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.