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In-flight Cell Ban Advances In Congress

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the myopia-has-a-new-name dept.

Cellphones 404

narramissic writes "The awkwardly named Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace (HANG UP) Act was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on a voice vote Thursday. The bill would make permanent the long-standing ban on in-flight cell phone calls by the FAA and FCC. 'Polls show the public overwhelmingly doesn't want to be subjected to people talking on their cell phones on increasingly over-packed airplanes. However, with Internet access just around the corner on U.S. flights, it won't be long before the ban on voice communications on in-flight planes is lifted,' said Representative Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon who co-sponsored the HANG UP Act in a statement. 'Cash-strapped airlines could end up charging some passengers to use their phones while charging others to sit in a phone-free section of the plane,' he said."

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404 comments

or perhaps (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430423)

They could just let individual air lines react to market forces.

Re:or perhaps (4, Insightful)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430515)

Then individual airlines could have clauses in their ticketing agreements like "Access for Suitably Surveyed Customers to Lousy Overcharged Wireless Networks.

Seriously, what's the obsession with rediculous names for laws? PATRIOT, PRO-IP, CAN SPAM to name a few. If this law was called, for example, "On board communications act, 2008," I'd have a lot more time to listen to it.

Re:or perhaps (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430629)

How do you think your voting record would look to the electorate if you voted against the "Protect Our Children from Internet Paedophiles and Terrorists" act? Even if that act was two hundred pages of paying for bridges in Alaska and allowing torture of US civilians without a warrant?

Re:or perhaps (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430703)

Seriously, what's the obsession with rediculous names for laws?

I was thinking about this recently after another story roused me into digging up the NET (No Electronic Theft) Act.

Turns out that while the contents of the bill end up integrated into the USC [wikipedia.org] the title of the bill does not. So, at a minimum, congress can apparently use any stupid ass name they want without risking it becoming part of the official law. (That doesn't stop it from being documented in historical records of congress in the archives though, but only historians care about that.)

Re:or perhaps (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430711)

Have you tought that the Hill does not want you to "listen to it"? They want you to shut up and let they pass anything their heart desires and then you have to obey it.

re:or perhaps (5, Informative)

dnwq (910646) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430655)

They thought of that -

"The free market wasnâ(TM)t adequate to regulate smoking on planes and it wonâ(TM)t be sufficient to regulate cell phones either," DeFazio said. "I am pleased that we are taking steps to stop this disruption before it becomes an issue for American consumers."

Re:or perhaps (4, Insightful)

sapphire wyvern (1153271) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430875)

What.

They really think that use of cellphones is on the same level as stopping a known carcinogen from cycling through the air of every one on board?

Good grief.

Both are hazardous to your health (2, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431133)

One (smoking) is hazardous to the health of everyone on the plan, while the other (cellphone use) is mostly hazardous to the asshat who is yelling into his phone about his golf game yesterday. I say it's hazardous to his health because if I am sitting next to him I am going to shove his phone into whichever of his bodily orifices I can fit it into nice and snugly.

Re:or perhaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431293)

Or preventing children's shrieks from piercing the ears of everyone on board?

Good grief.

Re:or perhaps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431189)

This article makes an excellent case for the addition of a 'retarded' tag

Internet access just around the corner? (1)

ah81 (885126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430431)

Lufthansa already did onboard wifi on flights to America, for only $20 a trip too. They stopped offering it because there was no demand!

Re:Internet access just around the corner? (1)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430443)

After flying on Lufthansa i can safely say that the american airline companies can learn a lesson or two from them.

Re:Internet access just around the corner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431143)

> After flying on Lufthansa i can safely say that the american
> airline companies can learn a lesson or two from them.

I agree, and Lufthansa is one of the worst of the European airlines. I simply do not fly on a US carrier anymore if I do not have to.

Re:Internet access just around the corner? (2, Interesting)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430995)

IIRC, there was plenty of demand on the planes that had them, but not enough overall demand from airlines for the Connexion by Boeing system it ran on. It was an excellent system, and I saw many people with their laptops out browsing webpages on the Connexion flights I found myself on.

Re:Internet access just around the corner? (2, Insightful)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431273)

Only $20 per trip? Even if the cost to the airline justified the price, I think I'd probably just manage without World of Warcraft for the duration than pay $20 when the hotel at my destination will probably give it to me for free, or at least a lower price.

