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March 5, 2014 at 6:30 AM

Speak up against cellphone calls on planes

Members of Congress do not, cannot, will not agree on anything, but the prospect of one proposed change has bound them together. The Federal Communications Commission is contemplating allowing cellphone calls on planes.

Cellphones on planes have the Department of Transportation and the FCC at odds. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Cellphones on planes have the Department of Transportation and the FCC at odds.
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Listen to the howling. Virtually no one likes the idea, including the federal Department of Transportation. Airline passengers are already shoe-horned into tight spaces, and seething about the cost of air fares, and the payment of fees for, well, everything.

Now those passengers must contemplate being squeezed next to some yammering idiot for hours and hours. Opposition among passengers who have flown four or more times in recent months pushes 80 percent. This is a truly horrible idea.

This is all about phone calls. Those loud, chatty confabs that would go on and on and on –endlessly. This is not about using tablets or smartphones or music players. The FAA lifted a ban last fall on using that electronic gear to send emails, text or surf the Internet during takeoffs and landings. Go for it.

Want a preview of what it would be like for even a fraction of a typical flight? Ride a crowded morning or evening commuter bus. The conversations – not fast calls home or to work  – often share too much information, are too loud and too long. The annoyed looks from those trying to read or doze cross genders and generations among riders miffed about audio violations of precious space.

Chatting on cellphone calls has not been allowed on planes for 23 years. No reason exists to change that.

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