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Air passengers rail against allowing mobile-phone calls on planes

ONE by one, airline passengers’ privileges have been taken away: free checked bags, free carry-ons, complimentary food and drink, on-board entertainment. Now, with the advent of “basic economy” class, some flyers are even losing the ability to choose their seats, sit with family members and accrue qualifying miles toward elite status. So it is rather interesting that when passengers are offered the chance of a new privilege, their response seems to be an overwhelmingly “no thank-you”.

The issue at hand is the use of cell phones on planes. The U.S. Transportation Department recently sought public comment on whether it should continue to ban calls from mobiles in the air. More than 8,000 people weighed in before the deadline in February. And in an era when it’s hard to achieve public consensus on just about anything, this issue seems to unite people to an uncommon degree.

Of the last 100 public comments submitted, for example, just one was in favour of calls on planes—and only if airlines agreed to strict regulations and imposed “no-call periods” during takeoff, landing…Continue reading

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