Good! (4, Insightful)

Fungus King (860489) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430455)

Why do people need to use their phones in-flight anyway? I can understand the need for communication for people travelling on business to keep in touch with their office, but what's wrong with e-mail? A large number of people find flying an uncomfortable/annoying/stressful etc experience as it is without having to hear people talk over everyone else so someone elsewhere can hear them. I know the modern world is fast-paced, but honestly, it can wait, can't it?!

Re:Good! (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430497)

Did you ever try explaining to your boss how to use email on a foreign network?

Re:Good! (2, Funny)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430853)

Did you ever try explaining to your boss how to use email on a foreign network?

+1 Insightful, been there, got the tee-shirt, and chewed through it in frustration

Re:Good! (5, Insightful)

bwalling (195998) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430643)

While a majority may wish to have no cell phones on airplanes, it is no business of the government to pass a law regarding such a thing. If there were safety concerns, they could enter a say in the matter, but they have no business passing laws over a perceived desire for less chatter. This would get slammed in a court, so why should they even bother wasting our time and tax dollars?

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430831)

While a majority may wish to have no cell phones on airplanes...

The majority is ruling, and complaining, about a minority that is making itself so obnoxious as to border on rude. If these cell phone talkers had any sense of respect of others and would turn off their digital leash for the flight, we wouldn't have this problem. But, noooo, we get hear all about Aunt Edna's colonoscopy and your cousin Fred's erectile dysfunction problem.

Re:Good! (5, Insightful)

Fungus King (860489) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430839)

Personally I think it's the business of the government to protect the interests of the majority... maybe... I'll have to think about that a bit more.

Anyway. I'm English and there might be a different majority opinion in this country compared to the US (where I'd expect a more 'it's our right to use our phones on the plane'-type stance)... my personal opinion is that using a phone in a situation where you have to raise your voice significantly to be heard above the ambient noise - and subsequently by everyone else - is pretty rude - which is why I wouldn't inflict my conversation on anyone else (unless it's absolutely necessary, but it's hard to conceive of a situation where that might be the case).

Perhaps it's a bit like the smoking ban in this country - most people don't want to breathe the smoke of others, the majority are happy about the ban, but there's a loud collection of unhappy smokers (obviously). To be honest they can moan all they want, it's not like the government's confiscated their cigarettes!

Re:Good! (4, Insightful)

jeremyp (130771) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431463)

I'm English too, but I disagree with you.

The government has no business legislating against rudeness. Talking loudly on a mobile phone is obnoxious and rude, but so is talking loudly. Are you going to make that illegal? What about listening to MP3 players? Or queue jumping? Or picking your nose? Or farting?

Smoking in an enclosed space is obnoxious and rude, but it is also harmful. That's why it is banned in the workplace in the UK.

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

jcrousedotcom (999175) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431049)

You hit the nail on the head - but they have proven many times [washingtonpost.com] that they really don't care about what is really important. They are too worried that someone might be using steroids to hit one more home run.

I am not really sure how things like this cell phone ban, steroid use or a hundred other things I could talk about that they focus on become agenda - it appears to me that the gov't is trying to accomplish two things:

1. Power. The power that congress has has been a little unchecked and is abused for both professional and personal gain tons of time. "Absolute power corrupts absolutely."

2. Justification. They need to justify why they are there. It is kind of like when the Hollywood types talk about things they have little or no knowledge of. They are trying to justify their position or title.

I don't know what the fix is for the government thing. Unfortunately it is few and far in between folks that actually care. Look at the voting rates. I truly think that we could eliminate a good portion of our deficit spending just by not wasting tax dollars on things like this Cell phone ban.

Just my two cents. Thanks for letting me use my soapbox. :)

Re:Good! (2, Insightful)

LukeWebber (117950) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430717)

Perhaps because there's not a lot else to do. Seriously, you're stuck in a cramped airline seat. Why not catch up on your calls? As long as you're not swearing and/or speaking over-loudly, what's the big deal?

I know how this sort of movement takes root. You hear some loud wanker mouthing off all through a two-hour flight and you think "those things should be banned". You forget about the times you've taken a call from your daughter, quietly cleared up a little problem and rung off. Mobile phones are a part of life, and there are always tossers who will piss you off in the way they use them, but that's just business as usual. deal with it and move on.

Re:Good! (2, Informative)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430719)

I totally agree with you - I hate overuse of mobile phones (ok, I'm British) in public places.

However, I own a mobile phone, and at times I've been known to use it. In a public place. Maybe even on a bus or train. And I might even start by saying "I'm on the train..." And this may be more convenient than other methods - it's the only way I have of communicating from, eg, an airport or a bus-stop, it's instant, it's voice communication, it's reasonably cheap, it takes no setup, etc etc.

