back to article Kiss goodbye to quiet skies: Now FCC ready to OK in-flight cellphone use

The US Federal Communications Commission has indicated that it plans to relax the rules about cellphone use in flights, meaning everyone's going to get an earful in the future. "Today, we circulated a proposal to expand consumer access and choice for in-flight mobile broadband," FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement on …


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  1. Haku






    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: HELLO!

      Exactly. This has just made buying a small yacht massively more attractive than flying.

      There seems to be some kind of syndrome or something related to mobile phones, people assume because they cannot hear the other person well (loud environment or just deaf) or perhaps simply because they cannot see them in front of them they need to shout into their phones. The idea of being crammed in box for 12 hours with several hundred Chuck and Marges screaming into their phones how they don't know how to use their phone and why isn't their a mcdonalds on board is just too much.

    2. TheRealRoland

      Re: HELLO!

      I think Maxwell Smart was on to something with the Cone of Silence...

  2. dan1980


    No. Please no. Please. Please no. I'm sorry God*, I've been lax; I've discounted you, I've laughed at your followers and lived my life as a skeptic. But this? I've not been the best person I could be and I should have given you praise for all my blessings but why this? You could have shown me a sign - a burning bush, a talking puppy, a fibonacci spiral in my porridge - I would have taken notice; I would have knelt at my bedside and read past Leviticus. But not this. Have I really been that bad? Is there really no hope for your creation?

    Why God, why?

    Icon because I promise I'll be good from now on - just spare me this.

    * - It might sound self-serving but I'll take any deity that can deliver us from this one. I'm not asking much - I don't need a heaven and I don't need an eternity, I just need to scrape whatever moments of peace I can in this coarse, earthly sphere.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    is Bose backordered on noise-cancellation headsets

    I'll be buying a set before I fly again.

  4. Denarius Silver badge


    @dan: agreed. never understood the panic of some turkeys at end of flight to flash up the mobe. The flight is the only time I can rest and relax on holidays. Agree with flight staff. Bad enough now getting people to watch safety demos. I suspect the first half survived crash after this comes into action will result in a withdrawal of the inflight phones. Clots yelling into phones screaming of "We are crashing in $RANDOM_PLACE, no wait maybe $OTHER, oh drat, missed something the hostie said.... Meanwhile the flightcrew trying to get pax into crash position, etc

  5. GrumpyOldMan

    Oh joy unspeakable!

    Rapturous joy! Fanstastic idea. Now can we just leave it at that - PLEASE!

    It's bad enough on a train, but at least they have a quiet coach on long runs. It's not like you can get off a plane or move away. I'm so looking forward to my regular 5 1/2 hour flights now.

    Yay! Way to go guys! Not!

    1. Graham Marsden

      @GrumpyOldMan - Re: Oh joy unspeakable!

      > at least they have a quiet coach on long runs

      And we all know that *nobody* ignores the signs saying "don't use mobiles" on those. And the Guard is *always* walking through the train, so if they find someone using a mobile they tell them to stop and move and....

  6. F111F

    I'll be opening...

    A cell-phone jammer shop in every airport under the guise of a "noise-canceling" headset...ka-ching!

    1. Richard 81

      Re: I'll be opening...

      An EM noise generator on a plane. What could possibly go wrong?

    2. JaitcH
      Thumb Down

      Re: I'll be opening...

      @ F111F:

      Cell handset jammers are already available - dressed up like a cell handset!

      All that is necessary is to jam the SIDs on the control channels and jobs done - and the jammed displays a "no service" message.

  7. Velv Silver badge

    Finally I've found a reason to fly Ryanair.

    "No Sir, sorry, you're not allowed to use your mobile phone unless you pay us this exorbitant fee first".

    1. Micky 1

      And you really think that the roaming fees wont be horrendously high anyway?

      In fact the roaming fees will be equal the same cost as using the phone in the back of the seat that's been there for years. So I can't really see there being much of a difference to how things are now.

      Ken and Rita on their way to their £500 All Inclusive Marbella hotel for a week are not going to be willing to pay £2.50 a minute and probably wont want to pay £1 per text either, and at £9 per meg of data you wont even get many people using facebook. (Prices taken from Virgin mobiles rates on Virgin flights, other carriers are available)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "and you know there's a lot of people eager to make that "I'm on the plane!" call."

    Why have the authorities decided to ignore the objections of the majority who DO NOT want to be bothered by plebs rattling on on a cell phone?

    Societies values are not worth a dime these days, the bottom of the barrel has been scratched away already.

  9. Nameless Faceless Computer User

    My suggestion is to allow cell phone use only in first class.

  10. wolfmeister

    the amount of punch ups on costa del sol flights will be astronomical!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A pox on your house

    Tom Wheeler - may you be cursed to always sit next to a chatty 20-something girl or a salesman who can't tolerate not being on their cell phone all the time. May you be forced to listen to stories about cute shoes and sales forecasts every time you fly. May you never find a moment of peace or concentration for the rest of your life. A pox on your house.

  12. Gravesender

    It seems to me that the FAA, not the FCC, would have the last word here

  13. phil dude

    this article is wrong.....

    Guys calm down!

    I flew to Denver a few days back on a United flight and the flight attendant gave the following annoucement.

    "Due to a change in FAA regulations if your phone or electronic device has a method of disabling the wireless capability, often called a flight mode, you must enable it now and disable all wireless activity otherwise turn the device completely off.".

    So, no phone calls unless cabin door is open has not changed.

    Being able to read your kindle or phablet before in the air , yes.

    Loads of people taking photos on take off and landing, yes.

    There was something about devices must be stowed if not in hand and not in the seat back pocket, but other than that just the transmitting mode.


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