But I fear it’s inevitable. Eventually.
A flight attendant’s association recently registered its members’ strong disapproval of phone use aloft, and so have some pilots. Frankly, I’m not sure who wants the rules to be changed. But last week the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, said it would consider changing its rules and allow the use of personal phones on airplanes.
And overseas, Emirates Airlines and others have allowed passengers to make and receive calls on personal phones for months now, which may goad competitors into following suit. In short, a trend is developing.
This will someday mean the end of one of the last places you can drop out of touch and note feel guilty about it. Well, sort of, since emails can still get to you if you fire up your PDA or computer. And the level of chatter will increase on planes.
This won’t happen overnight. The FCC takes up the issue in the middle of this month followed by a period for public comment and drafting of rules.
(14 Dec 13 UPDATE: This week the Federal Aviation Administration said despite FCC approval of the use of phones, it isn’t inclined to permit their usage at this time because of resistance by passengers and airline employees.)