Making them illegal in any situation is not a sensible reaction. The law smacks of the "Get off my lawn" attitude of people who hate everything the "youth" do "nowadays," and react to new technology by banning it, instead of rational law-making for the good of society.

A much better solution exists on most long-distance trains in the UK now, where there are 'silent' carriages. When travelling with friends, I'd never go in them, as I'm probably one of the people they target. But when I'm alone, I love the ability to travel quietly.

Re:Good! (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430763)

What if you support the email server and it's down? There must be thousands of small firms that employ a single geek. Or those with no IT staff at all, where one member of staff with other responsibilities gets their hands dirty.

Re:Good! (1)

Mateo13 (1250522) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431009)

I find it stressful to walk around in a city I'm not familiar with. Maybe they'll pass a law for me that says no one can talk on a cell phone on the side walk next. What biz it is of the governments to tell me where I can and can't use my cellphone?

We need these laws why? (2, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430459)

If people really don't want to be bothered by cellphones then the airlines could just ban people from using them on the plane and use this as a selling point.
Why does the government have to poke at this one?

Re:We need these laws why? (3, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430659)

Because too many people don't think they can survive without their cell phone. One friend I invited over for some LAN gaming, his cell phone kept ringing while we played. Next time we played, I insisted he turn it off. "What happens if there's an emergency? What if my brother's been in a car accident?" "I don't know, are you a surgeon and do you have a chopper standing by in my back yard? Shut it off."

He still snuck it back on a little bit later and got TWO more calls during the game. (didn't answer them, but stopped playing a few sec each time to look at the caller ID) Some people need to learn to live without a cell phone occasionally. For a few though I think it borders on addiction, "I can quit anytime, just not right now."

Re:We need these laws why? (4, Insightful)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430709)

And I agree with everything you just said. Except the implied notion that this somehow requires a law.

Re:We need these laws why? (1)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430733)

I always have my phone on me in case there's an emergency or whatnot, but I usually don't receive any calls and if I'm doing something I'll let it ring ... then I can see there's an emergency if they call ten times in a row and finally decide to answer it. But still, I need it on and within reach all the time, just in case.

Re:We need these laws why? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430899)

I too like to keep my mobile on, on silent.
If I'm somewhere where a call shouldn't be recieved then anyone who needs to contact me will know me well enough to text.

Re:We need these laws why? (2)

gk4 (547670) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430767)

I agree that we don't need a nanny government to prohibit us from talking on a mobile phone during flight; however, I believe it is poor etiquette to use a phone on any public transportation. Instead they can text, email, or instant message without bothering anyone else. :-) In short, let the airline / market control it.

The Children (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430463)

Think of the children!

No seriously, think about shutting up the fucking children. At least people on phones don't squeal for no reason. Normally.

Re:The Children (5, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430503)

No seriously, think about shutting up the fucking children. At least people on phones don't squeal for no reason.

I never travel without ear plugs and a black-out mask. Or is that the alcohol... But seriously, kids travel. Plan ahead for your sanity.

Re:The Children (1)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431405)

Noise canceling headphones and an MP3 player...oh, perhaps not, the DHS might confiscate that...

Heh...perhaps the booze isn't a bad idea after all... >:-)

Re:The Children (5, Funny)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430539)

I can get behind this 100%.
Nothing like a screaming infant with an apathetic mother on a 4 hour bus ride with a 5 year old running around trying to break things and being ignored.
Seriously, if you can't take care of them don't procreate.

By the end of it all I could think of was that poster with "Silence is golden.Duct tape is silver."

Said like someone... (2, Insightful)

hummassa (157160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430753)

that will probably never procreate. :-)

Let me draw this picture for you: kids are randomly noisy. There is absolutely nothing parents can do about kids' noise when they are up to it. Even a duck-tape-on-the-mouth kid makes a lot of noise. :-)

If you have some smart answer in the form of "if you do X, the kid will stay put", let me give you the news: it will not work. Kids only stay quiet... if they "want" to.

Re:Said like someone... (1, Flamebait)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430869)

Said like someone who has procreated and doesn't control their kids.

Regular beatings.
Sound triggered shock collars.
Wanna bet on how many shocks before they're quiet as mice?

On a less brutal note try some regular fucking discipline.
My sister somehow manages to raise 2 extremely well mannered children without ever raising a hand to them. I was surprised how much power "the naughty step" had over a pair of 3 year olds. In short she doesn't give in and let them be little brats like some parents do. If they're being a problem she doesn't stare vacantly into space and pretend that nothing's happening like many many shitty parents out there.

