Delta CEO Joins Chorus Against In-flight Phone Calls

By Jeremy Del Nero on 18 December 2013
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A Delta plane approaching LAX

A Delta plane approaching LAX

Delta CEO Richard Anderson came out against the use of in-flight mobile calling on Delta flights on Wednesday.

Anderson cited employee and customer opposition in a letter to Delta employees, saying “Delta will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications onboard Delta or Delta Connection flights.”  He added that the airline would allow “text, email and other silent data transmission services gate to gate” if the ban were lifted.

Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) removed a ban on personal electronic device usage during taxi, takeoff, and landing.  In light of the new rules, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced a proposal to repeal the agency’s ban on in-flight use of mobile phones.  Then, Republican Bill Shuster introduced a bill to the US House of Representatives to ban the use of mobile phones in-flight.  Finally, the Department of Transportation, whose decision would take precedence over the FCC and FAA, announced it was considering a ban as well.

Frequent travelers have also spoken out about the issue.  A recent Frequent Business Traveler poll found that over 90% of frequent flyers are opposed to allowing in-flight mobile calling to take place.  In a related discussion on FlyerTalk, the world’s largest online travel community, readers commented that in-flight mobile calls would be an unwelcome disruption in the airspace.

Should the rules change and, against odds, mobile calling be permitted in-flight, individual airlines will have the final say for use in their cabins.  Most airlines, including Delta as of today, have already voiced opposition, or, at the very least, concern for the flyer’s needs.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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