Cellphones in Flight


This weekend in the NYT Ben Stein writes about cell phone use on planes. Don’t know about you but I am a more or less frequent travel. I rely heavily on my cell phone (aka. Smartphone) during the week. My day job is short from impossible w/o mobile communication.


But I don’t stand in line at the grocery store and talk business with a partners. I almost feel offended by people forcing me to “join” their chitchat with spouses and friends. I am not used to learn about different bases teenager relationships are at at the movie register. I hate people using their cell phone during their drive to work, suddenly going from 65 miles down to 45 miles on the leftmost lane because their conversation is more interesting and important than the commute and the life of fellow commuters they put at risk. I do not want to know stupid details about people’s dog’s extrements or their own digestive disorders after the 3rd burger when I am on a bus.


But hey, this is America. And anything and everything – good and bad  – spreads worldwide from here. So, either get used to it or move to Siberia (aka. remote place w/o coverage).


There is one single thing that I will never get used to and that is the use off cell phones on planes.


I cannot NOT listen to a cell ringing. I cannot NOT listen to a conversation that I am NOT intended to use if it is happening an arm length away. I assume most of us cannot NOT listen. We can close our eyes and stop seeing what we don’t want to see. We can hold our noses to avoid smelling what we don’t want to smell (useful not only on planes). We can put on gloves to protect us from the heat or the cold.


If as many people on the plane chat on the phone as they do on the ground then I agree, This Means War!


If the airline industry has left a single piece of sanity they respect at least our privacy during a flight. We certainly won’t if we are allowed to use our cell phones in flight. I fear for the worst. If there is one thing I learned in the few years I live in the US then it is that money rules.
Let me close this post with a quote from the NYT article, even though I know it won’t help:” Please, Mr. Bush, step into this one and just say no to turning airplanes into penal colonies. It is only a matter of time before someone gets killed over this, and I don’t want it to be on my flight. Let’s not make us think about John Bell Hood.”


Not sure that Mr. Bush can help but maybe if we as consumers or passengers could agree to boycott flights that allow in-flight cell phone usage we can prevent the war and preserve these last little islands of privacy in confined spaces traveling our skies.

Comments (2)

  1. Philip Rieck says:

    Something I’m curious about: note, I’m not really a cell phone user, although I do carry one sometimes, but they don’t bother me either – other than drivers not paying attention to the road.

    Assuming an outgoing call (no ringing) on a plane: What’s the difference between someone talking on thier cell phone and someone talking to a friend next to them?  

    Is the act of talking that bothers you? Is it people using technology?  Is it that you’re not privy to both sides of the conversation?

  2. Conversations are amongst the most important things in human interaction. Friends (or people) talking to each other on the plane is almost a necessity. What I am concerned about is all the busy bodies desperate to share information that the rest of us is not supposed to hear or really not interested in. I am concerned about my fellow passenger’s and my deserved rest on a long flight back from important business, constantly interrupted by cell phones ringing.

Skip to main content