Yes I don't plan to ever procreate.

Re:Said like someone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431277)

Said like someone who has procreated and doesn't control their kids.

It's always the typical response of negligent parents to blame anyone but themselves. In his case, the "unruly, uncontrollable" child. And without discipline early in life, as teenagers, then said parent shifts the blame to society. Wash, rinse, repeat for next kid.

Re:Said like someone... (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430949)

Even a duck-tape-on-the-mouth kid makes a lot of noise.

Cover the nostrils too. Then the noise stops after a minute or so.

Re:Said like someone... (4, Funny)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431247)

Your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter

Re:The Children (2, Insightful)

deraj123 (1225722) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430721)

Troll?? If the issue is people on planes being annoyed because of other people making noise, then children are right at the top of this list.

why are we banning cells? (2, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430465)

we've tried to ban them in courtrooms and civic buildings as well as on public buses. I keep wondering why someone talking on a cell-phone bothers us so much?
is it because we cant see the person on the other end?
if two people next to me were talking about business on a flight, i would ignore it. why is a cellphone any different?

Re:why are we banning cells? (4, Insightful)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430487)

Because for some reason, when two people are talking right next to one another, they tend to whisper or at least talk in low voice.

For some reason, give someone a cellphone and if they are not downright shouting their voice somehow still seems to carry at least a few rows. You can observe this every day in any bus/train. Even though the other end will definitely hear you even if you talk at low volume.

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430511)

It's more because celphones are often too quiet.
if I put it on speaker phone I talk normally, if I've got it on normal I talk like a retarded deaf man.
It's cause if you can't hear the other person clearly because of noise on their end etc then you tend to adjust your voice as you would if you were having trouble hearing someone next to you talking.

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430631)

No. It's because idiots think telephone lines are tubes through which you yell. Talk normally and turn up the speaker on the phone if necessary.

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430789)

I keep it on max volume (which for non speakerphone is way too low).
What do you do if the person on the other end says "I can't hear a word you're saying, stop whispering"
I know a few fuckers who I have to deal with on the phone who are almost inaudible at any volume, speakerphone or not since they believe the phone to be some kind of magical device which can hear their thoughts even if they're on a busy street or a construction site.

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431141)

This is because most cel phones don't have sidetone. Sidetone lets you hear yourself on the phone, and was originally invented in the early 1900s (!) just for the purpose of keeping folks from screaming.

The lack of sidetone on modern cel phones is unacceptable. This is 100 year old technology, damnit!

Re:why are we banning cells? (0, Redundant)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430541)

Instead of a legalized ban, why don't airlines make their own rules permitting cell phone use?

Re:why are we banning cells? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430673)

They have. And what is the punishment if you break that rule? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

If they make it a law, it will have teeth, and after a few people get prosecuted for it, people might actually get the hint.

Of course, this is like any other BS type law - I suspect no enforcement, and thus it will be ignored.

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430855)

What is this law then? Is it an all-out ban? Or does it make it illegal IF, and ONLY IF, the airline makes the ban in the first place?

Re:why are we banning cells? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430669)

Even though the other end will definitely hear you even if you talk at low volume.

But I have to speak up - it's long distance!

Re:why are we banning cells? (4, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430747)

Is it that people talk loudly on cellphones and therefore you notice, or is that that some people talk loudly on cellphones, but people who talk quietly on cellphones don't attract attention, so the only people on cellphones you notice are those that speak loudly?

I don't buy the "Cellphones make people rude and loud" claim. I don't get complaints, rude stares, or any other signs my use of my cellphone is causing annoyance but I see others subjected to that treatment when they really are loud and annoying. I have to assume that I, like probably 95% of the population, am simply invisible, because I don't speak loudly into my phone, I keep my conversations in public short, and my cellphone uses vibration to notify me of calls rather than a loud, annoying, ring.

Re:why are we banning cells? (3, Funny)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430491)

Perhaps there is not in fact anybody on the other end and the person with the phone is just a mental patient who is holding the phone to his head to make it less obvious that it's the voices he's shouting at.
And you wouldn't want an escaped mental patient walking around now would you!
I mean think of the CHILDREN! They might get killed and eaten by insane people!

good thing they're bringing in this law.

Reminds me of a story (5, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430627)

the person with the phone is just a mental patient

When I took Psych 1001, our lecturer told us a story of a patient in NYC with a history of talking to the voices in his/her head. Patient (not of said lecturer) went to therapist for help with said voices. Patient was otherwise "normal", had traditional job, paid bills, lived independently, etc... But of course had a hard time fitting in while talking to voices.

