Congress Moves to Ban In-Flight Cell Phone Use

America is facing many challenges at the moment: gas prices, two ongoing wars, health care, social security, and the credit crisis, to name a few. So it might come as a bit of a surprise (or perhaps not!) that Congress spent yesterday trading horror stories "about their worst experiences with annoying fellow passengers who talk loudly on cell phones before takeoff and after landing." No, they weren't just being chatty; there was at least a reason for the discussion. They were actually debating a new bill, cleverly called the Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace (HANG UP) Act, which would "make the current Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communication Commission ban on cell phone use during flight permanent."

EU Has Approved Cell Phone Use
This is in contrast to the European Union, which recently approved the use of cell phones during flights. Under that plan, "the European Commission will be tasked with ensuring that customers aren't charged exorbitant prices for making the calls." Congress, however, has several reasons for moving forward with a ban, including the obligatory national security concerns, as well as a desire to minimize the stresses of travel. After all, who wants to listen to someone spend an entire flight on the phone with a friend, attempting to calculate the CO2 emissions from their cross-country trip?You Can't Legislate Courtesy
Other members of Congress were worried that "domestic airlines might try to get the cell phone ban lifted so they can charge passengers extra to sit in no-phone sections." In the end, however, the idea of banning cell phone usage during flights is a question of courtesy, and Rep. John Mica, R-Fla summed up that approach best when he said, "you are trying to legislate courtesy, folks, and that just doesn't work."

Via: ::Yahoo News
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Tags: Airlines | Airplanes | Air Travel

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