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FCC To Consider Allowing Phone Calls On Flights

Jim Melwert Jim Melwert
Jim is a "morning drive" reporter for KYW Newsradio 1060, bringing...
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By Jim Melwert and Ileana Diaz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The new head of the FCC says he supports lifting the ban on talking on cell phones while on a plane (see related story). Travelers at Philadelphia International Airport have mixed opinions of the idea.

FCC’s chairman Tom Wheeler says the ban on talking on cell phones is out of date, so at their Dec. 12 meeting, the commission will discuss allowing air travelers to make phone calls once the plane reaches 10,000 feet.

Jenny Haldeman and Brian Grimson were flying together to Chicago. She likes the idea, him—not so much.

Grimson: “I think it would be very annoying, I don’t want to hear other people talking on a plane.”

Haldeman: “Sometimes you need to get a hold of somebody. It’s nice to give somebody a call, it might be an emergency or something. I think it’s a great idea.”

Grimson: “Then send a text.”

Other travelers are mixed on the idea.

“There’s no reason not to. People use their phones everywhere else, if you get a signal why not?”

“I wouldn’t be a fan of it, just listening to everyone talking.”

This traveler thinks there should be a sense of decorum: “I guess that’s true, people would have to show a little common courtesy to your fellow travelers, but a quick phone call to people to tell them where you’re going, where you’re at might not be a bad idea.”

If approved, the new guidelines would allow airlines to install special equipment to relay wireless signals from the plane to the ground, then it would be up to airlines whether they want to install it.

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