Therapist suggested patient buy a used cell phone, and talk into phone (without turning it on or calling anyone) whenever the need arose to talk to the voices. It worked well, since of course society generally considers it normal to talk into cell phones.

Except the patient was also using it on the subway, where signals are apparently very hard to get. Other passengers asked the patient what service he/she was using that had usable signal down there.

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430555)

Maybe its because, for the most part, if both parties are in a public place they tend not to talk about shit that shouldn't be aired in public. I mean I really don't want to be stuck in a plane listening to you chat with your doctor and friends about that STD you just caught(I have actually heard conversations to this affect).

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430785)

Actually, people that talk about their STDs in the phone are prone to talk about that in loud voice when having a public conversation, also [citation needed]. Cell phone ban will do no good.

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

Slashidiot (1179447) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430885)

Yes, with this law, it will be perfectly legal to hold a brick to your ear and talk loudly to it. If what bothers people is noise, ban noise. Don't just arbitrarily ban one of the causes of the noise.

I swear honest to god, that if this gets through, I'm going to take a fake mobile phone and talk to it, with some musical parts, all the way from NY to LA.

Re:why are we banning cells? (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430961)

we've tried to ban them in courtrooms and civic buildings as well as on public buses. I keep wondering why someone talking on a cell-phone bothers us so much?

Its nothing to do with the cell phone. Many people simply enjoy the sound of their own voice so much that, as soon as they get into a conversation they lose all awareness of their surroundings, including any regard for people trying to (a) serve them or tell them something important (b) get some coffee from the jug they've been standing in front of holding an empty cup and nattering for 10 minutes, (c) walk through the narrow doorway that they've chosen for their debating chamber or (d) who just want to hear themselves think. If I ever tried to work as a waiter I'd probably last about 30 minutes before getting fired for asking a table full of valued clients if they could JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP FOR 30 SECONDS WHILE THEY ORDERED! (unless its that US restaurant chain who's USP is being rude to customers).

Now, when people do this face-to-face this is all part of the rich tapestry of human nature and we all tolerate it as part of the normal rules of civilization. However, when people start doing it with Scary New Technology that changes the rules, and people who weren't even aware of the tolerance they exhibited towards flesh-and-blood ratchetjaw artists feel entitled to whinge.

Basically, then, this HANG-UP act is really the GETOFFMYLAWN act - but because it concerns Scary New Technology nobody questions whether lawmakers should be wasting their valuable time addressing the petty peeves of Grumpy Old Persons.

Banning them in courtrooms is slightly more understandable but pointless since judges and magistrates (I presume) already have the power to sling out anybody who disrupts proceedings,

In the UK, some train companies purport to have "quiet" carriages with no phones allowed. That would be fine if there was choice involved, i.e. the trains weren't routinely so overcrowded that you grab the first seat you can find and are thankful. It would also be more understandable if they turned off the fricking tannoy in the "quiet" carriages or (as happens in more train-oriented countries in Europe) restricted themselves to announcing the name of the next station without turning it into a 2 minute monologue (no, really, I was planning to leave my belongings on the train and then fall down the gap between the train and the platform...)

Charge me to sit in the no-phone section? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430469)

No thanks. I already get that for free. And if that ever changes, I'll just not fly with that airline, or not fly period. I don't mind driving cross-country to go on a vacation. And in the unlikely event that I do find myself stuck on a plane next to some jackass that can't remove their phone from their ear for 3 fucking hours, I'll just ask them to please be considerate of the people around them, or put on my headphones, or just start watching a movie on my laptop at maximum volume.

Satphone (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430471)

You could always bring a satellite phone with you, apparently Iridium phones work well on planes. and since its not a common "cell phone" its unlikely to be covered by the ban.

beside calling on it is so expensive you won't stay on it long enough to annoy anyone.

Yea, explain that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430695)

You could always bring a satellite phone with you, apparently Iridium phones work well on planes. and since its not a common "cell phone" its unlikely to be covered by the ban.

beside calling on it is so expensive you won't stay on it long enough to annoy anyone.

Try explaining that to the stewardess. [popfi.com]

Acronym bills -- Does it serve a purpose? (2, Funny)

Erik Soderstrom (727264) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430479)

US politics is full of hackers. GNU's Not Unix. WINE Is Not an Emulator ... then all these bills like HANG UP, PATRIOT Act and so on. It seems they are named that way so that congress doesn't need to read them. "What? Of course I'm a patriot! Lets vote for it!". Not that I disagree with the contents of "HANG UP"...

