It’s the battle of the government agencies as The Unites States Department of Transportation (DOT) said on Thursday that it will consider a ban on cellular phone calls on commercial flights if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) give the OK for airlines to install equipment to allow cellular service on flights.
According to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who spoke to Politico, the department will seek to determine whether in-flight calls are fair to consumers.
“We believe USDOT’s role, as part of our Aviation Consumer Protection Authority, is to determine if allowing these calls is fair to consumers. USDOT will now begin a process that will look at the possibility of banning these in-flight calls,” Foxx said in a statement emailed to POLITICO. “As part of that process, USDOT will give stakeholders and the public significant opportunity to comment.”
The Transportation Secretary’s statement came shortly before the FCC voted to approve a proposal to invite comment on the potential rule change. The FCC announced in November that it was considering allowing passenger voice calls and cellular data use on commercial flights.
The inter-department spat could lead to a situation where passengers are allowed to use their cell phones for in-flight web browsing and texting, but not voice calls.
So, who ya got? Are you OK with in-flight cellular phone calls by your fellow passengers, or is the cabin of a commercial flight the last bastion of sweet freedom from being forced to overhear insipid phone conversations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.