Saturday, March 24, 2007

Allow cell phones to be used on planes

I personally do not own or use a cell phone, but I do have to disagree with all of those people who adamantly oppose the use of cell phones on planes. I pen this blog post after reading in The New York Times a summary of reader comments on FCC consideration of the issue of cell phones on planes, entitled "A Flood of Pleas to F.C.C.: No Phones on Planes, Please." First of all, from my real-world experience, most people "on" cell phones are absolutely silent most of the time since they are listening to someone on the other end babble away. So, these people are, by definition, not a problem when it comes to using cell phones on planes. What I do have a problem with is loud, obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate, discourteous people who seem to revel in "disturbing the peace." Professional psychologists have a technical term for such people: assholes. So, my proposal is quite simple: allow cell phones on planes, but coupled with an absolute ban of assholes from planes.

Flight attendent: "Excuse me sir, but we're getting complaints from the other passengers, so I'm going to have to ask you to stop being an asshole. After all, it is against FCC regulations."

I also want to see a ban of obnoxious ringtones. It would be nice if phone manufacturers could add the capability of allowing the environment (plane, meeting room, restaurant, office) to automatically disable ringtones, but simply a formal ban of phone ringers might be enough to have the effect that your traveling experience won't be marred by either assholes or ringtones.

In short, I encourage the FCC and the airlines to lobby for permitting the use of cell phones on planes, while simultaneously banning both assholes and ringtones.

-- Jack Krupansky

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