Sure go ahead (3, Insightful)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430495)

Cash-strapped airlines could end up charging some passengers to use their phones while charging others to sit in a phone-free section of the plane

Thereby enabling smarter airlines such as Southwest to take an ever greater market share by not doing stupid things like that.

A phone-free section of the plane? (4, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430517)

I'm not sure how that would be possible, or make a difference. Considering the tight confines of an airplane (for most US trips), if you have more than 3 people talking on phones at a time they'll likely be shouting soon to hear themselves over the other conversations. At which point everyone who isn't part of those conversations can no longer hear anything but those conversations.

It should be obvious why passengers prefer other people not use cell phones in flight. There is no way to escape other peoples' calls when you have dozens to hundreds of people stuffed into a flying sardine can.

Re:A phone-free section of the plane? (1)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430795)

You're right!

While you're at it, the last time I visited the US I was mildly frustrated at having to wait for a taxi, I was a bit annoyed that the local Starbucks served their coffee slightly on the cool side and I wasn't too amused by some people not holding the door open for me when I was only a few feet behind them.

Cor blimey, there's some laws needed there! Let's call them FAST TAXIS, HOT COFFEE and OPEN DOORS! Then the world will stand up and listen!!

Re:A phone-free section of the plane? (1)

Kibblet (754565) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430811)

They used to have smoking and non smoking sections in a plane -- this would work much better.

Re:A phone-free section of the plane? (1)

TheJasper (1031512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430837)

In the netherlands the intercity trains have a quiet section. In theory there is no talking or audio devices w/o headset (and not turned up so loud that you can still here it). It doesn't always work but it is nice...

It could work better on planes where stewardesses are more likely to enforce it.

Considering the tight confines of an airplane (for most US trips), if you have more than 3 people talking on phones at a time they'll likely be shouting soon to hear themselves over the other conversations.

there is no need to shout. Yes, people talk to loud on phones. I notice it about myself. It's something to work on. People talk on planes all the time without shouting however. Also, there is quite a bit of white noise from the engines, wings...This shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Re:A phone-free section of the plane? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431003)

In the netherlands the intercity trains have a quiet section.

I've never been to the Netherlands, I would be interested to know how those sections work. Is there a door between the talking and quiet sections (perhaps separate cars)? A lot of US planes have only a single non-partitioned cabin. It would be hard to contain the volume of others' conversations without some sort of physical barricade.

Yes, people talk to loud on phones.

Feel free to try to train people to talk at normal volumes on cell phones. Let me know how that goes.

Re:A phone-free section of the plane? (1)

ncc05 (913126) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431187)

On the Acela ("high" speed train that runs up and down the Northeast Corridor), they have a quiet car. I was traveling back from Philly and just after New York some guy enters the car blathering on his cell. Approximately 2 seconds later he was forced into a different car (there are doors between cars). So we have this in the US as well.

Re:A phone-free section of the plane? (1)

TheJasper (1031512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431411)

I've never been to the Netherlands, I would be interested to know how those sections work. Is there a door between the talking and quiet sections (perhaps separate cars)? A lot of US planes have only a single non-partitioned cabin. It would be hard to contain the volume of others' conversations without some sort of physical barricade.

Its separate cars or at least partitioned and social pressure mostly. On planes the main annoyance would be if you were on the border area. A curtain also does quite well in noise reduction.

Yes, people talk to loud on phones.

Feel free to try to train people to talk at normal volumes on cell phones. Let me know how that goes.

I'm training myself and hope to lead by example. I for one welcome our quiet-while-talking-on-the-cell-phone overlords...especially since I plan on being one of them ;)

Re:A phone-free section of the plane? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430859)

The interference to the aircraft's systems is the issue, cellphone are radio transceivers.
I know we think it's so they can sell their services, and maybe some of that is true
but No ..A cellphone can indeed potentially interfere and get into the aircraft electronics or control / navigation systems Period
, and each individual aircraft and cellphone can potentially allow or cause this interference .
I need not say that this interference it can be deadly

Re:A phone-free section of the plane? (1)

cheroke (1309711) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430931)

Phone-free, internet-free, alcohol-free, smokers-free, noisy_children-free and other.. rooms will help us :) Seriously, the problem is in people's minds, their respect for others. There's always at least one person who doesn't care of anything and who will talk on his phone anyway.

Not a good use of law (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430525)

Seriously, this is not something that should ever be legislated about - its a decision to be taken by the individual airlines based on feedback from their customers, not something they should be bound to enforce. What next, body odour legislation?

