When FAA guidelines for electronics use on airplanes were updated in late October, an interesting can of worms was opened as well. Even though the guidelines were merely updated to allow local device use during take-off and landing — that is to say, below 10,000 feet — people began to talk about what this could mean insofar as in-flight calling was concerned. This all came to a head in December when FCC chairman Thomas Wheeler stated that there’s no technical reason to ban calling on planes.
In 2014, it seems the concept has begun to gain traction as an FCC meeting earlier this month to discuss lifting the ban on in-flight calling resulted in a three to two vote in favor of lifting the ban. Though this doesn’t amount to a definitive decision, it does suggest that the rule could change as early as this year.
Curious to see what Americans think about the possibility of in-flight calling, GetVoIP recently conducted a survey of over 2,000 people, ranging across all age groups. Put simply, most Americans — 46.3 percent, to be exact — don’t actually care one way or another, while 37.5 percent said they oppose lifting the ban. This left a mere 16 percent in favor of it.
As such, it seems the nays have it in this case. Still, it seems this overall opinion may change with time.
According to GetVoIP’s analysis of the data, Americans aged 25-34 are 10 percent more in favor of in-flight cellphone use than those aged 35-44. In other words, about 25 percent of those aged 25-34 are in favor, with only 18.3 percent against.
As for the large percentage of Americans who don’t care about lifting or leaving the ban, GetVoIP speculates that they answered this way largely because they don’t feel their opinion matters. Indeed, many airlines, such as Delta Air and Jet Blue, have stated their policies will remain the same, regardless of the FCC’s decision.
Meanwhile, it’s also likely that many Americans just don’t feel there’s much at stake.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker