wrong thread. You're talking about use of GPS in flight, while this thread is about allowing voice calls on cell phones in flight. Very different issues!
AWAAlum -1
The topic blossomed into "electronic devices" - not just cell phones. He's in the right place.
VKSheridan 3
I'm not a fan of cell phones on a plane as I suspect that little moment of sanctuary will be as noisy as the gate area where people yell into their phone with their finger in the other ear. There's only so much the Bose can drain out. To the flip side, I don't recollect everyone using the wired phones installed in the back of seats much because of the costs. If the airlines allow cell phone usage but at the same exhorbanent fee, it might be a mute point. Can't see calls being reliable if one must rely on tower to tower hops as the phone would be grabbing a different tower every few minutes.....
Mark Bragg 3
Cell phone towers produce a signal that is as close to a flat pattern as possible. As a practical matter, this signal doesn't reach very high and most aircraft are shortly out of range. However, the annoyance level to the pilots continues in headsets or on the cockpit speaker as a regular buzz as long as the offending cell phone searches for a signal. Absent a dramatic change in the patterns of signals produced by ground-based towers, conventional cell phone service is not coming to high-flying aircraft. The problem will control itself. Relax and enjoy.
Mark Bragg
You are dreaming - those of us who fly our own aircraft know we can frequently get signals at 10 000 feet and call home easily. There is no "buzz" or signal disruption even when the cell phone is right beside the most sophisticated avionics, headsets or communication radios. A repeater in an aircraft connected to a broadband connection such as satellite could easily and safely bring cell phones to aircraft just as it does in hospitals where for years cellphones were banned because they were dangerous. Now whether we want them in aircraft is a different matter altogether.
I fly my plane several times per week and usually lose cell coverage about 2,000' or 3,000' above ground. Very rarely do I have even one bar above 5,000'. Cell antennae produce a flat pattern, kind of like a smashed-flat donut with the tower in the center hole. Therefore cell use will turn to on-board equipment relaying the signal to a ground station for connecting to the ground-based phone system. Contrary to the statement above, the fuselage is not much of a faraday cage on the ground so I can't think it would be in the air. Refer to the many who whip out their phones on rollout and call their SigO to come pick them up.
WhiteKnight77 5
Even though I own a cell/smartphone, I abhor them. If it were not for the line of work I am in, I would not have one. I do find myself talking a bit louder (I might also be partly deaf too which does not help) when using it and see that is true for those around me who are using their phones. Still, I tend to limit the time I spend on the phone as if something is important, talk to me in person if possible. Do not text me, I had that feature turned off by my carrier.

Still, when I am flying, I do not want to be bothered as I am usually reading, or trying to catch up on some much needed sleep. While I do wear in-ear headphones, I can still hear people over the sound of the tunes I am listening to. I don't want to have to turn the sound up to deafening levels just to drown out the large number of passengers on a flight due to them needing to be communicating with someone 24/7 about stupid and meaningless life events that have no bearing on me, or the other 100 or so passengers on the plane I am flying in.

Leave the restrictions in place. I do not want to hear the inane and banal conversations of the narcissists who think the world revolves around them and no one else.
mariofer 5
I can just see the entitlement mentality at work here. Picture yourself in tightly packed coach on a cross-country flight with the loudmouth who cannot live without his or her phone next to you yelling on the phone for 4 or 5 hours because is "His or her right". Air Marshalls are going to be busy. Greyhound is looking more attractive all of the sudden.
MrTommy 1
Talking on a phone is one thing (which annoys me as much as it does you), but using your phone for the zillion OTHER things it does - does NOT annoy me. On the extremely rare occasions that I have to fly (which I will try to avoid forever), I just know I'll be subjected to annoyances from other passengers. It's the way it is, and I just live with it. It will be over soon and I can get on with enjoying life.
AAaviator 2
I'll take cell phone conversations on airplanes over screaming babies any day
Ben Thurston 5
Don't think this is an either-or situation. If cell phone conversations are permitted on planes, you're going to get cell phone conversations AND screaming babies.
AAaviator -1
Ben - not meant to be an either / or choice. You're obviously not up to speed with my illustrative satire.
Eric Schmaltz 1
Maybe we could entertain the screaming baby with the cellphone and solve BOTH problems!
Bob Sudderth 2
Hey Daniel;
Some still have no maners, respect or consideration.
Get a life.
Cole Pierce 2
Cell phones interfere with nav. Out of Norfolk bound for Bermuda, both VOR needles deflected 45° left and right. Capt asked flt att to check for cell phones. Sure enough, passenger in 1st was on. As soon as he put it away, the needles pointed back at Bermuda. Five minutes later, same thing. Capt told me (first officer at the time) to take care of it. Sure enough, same fella. I confiscated his toy and told him loud enough so everyone could hear that if he wanted to get to Bermuda, he'd better obey the rules. Too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence.
des quinn 1
You know there are sat/phones?
des quinn 1
I think it is great,I hate hearing someone private phone call , and it is just like a drunk DH on aircraft or idiot smoking in toilet , JUST GROW UP and think of other PAX on your flight. You endanger all on board life.
Yi Le 1
Aircraft are not required to be FCC Class 15 certified. This means that can emit emissions that are harmful to electronic equipment. To protect your equipment, turn it off. Aircraft can also receive emissions that are harmful to their operation, hence not Class 15 certified, so turn off your electronic equipment.
dakotadoc 1
It seems to me that the restrictions on electronic devices became more stringent and absolute in the wake of 9/11. Personally, I've always felt that the restrictions were based on the fact that, if people were able to have their cell phones on during flight, and perhaps attempt to use them for calls, that it would expose another of the myths about 9/11, namely that cell phones have any functionality at all on a commercial jet in flight. I mean, what about all that nonsense ("Let's roll," etc.) that some people were using cell phones from the hijacked planes on 9//11? Cell phones just plain won't work at the speed and altitudes at which those jets were flying that day.
Loyd Enochs 1
Please, no cell phone calls while flying. It is bad enough having to listen to people yell into their phones while the doors are still open.