Re:Not a good use of law (1)

soupforare (542403) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430963)

...its a decision to be taken by the individual airlines based on feedback from their customers, not something they should be bound to enforce.

Remember when no one cared about smoking bans? Yeah, that was just the tip of the iceburg.
It gets worse from here on out. Pretty soon you won't be able to grab some in-and-out before your flight, either. Ohshi~ [latimes.com]

Re:Not a good use of law (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431103)

And laws banning smoking are also something I am against - especially as you say people ignored the voluntary bans, showing that the people were against them...

VOIPs On A Plane (1)

acadermic (569963) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430527)

Are they going to ban VOIP calls too? What are we really banning here?

Unconstitutional (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430537)

Freedom of speech. Freedom of association. Fucking hell.

Re:Unconstitutional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430741)

Unconsitual my ass
Does your freedom of speech include harmimg passengers because yur FKNG cellphone which is a radio transmitter Interferes with the aircraft systems !
Why can the aircraft use their pay cellphone system and you cant use yours ?
Because theirs been tested with that aircraft and known not to interfere with its systems, , Each cellphone carried on by a passenger is a new potential problem. disaster that's why !

Re:Unconstitutional (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431041)

The real danger is iPods. Hard drives are basically just spinning magnets.

Private pilot (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430615)

I was a private pilot and an still Amateur radio operator, I used radio transceivers in my airplane Don't fly anymore too expensive
A cellphone is a UHF/microwave radio transceiver ,
The Cellphone makes my VOR VHF .ominrange navigational system spin like a Top so I know that cellphone radio frequencies can interfere with aircraft navigation
Also ,I learned that my cellphone is Never off ! It was turned off and still interfering with the aircraft navigation . This time it caused my transponder to report the wrong altitude to air traffic control ,they replied Check your transponder it's reported wrong altitude , had me falsely at 45,000 feet while flying at 2500 Ft! ,I had to remove the battery,from e cellphone to turn it off and the aircraft transponder began working again
Not only should cellphone not be allowed on aircraft THe FAA needs to know that some/ many transmit even when off for various reasons , so the batteries should also be removed , Personally, I Would want them confiscated at the airport as Off in too manycses is not really Off . I see firsthand the harm they can do
the FAA needs to make an FCC rule /law OFF must mean OFF cant transmit
  , I know they do this for police wiretaps \ if they want a wiretap on a cellphone
the Cellphone company or police can command the microphone and or camera on even when the phone is off
Don't believe it Huh?
Your cellphone carrier can update all of your cellphones firmware whether on or off, if oyu think they cant turn on the microphone and listen as well, your living in dreamworld ,

Re:Private pilot (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430807)

Good luck removing the battery from an iPhone :-)

Antique navigation.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430817)

The Cellphone makes my VOR VHF .ominrange navigational system spin like a Top ....

Airlines and modern planes use GPS or inertial navigation in some cases.

I'm a pilot too, but the radio navigation in your typical 50s, 60s, 70s, and even later era rentals is stone knives and bearskins compared to what the airlines are using.

A cell has never interfered with my GPS. Now, the radios on the other hand, I would get horrible interference when my instructor once took a call - on the ground of course.

Re:Antique navigation.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431241)

My specialty in EMC
Electromagnetic compatibly, Newer electronics is even more susceptible to interference due their increased complexity and mass of wiring act as antennas
it is incorrect to assume that every aircraft electronics systems can resist radio/ RF interference to the same level .
Each aircraft is individual as is each transmitter /cellphone
  Radio transmitters do not exist that have no spurious outputs and potential unwanted radio receivers are every electronic system in the aircraft , All transmitters transmit on more than their design frequency,albeit lower power . yes modern aircraft have been tested at cellphone radio frequencies when designed, but not after modifications/ repairs changes So just because you didn't see your GPS fail What about the other electronics systems?
  Electronic engine control, servo systems ?to name a few , The wrong interfering frequency can potentially get into the aircraft electronic system , Cellphone are designed to Minimize spurious outputs but yet spurious RF outputs can never be removed ,and what frequency those output not only on the manufacturer , but the condition of the individual cellphone
Its not Just GPS it's all electronics in the plane ,
Regards

Re:Private pilot (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430845)

I think there's a mobile interfering with your text input too.

And why is the government involved again? (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430663)

Polls show the public overwhelmingly doesn't want to be subjected to people talking on their cell phones on increasingly over-packed airplanes.

