The FCC may have taken the first steps toward lifting the ban on in-flight cell use, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be listening in on any of your neighbors private conversations anytime soon.
At least not on Delta.
The airline’s CEO Richard Anderson sent out a company-wide memo to all 80,000 Delta employees, saying that Delta will not be allowing cellular or VoIP calls on any Delta flights.
However, Anderson did say that “Delta will move quickly to enable customers to use text, email and other silent data transmission services gate to gate,” once the ban is officially lifted.
As it stands now, the FCC has voted in favor of opening up the discussion to the public, but at the end of the day the Department of Transportation will have final word. And even after the DOT signs off, individual airlines will have the right to enforce their own rules.
For Delta, that means no phone calls.
Here’s the memo in full:
Last week the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to seek public comment in consideration of lifting its ban on in-flight cell phone use. Delta will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications onboard Delta or Delta Connection flights.
Our customer research and direct feedback tell us that our frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin would be a disruption to the travel experience. In fact, a clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the ability to make voice calls onboard would detract from – not enhance – their experience. Delta employees, particularly our in-flight crews, have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls onboard.
Delta has moved quickly when technological and regulatory breakthroughs provide opportunities to make flying better for our customers. That is why we were the first to file our plan with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to allow customers to use portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet. Similarly, if the FCC lifts its ban on cellular use in flight, Delta will move quickly to enable customers to use text, email and other silent data transmission services gate to gate.
Even as technology advances and as regulations are changed, we will not only consider what we can do, but as importantly we will also consider what is right for our customers and our employees. This is yet another example of how we continue to have your back and how we also rely on your professionalism and experience to guide our actions and decisions.
Thanks for all you do every day for our customers, our colleagues and our business.