Two U.S. Senators warn that allowing in-flight calls will cause hostility among cramped passengers.
“We are concerned that the addition of this entirely avoidable aggravation of a confined space will create a possibly hostile atmosphere on commercial flights,” Senators Diane Feinstein and Lamar Alexander wrote to Transportation Secretary Anthony Fox.
The FCC caused a national uproar last November, after deciding to explore the possibility of lifting the ban. A slim majority of Americans (54%) support airlines privately banning calls. “We strongly support the agency’s efforts to preserve the last vestige of quiet in our busy skies,” the duo who introduced the Commercial Flight Courtesy Act last December argued.
The two predict that unnerved passengers forced to listen to their neighbors’ workplace squabbles will eventually turn on each other; flight crews will have to spend their time arbitrating “senseless disputes”. Adding the burden of listening to a cacophony of personal conversations while confined to a 17-inch seat strikes us as unnecessary.”
However, ultimately, the government may not need to step in. A number of airlines are already ahead of the Senators, including Delta and JetBlue, which promise to uphold the ban on their own airlines.