WASHINGTON, DC—The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) today responded to a request for comments from the Department of Transportation (DOT), and urged DOT to ban voice calls on all flights within, to or from the U.S. TTD argued that allowing passengers to make in-flight phone calls would be inherently disruptive to the cabin environment and create needless safety issues that would be nearly impossible to resolve.
“The noise and distraction of passengers talking on their phones would interfere with the ability of flight attendants and pilots to deliver important safety announcements to passengers, particularly during times of emergency,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind.
As the only flight crew members physically present in the aircraft cabin, flight attendants would be responsible for policing passenger phone calls and mediating disagreements among passengers when they predictably arise. This would create yet another distraction from their regular job responsibilities, including those critical to the safety and security of the passengers and crew.
“Allowing in-flight phone calls would not only effectively turn flight attendants into professional mediators, but it would create an unnecessarily chaotic environment in the cabin,” said Wytkind. “Safety announcements, special instructions, and other vital pieces of information, especially during in-flight incidents or emergencies, would be lost in the din of chatting passengers. There is no upside that would justify this risk.”
In addition, the flying public opposes cell phone use during flights. Surveys continue to show that the vast majority of fliers disapprove of in-flight calls.
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