It's not the government's job to protect people from mild annoyances. If it's really true that the public "overwhelmingly" dislikes this, then that's a market the airlines can capitalise on. The market should solve this, and if it doesn't, tough.

What next? The government monitoring the Internet and fining anybody who says LOL U WAT? 'Cause, you know, that irritates me, and apparently I have the right not to be irritated. Next up: passing the Freedom from Arm Rest Theft act.

Re:And why is the government involved again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24430935)

LOL U WAT?

I've got to say (2, Interesting)

SirShmoopie (1333857) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430699)

I've pretty much got to the point where apart from international flights I prefer to take the train.

Ok its slower, but its less crowded, much more comfortable, and the prices compare favourably.

Maybe I'm just getting old, but the days when I'm willing to be hassled at an airport and crammed in like sardines on an overpriced flight just to get somewhere faster are long since gone. I want a decent seat, a bar I can walk along to, hot food that I don't have to eat from a tiny tray on my lap, and leg room.

Actually, I say slower, but sometimes, given delays and cancellations on flights, the train has been faster.

wrong approach (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430725)

This is the wrong way of going about it. Outlawing cell phones may hurt SMS and email, but it won't outlaw IP telephony or boisterous conversations. Inconsiderate behavior can't be banned by banning a technology. If you don't want people to talk loudly in airplanes, then that's what you need to regulate.

I think air planes should have quiet sections, sections where no noisy phones, noisy babies, or conversations are permitted. If you make noise in the quiet section, it's no different than any other violation of air line rules.

Congress could mandate the existence of such quiet sections on large airplanes, just like they did for non-smoking sections.

No VoIP (3, Interesting)

Oh no, it's Dixie (1332795) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430757)

(1) IN GENERAL- An individual may not engage in voice communications using a mobile communications device in an aircraft during a flight in scheduled passenger interstate air transportation or scheduled passenger intrastate air transportation.

(2) VOICE COMMUNICATIONS USING A MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE-

`(A) INCLUSIONS- The term `voice communications using a mobile communications device' includes voice communications using--

`(i) a commercial mobile radio service or other wireless communications device;

`(ii) a broadband wireless device or other wireless device that transmits data packets using the Internet Protocol or comparable technical standard; or

`(iii) a device having voice override capability.

`(B) EXCLUSION- Such term does not include voice communications using a phone installed on an aircraft.

Looks like no VoIP, folks. However, the wording of this bill leads me to believe that airlines will soon push in-flight calling through the airplane phones.

Re:No VoIP (1)

hanshotfirst (851936) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430985)

(B) EXCLUSION- Such term does not include voice communications using a phone installed on an aircraft.

Nice loophole... just put on your bluetooth earpiece for the call and hold the airplane phone handset to your head for looks.

I smell a lobbyist... Sounds like this bill is really designed to protect the airlines' phone service, by keeping it the exclusive air-land communication medium in-flight?

Moviehouses anyone??? (1)

bangenge (514660) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430825)

Why can't we do this in theaters? Seriously???

pff (1)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430907)

1. halt airplane noise (as in "turn off engines")
2. stand airplane noise for a while (as in "everybody screams")
3. everyone tries to use cells to phone family so issue fines
4. profit

So screaming babies are okay.... (1)

voss (52565) | more than 5 years ago | (#24430951)

but me calling my loved ones isnt?

The proposed law proposed still allows talking on a phone installed on an aircraft.

You can be loud and obnoxious on the phone in the air all you want as long as your willing to pay $6 a minute!

Next time on Congressional Report... (1)

Kashell (896893) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431039)

Senator Batman says, "We can't let those evil cell phone talkers on these planes! Let's spend a few billion dollars to prevent it! (I can do this, because secretly I'm Bruce Wayne.) TO THE BATMOBILE!!

two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431071)

ear plugs

That the best you can do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431139)

An overwhelming number of people dislike getting bird poop on their arms and oh ... lots of other things. So how about this shiny new laws?

Prevent Excrement on The Arm (PETA)

New act needed (3, Funny)

YourExperiment (1081089) | more than 5 years ago | (#24431177)

I suggest we are in need of a Free Up Congress to Keep Yammering On but Ultimately Come to Understand their Naming's Terribly Stupid act.

Morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24431243)

Do they not have more pressing issues then cell phones on planes? Are they gonna blame Bush for this problem too? We elect these people to high office to solve complex and pressing problems and this is what we get? Amazing. I live in Oregon, Representative Peter DeFazio is a freaking self-serving nut job. Someone on his first-class flight back to D.C. must have disturbed his 5 martini ride.

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