Debate begins on whether to allow inflight phone calls - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Debate begins on whether to allow inflight phone calls

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It's you're flying in the next few weeks for the upcoming holidays, the trip might be a little louder. 

The FCC is beginning to debate whether or not passengers should be allowed to make inflight phone calls.

A lot of people aren't in favor of the idea of making phone calls in the air.
The Associated Press did a poll and found that only 19 percent of people support it.

It's a decades old ban that could be coming to an end.

Thursday, the FCC will begin debating whether or not airlines should allow passengers to make cell phone calls during flights.

The FAA says technology has come a long way, to the point where the calls won't interfere the plane.

The chairman of the FCC calls the rules outdated and restrictive.
While he himself is not in favor of lifting the ban, he wants the airlines, and not the government, to make the decision.

But some say removing the ban will garner mixed emotions from travelers.

"Once the cat is out of the bag, we don't have an excuse: 'Oh, I will be on the plane for six hours, you can't reach me.' It used to be a very safe refuge," said Jonathan Spira.

"From time to time, I have to do work on private planes, and there the communication never stops and I think planes will have to address that segment of business travelers who don't want to be disconnected for eight hours on a flight," said Mary Schiavo.

The FCC proposal comes weeks after the FAA lifted its ban on phones and tablets below 10,000 feet--an opportunity JetBlue Airlines has seized.

They just launched their broadband internet service called "Fly-Fi."

"It's going to be lightening fast. It's like sitting in your living room," said Marty St. George.

Three of JetBlue planes have "Fly-Fi," but all planes should have it by 2015.

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