TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: - Airborne Cell-Phone Ban Likely to Remain For Now

Re: - Airborne Cell-Phone Ban Likely to Remain For Now

AES/newspost (
Sat, 18 Dec 2004 15:11:24 -0800

In article <>, Clark W. Griswold,
Jr. <> wrote:

> AES/newspost <> wrote:

>> I've read news stories in the past about cellphone jammers or blockers
>> for use in restaurants, theaters, library reading rooms, etc.

>> Anyone have any leads on portable, battery-powered versions?

> I share your implied problem with inconsiderate cell users. However,
> based on your address, you should know that these devices are illegal
> in the US. While the odds of getting caught using them are quite
> small, especially if used in a mobile situation (ie, in your pocket),
> people have been prosecuted in other countries (a dealer in Scotland &
> a church in Mexico).

You correctly sensed the implied (and in fact primary) message behind
my post: I have very little interest in sitting through a five-hour
transcontinental flight, trying to read, sleep, or just relax, while
multiple cellphone users all around me do deals in penetrating voices
all through the flight. I suspect others will feel similarly, and
wonder how the airlines will deal with the issue.

Assuming that the airlines probably won't deal straightforwardly with
the problem, or will be unwilling to forgo the add'l revenue in flight
cellphone service can offer, I've tried to think of realistic
solutions and/or counter-measures, but haven't come up with much that
seems promising in the list:

* Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones for all the other passengers
[uncomfortable, and more seriously don't really work all that well]

* Airlines set up a couple of enclosed "phone booths" somewhere on the
plane, for those who have to play this game [unlikely, because of
revenue seating lost, but maybe.]

* Cellphoners required to use some kind of silent throat mikes and
whisper [technically feasible?]

* Limiting cell phoning to first class? [Maybe some would pay extra
for the opportunity, driving up FC sales -- but other FC opponents
might squawk equally loudly.]

* Jammers, as per initial query [which I suspect will happen, if the
problem gets bad enough.]

* And of course finally the "Charles Bronson response": Bring a large
battery-powered "boombox" tape deck with a really annoying musical
selection as your carryon, and if the cellphone noise pollution around
you gets too annoying just turn it on LOUD and decline to turn it off,
pointing out politely to neighbors and cabin crew that if the cellphone
guys can noise pollute, so can you. [Unfortunately I have more in
common with Walter Mitty than Charles Bronson, so it's not likely to

Inflight cellphone use does seem to me one of those problems where some
number of passengers will certainly be rude and inconsiderate enough to
make it a problem; the airlines will be craven and greedy enough not to
deal with it; and air travel will deteriorate even more than it already
has [Dulles main terminal at 4:30 pm yesterday afternoon was a sight not
to be believed].

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