Allow cell phone use on planes?

Knowing that lawmakers are considering allowing cell phones to be used on planes, in the July ’05 issue (page 122) Rich Harvey of Athens, Ohio, asked if anyone else was opposed to the idea. Several readers replied, as follows.

Cell phone use on planes? NO, NO, a thousand times NO! It’s bad enough that passengers can now use their cell phones before taking off and after landing. How many times have you had to listen to dozens of loud, inane conversations? “We’re taking off soon.” “We’ve just landed” and so on. Or some businessman in the next seat shouting at his secretary.

Surely, people can be out of touch for a few hours, and if necessary they can use the airline phone at their seat.

I fly to New Zealand and Australia several times a year, and I can just imagine trying to sleep during a 12- or 15-hour flight with a couple of hundred people talking into their cell phones in the middle of the night.

Even if, as is promulgated, only vibration and not ringing will be allowed, it’s a fact that most people find it necessary to speak extremely loudly when using a cell phone — some of them so loud, I’m surprised they need a phone at all!

Let’s hope that charges for using cell phones on planes will be expensive enough to deter most passengers from using them.

Incline Village, NV

NO, NO, NO, NO to cell phones on planes. It’s disgusting enough to be on a bus, in a restaurant, on the street, etc., and hear — very clearly — everything cell phone users are talking about.

I don’t quite understand why someone would want everyone around them to know what their personal conversation was about!

If the airlines had problems with passengers before, it would be nothing compared to having cell phones on flights.

Minneapolis, MN

Cell phones in planes? I hope not! So many places are already overloaded with selfish, loud cell phone users; we don’t need them in the sky! In an airplane, you are a captive audience and cannot flee these rude people.

There is no limit to their venues. Recently I was attending a bingo session and one woman received a call and proceeded to “chat” as the rest of us were trying to hear the numbers called.

NO, NO, NO to cell phones in airplanes.

Laguna Woods, CA

Terrible idea! It’s bad enough in airports, where cell phone use interrupts reading, resting and, especially, quiet conversation. Makes me wish I could use a squirt gun on them!

Ashland OR

Please, please, no cell phones on airplanes! Being imprisoned on an airplane near a cell phone talker, even for the time between boarding and takeoff, can be a miserable situation.

After boarding a recent flight, my travel partner and I had to discontinue our quietly spoken conversation because we could hear only the “gentleman” on his cell phone behind us. Why must everyone talk so loud? I can only imagine the increased noise level on the flights if cell phones were allowed. Even those who speak more softly are rude, in my opinion, if they talk near others.

I have heard that airlines may section the seats into those for cell phone use and those without. That would probably work as well as when we had smoking and smoke-free (Ha!) sections. Remember how well that worked?

Cartersville, GA

One explanation of why cell phone users speak more loudly is that, unlike those talking on conventional phones, cell phone users cannot hear their own voices on the line (known as side tone). — Editor