FCC May Allow Cell Phone Calls During Flights

Agency will consider lifting ban next month
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2013 3:27 PM CST
FCC May Allow Cell Phone Calls During Flights
A passenger checks her cell phone before a flight.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This is either great or horrible news for air travelers, depending on perspective: The FCC might soon allow passengers to talk on their cell phones all throughout their flights, reports the Washington Post. The agency will consider lifting its ban on airborne calls next month. Under the proposed change, the only time phones would have to be off would be during takeoffs and landings. Once the plane reached 10,000 feet, the phones could go on.

If the proposal goes through, individual airlines could adopt their own rules and prevent midair gabbing, notes the Wall Street Journal. The move follows one last month that loosened up on the use of devices such as e-readers and tablets; passengers can now use them during flights provided the wireless signals are turned off. Don't expect an instant decision on the phones, however. A public-comment period lasting months is expected to precede any final ruling. (More cell phones stories.)

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