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September 29, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Cellphone chatter in the air? The No’s have it (big time)

Should cellphone chatter be added to the crowded Coach cabin on U.S. flights? No, readers say. ( photo by Marty Katz/The New York Times)

Should cellphone chatter be added to the crowded Coach cabin on U.S. flights? No, readers say. ( photo by Marty Katz/The New York Times)

Most seattletimes.com readers hate the idea of allowing cellphone conversations throughout airplane flights, according to the results of an unscientific (and somewhat cheeky) Northwest Traveler poll.

When European regulators announced last week that European air carriers could allow passengers to talk on their cellphones throughout flights, we polled readers on whether the U.S. should follow suit.

Of more than 550 responses by midday Monday, “No, no, a thousand times no” got 83 percent of the votes.

Polling second was the response, “Only if airlines provide water-blaster squirt guns to all passengers for retaliation against obnoxious phone users” (13.4 percent).

The response “Yes, you can’t hold back the tide, and uniform rules make sense” lagged behind with 3.6 percent.

Some commenters expressed doubt that cellphone technology will support conversations at airplane altitudes and speed, suggesting there won’t be a problem.

“Pretty hard to maintain a cell signal in a metal tube at 6 or 7 miles up in the air traveling at 500 mph. Most people don’t use their phones to actually talk to another human being, they tend to text instead,” said a reader with the pseudonym Quackman.

Another reader, who often travels by train, recounted a recent train trip during which “I had the privilege of hearing — for 45 minutes — all about the marital problems of (another passenger’s) oldest daughter followed by a step-by-step report on a recent wedding, including who was overweight, what the food was like, which bridesmaids looked slutty, what the groom’s mother wore, etc.  At least when I am on the train I can get up and walk around a bit.  Being a prisoner in an airplane seat” during such a cellphone call “may drive me completely nuts.”

Wrote a reader going by the tag 1908Red, “It’s bad enough to be wedged in for 10 hours with all its horrors. Silence can be golden.”

 

 

 

Comments | Topics: airline regulations, cellphone regulation, cellphones on planes

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