Transport Airlines

Flyers Consider Phone Booths on Planes As a Smartphone Solution

Dec 24, 2013 11:30 am

Skift Take

Many international airlines that permit phone calls on planes bar them at night so concerns about disrupted sleep from night-time callers is overblown. Phone booths on planes? Revenue-hungry airlines wouldn’t trade seats for phone booths.

— Dennis Schaal

Discover the Top Travel Brands on Social Media

Throw cellphones from the plane? Well, at least get them out of our hearing range, passengers say.

A poll of nearly 5,000 flyers found they would strongly favor putting phone booths in planes to protect privacy if the FCC ultimately decides to allow in-flight cell use.

The booths were proposed in an online poll by Airfarewatchdog, a fare-tracking website. It asked users: Do you think airlines should install in-flight phone booths to keep things from getting too loud on-board?

–90% said, “Yes, let’s keep it civil.”

–10% said, “No, we should all be allowed to make calls when and where we want.”

The FCC has voted to consider lifting the ban on cellphone calls from planes, saying it is now no threat to airline navigation systems.

The agency must accept and consider comments from the public for a two-month period. The move is controversial. Delta and Southwest have already said they would not allow passengers to use phones on their flights.

“Personally, I don’t think that in-flight phoning will ‘fly,’” said Airfarewatchdog President George Hobica. “Already, two airlines have said they won’t allow it, not because of safety concerns but because in the confined atmosphere of the airplane, with the roar of jet engines, people will be shouting into their phones even more than they unnecessarily do on the ground, and this would make an unpleasant experience even more so, especially during nighttime flights.”

Hobica notes that adding a quiet space would require giving up seating — and thus, revenue. Another mark against his phone booth proposal.

“Barring that solution, I don’t see many U.S. airlines permitting ‘can you hear me now?’ at 35,000 feet,” he said.

Follow us on Twitter @latimestravel

Like us on Facebook ___

Tags: ,

Next Up

More on Skift

Interview: How Starwood Hotels Sells Luxury to a Diverse Consumer Base
Snackable Short-Form Videos Are Making a Mark in Travel Marketing
Daily Travel Startup Watch: Trevolta, Proper Swap and More
How to Find the ‘Holistic Traveler’ Trapped in Your Data

We're the Moneyball of the Travel Industry

We know what's coming next in travel. Subscribe to the newsletter and get all the goodness in your inbox daily.