|Airlines: No in-flight calls. Period.|
Published: Wednesday, 18 Dec 2013 | 1:03 PM ET
By: Robert Ferris | Special to CNBC.com
While the Federal Communication Commission reconsiders its longtime ban on in-flight-phone calls, Delta Air Lines says its own policy will remain as it is: no, no and no. And after it previously considered allowing in-flight calls, JetBlue has also decided to prohibit them.
The FCC is considering a proposal to step aside and let airlines determine their own policies on using electronic devices in the air. In an apparent attempt to test public opinion, the commission issued an open invitation to anyone willing to comment on the matter.
(Read more: 'Inattentive parents' top list of worst fliers)
Delta CEO Richard Anderson responded with a statement Wednesday, saying both his company's customers and crews are still cold on the idea of passengers chatting away into phones on flights.
Which electronics are banned in flight?
CNBC's Phil LeBeau breaks down the FAA rules: Anything with a cell signal is still banned, but e-readers, among other devices, will be allowed.
"In fact, a clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the ability to make voice calls on-board would detract from—not enhance—their experience," he said. "Delta employees, particularly our in-flight crews, have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls on-board."
However, should the FCC overturn the ban, Delta said it will compromise by allowing passengers to text, email, or use their phones in other ways. Just so long as they do so silently.
JetBlue representative Morgan Johnston cited similar customer feedback to support its decision to forbid in-flight calls.
"We've heard from many customers, and the majority have shared that they do not want voice or video calls allowed on board," Johnston said in an email to CNBC. "We do not allow customers to use VOIP onboard, and have no plans on installing the cellular transponders that would allow cellular calls."
United Airlines gave CNBC a statement less final, saying the company is "evaluating the views of our customers and crew members on in-flight calling, and at this time we don't intend to permit use of cellphones."
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Posted by Steve at 2:59 PM