In very polarizing news, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) is reported to be leaning towards giving the thumbs up to in-flight phone calls. If you thought your little cramped seat inside a metal tube with wings was annoying enough already, just wait for your neighbor to start screaming on their cellphone in an attempt to talk over a jet engine.
Now, there are major caveats should aviation regulators green light in-flight phone calls.
First, the airlines have to allow customers to take advantage of it. Should an airline not wish to offer the service, you know, because that’s the decent thing to do, they simply don’t have to. On top of that, passengers will need to be made aware whether a flight offers in-flight calling when tickets are being purchased. This move will allow anyone who can’t stand people talking on the phone a chance to skip that crap altogether.
The USDOT’s change of heart regarding in-flight calls stems from the major improvements in-flight WiFi has seen. On what seems like all domestic flights in the US, once you reach 10,000ft, you are free to drop your pants and allow Gogo to stiff you in exchange for 30 minutes of internet access. Thanks to this awesome WiFi experience, which really isn’t all that great, folks would be able to use WiFi-based calling methods, such as Hangouts or others probably yet to be determined.
Don’t get me the wrong, I also see the benefits of in-flight calls. If there is an emergency, by all means make that call, but if you are just going to sit there and yap about how your ex doesn’t love and respect you, save it for when your feet are on the ground.
At this time, we could still have a ways before anyone is making calls at 35,000ft (this is the federal government we’re talking about after all, so everything takes forever), but it’s good to prepare for these sorts of things. If you have a few million dollars stashed away, maybe think about buying a private airplane?