Sitting peacefully, watching the world pass beneath my window helps me transition away from the chaos of work when I'm inbound and organize my thoughts and plans on the way outbound.

Please don't let them take that away :)
AWAAlum -2
Have we become such an intolerant species that we're unable to cope with a little extra noise for a few hours? Noise that we hear everywhere, every day. I realize it's a bit "more" when sitting in a plane, but c'mob! It's a few hours out of our lives. Calm down and get yourselves under control. And if you just can't seem to do that, put on your own headset and listen to some relaxation music. Maybe you'll get off that plane feeling even better than when you boarded.
Fred Hill 6
It's not about intolerance, it is about courtesy. Unfortunately there are some people today who appear to believe the louder they talk the more important they are. In a more courteous day, callers would excuse themselves from the area and make their call. Today bombastic and argumentative appears to be the rule. Put the phone away, the world will still exist when you land and if it doesn't, What does it matter?
AWAAlum -1
Still sounds like intolerance to me. I do, however, appear to be in the minority. I just find it makes for a happier life to be easy going rather than getting ulcers over people talking.
ken young 2
You are in the extreme minority.
AWAAlum -1
Well, let's not get too extreme here.
ken young 4's the other way around. Use a cell phone is not a necessity nor is it imperative to be "in touch" 24/7/365.
Anyone can put down their phone for a few hours.
Trust me..It will not be a "little extra noise". This would be cell yell run amok. Aircraft are not exactly noise free. So to compensate, people will already up their already increased cell volume.
With that disinterested passengers would be subject to the gory details of every person on board.
No, air travel should be a sanctuary from cell phone use.
AWAAlum -1
Air travel isn't touted as a sanctuary. It's a way to get from here to there in a short time. If you don't want to hear other people, hire a private plane. Sounds like we're turning into a species of antisocial, crabby,, whining babies.
AWAAlum -1
(Sorry about the "c'mob" - autocorrect can be an embarrassing thing.)
PaulN2719 -1
If cell phone usage were allowed on planes, there would be some serious incidents of "air rage". Trust me, I'm one of those who would be doing it!
des quinn 0
On flights ALL CELL PHONE must be in Flight Mode or OFF
Jeff Kemper 0
If I understand how a cell phone works, it gets a signal from the closest tower and then passes you off to the next tower as you get close to it and then the next. So imagine leaving a place like Atlanta where five planes are taking off and landing every two minutes. Figure another 30 planes under 10,000 feet on approach or departure. That is about 4,350 phones (allowing for 125 passengers per plane). In the air, those phones could be trying to address multiple towers in all directions. This seems like it could potentially create an issue where the phones start skipping all over the grid trying to address all these available signals. A few phones that don't get turned off probably do not affect navigatioin, but if 4,000+ are getting signals from all directions and they are all skipping rapidly from tower to tower, is it possible that all these signals coming from many directions could affect the plane's navigation? And what havoc could this cause to the cell network? I don't know much about the technology, just trying to think about the logic of how they work. I fly twice a week, and listening to people talking on their phone while still at the gate is more than enough for me. Somehow we all managed to survive before cell phones were here. We can make it a few hours without them.
des quinn 0
Why did CEBUPACIFIC loose plane in Plilippines about 10 yrs ago ?? people were chatting untill sudden CRASH into hill KILLING ALL ON BOARD look it up DC9 / MD80 whatever
Roger Romaker 0
I had interference while on an ils approach several years ago. I'm pretty sure it was caused by a person using a cel phone. So we were going roughly 150 kts and the airplane dove at the ground within a few hundred feet of crashing. So let me ask you was the phone call worth it? I say no!!!
UH, you can text already over wi-fi so who needs it, case closed
Mike Williams 0
I say let them use phones. By the time you are 3-5000 feet off the ground, there is only a weak signal. Above 10 there is usually NO cell signal. What people do not realize is that when there is a weak (or no) signal, the phone works harder to maintain it and the battery drains faster.

At least within a few minutes of takeoff, the problem takes care of itself.

On a side note, airlines could do what cruise ships do... add a micro cell and charge a premium to use it. But my opinion is they shouldn't. With all the background noise, people would be yelling.
AWAAlum -3
Seems like a lot of ado about nothing. People are getting pretty worked up over something that hasn't even happened yet. There's enough to be steamed about without worrying about the "what if" scenarios.
Jason Rhew -4
We have the text and talk feature on all of our airplanes. It's great!!i can use my cell just like on the ground.

As for on an airline, what's the difference of the pax are talking on a phone or to each?

And I for one hardly use the phone anymore. Text is my preferred form of communication
Ben Thurston 2

The difference is that people talk much louder on cell phones than they do in one-on-one conversation. This is easy to confirm in any public situation. In a restaurant, you may not be able to hear the people at the next table conversing, but you can hear a guy 10 tables away yelling into his phone.

The main reason for this is the lack of a sidetone on most cell phones. Home and office phones feed back a portion of your voice signal to the earpiece, which allows you to modulate the level of your voice. Most cell phones are lacking this feature, so people talking on cell phones don't have this feedback to allow them to modulate their voice level. It's a little like why you yell if you're wearing headphones--you can't hear your own voice, so you have no way to modulate its level.


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