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back to article US Congress to vote on in-flight mobile ban

US lawmakers could ground moves to permit in-flight mobile phone calls. New laws to permanently silence mid-air yammering will go forward to a vote in the House of Representatives. The Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace Act (HANG UP Act) was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday. The …

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Silver badge

Lots of noise sources

On my last transoceanic trip (NZ to USA:12 hours or so), I had the joy of having 4 old biker geezers sitting behind me. Their conversation was about Harleys, road trips, drugs in the 60s, country music, past girlfriends etc. Being four of them, and probably hard of hearing, they needed raised voices for everyone to hear. They talked right through the night.

That was worse than any times I've had babies near me and worse than the time I had someone on the phone the whole trip.

Just focussing on cellphones, or babies, and ignoring other noise sources is pointless.

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@Andy Bright

So when you were a small child (~1 or 2 years of age) you weren't mentally developed enough to understand a plane ride hence screamed and cried.... but you could understand the intrinsic qualities of other cultures?

I blame the mums... it's the same mums that drag the poor kids shopping and then beat them around the head for not wanting to be there. Someone needs to educate them about online shopping.

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IN FLIGHT MOBILE PHONE CALLING

Oh man, what chaos. To hear your own voice in the din of callers you shall have to talk louder, and then the lady in the seat next to you talks louder, until everyone is shouting, and then the phones can be switched off as the shouting shall reach mother earth.

"PLEASE MAY I HAVE THAT BOTTLE OF SHIRAZ I ORDERED AN HOUR AGO!!! AND WHAT WAS THAT NOISE? OH, ONLY AN OXYGEN CYLINDER EXPLODING, NOT THE ENGINE?

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Unhappy

The last time I flew ...

I contracted Pleurisy and was laid up for nearly a month.

What I would like to see banned are diseased people who hack, cough and splutter all over you from somewhere behind. Children don't annoy me as much as having my entire Christmas and New Year plans (and then some) ruined and having to take a fortnight off work as well. I hate Christmas anyhow, and I hate it even more when obliged to breathe someone elses germ-riddled recycled farty air.

Also -- the intolerable overpowering stench of perfume and aftershave gone stale is quite nauseating. After an hour of this crying babies start to look quite sweet in comparison.

Mobile phones. No, I think they should not be allowed. But as has been pointed out previously, it isn't anything for governments to concern themselves with, its a matter for the free market to decide.

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Big Brother's at it again

Yes, phone calls on planes would be/are annoying. However, letting a government regulate when and where people can communicate is an infringment on our rights as US citizans. Next thing you know, they'll say it's annoying to hear cell phone conversations in any public place and ban them from everywhere except one's own home - at which point what's the point of having a portable phone in the first place?

If it is conversation that is a problem, then why not ban all noises on airplanes including the incredibly annoying voice of the pilot interrupting the movie five times to tell you that you may soon be experiencing some turbulence - after all isn't that what the ding and light up seat belt sign is supposed to do already?

If it's one-sided conversations they'd like to ban - then they must also ban any conversation where the spouse/sibling/<insert relative here>/co-worker is doing all the talking and wake anyone talking in their sleep and force all drunks to the back of the plane in a sound-proof area....you get the idea.

Additionally, other forms of public transportation allow cell phone, including grey hound busses. I've ridden on them myself before and the ride between stops was longer than many airline flights i've taken. Unless I wanted to take a 65 mph dive, I was stuck on the bus w/ passengers w/ cell phones (oh, the horror). So, why are they going to be banned for "annoyance" levels on something that is shorter in duration that other forms of transportation where passangers are already allowed to use cell phones?

If the US govt wants to ban cell phone usage on domestic flights - fine. However, on transcontinental flights it could be argued that the airspace/waterways are international untill they reach 12 miles from land (slighter bigger near Washington DC). Therefore, technically they have no legal right to regulate phone calls until this point.

Finally - and this is a biggie - there are already government-regulated phones on airplanes. I've even used one myself. Cost me $10 for a 2 minute call 5 years ago to tell my sister I'd be on the next flight. Additionally, my fiance - on his most recent flight - could've saved my mother a 2 hour journey and 40+ miles in fuel if he'd been able to phone her and let her know that the flight would be arriving late and he'd missed the last connecting flight for the night.

How many hours of drive time and fuel could be saved if other in-flight travelers could make similar calls without paying exorbitant fees for in-flight phone calls and/or having zero options on smaller (think domestic) flights w/o in-flight phone capabilities? It's not the government's place to regulate whether I can call my mom to tell her I'm ok and simply got stuck on the tarmac for over an hour while they decided which end of the plane goes first down the taxiway. After all, privacy laws mean the airline can't tell her even if it means avoiding a nervous breakdown.

Thanks big brother for making my life more difficult every single day.

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Boy, did these comment digress...

HI, please the stupid comments about babies should be deleted. I imagine those here complaining that babies should be banned from airflight, should consider that they were once babies themselves and probably were the biggest 'whiners' of all babies... In regards to the ban of phones on flights, leave it as it is, before you take off and after you land is fine. If you have an emergency, use the airplane cordless phone which are already approved by everyone. Can you imagine people trying to get sleep on a plane on red eye with everyone who could not sleep talking on a phone???

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Anonymous Coward

Don't take this seriously

As per the title, don't take this seriously but it occurs to me that pets have to travel in a box in the baggage hold so couldn't the same service be offered for babies / children? Some parents might actually be quite relieved at the idea. :-)

To anyone who wants to flame me for suggesting this, all I can say is "get a sense of humour"

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cellphones on flights?

Err, without a picocell, how exactly are you supposed to make a phone call on a plane anyway? No point legislating it until the technology to MAKE calls is in place, surely.

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