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  1.    #1  
    About a year ago, I read in a magazine left on a plane about it being cleared to being able to use cell phones on a plane without the fear of interfering with the nav systems. The research lasted 3 or 5 years and was done by a company over in Germany. They ran tens of thousands upon tens of thousands of tests concerning cell phone use and airplane flight equipment interference. And are going to be reporting this year that cell phones do not pose any threat of any kind....with the exception of providing additional communication avenues to potential terrorists...but as far as technology is concerned, no threat whatsoever. I know there have been several follow ups to this during this last year, mostly confirming the original finding. Others focusing on what to do now.....because of cell phone mile high air rage towards a loud gabby passenger talking on their cell phone for 5 1/2 hours straight.

    The only question remaining is whether airlines want to allow 265 people to chat on their cell phones for 5 hours on a flight. From a work point of view it would be nice to be able make that call or receive a call from a client. But on a personal note, it would be annoying to have to listen to the girl behind me for 2 1/2 hours ranting about how much of a pig her boyfriend is and what he did last night, what he didn't do last week, and what he said to her today...............all the while the person next to me is talking about his health problems, share way too much information for my taste...especially with having to still sit next to him for another hour knowing what he has!

    I think it would be great to not allow voice calls.....but allow data.

    But in any case, the up side is we would not have be pestered by flighty flight attendants who get off on a power trip since 9/11.

    I got to tell this story about a confrontational flight attendant from when I had my Treo 600. I fly a lot with work, often just day trips where I fly in, do my thing, and fly out that afternoon. One flight there was an attendant that obviously did not enjoy her job, let alone life.

    I faithfully turn my cell phone off and often use the palm side for games, doing some work, etc.... during the flight. When she saw it (and yes I always use the stylus to help anyone glancing over that it is a palm, not just a phone) she asked me to turn it off. I very politely let her know that the phone is completely off, showed her that there was no power to the signal, and that I am using my palm polite.

    She said she did not care, that I "could not do anything on anything that resembled a phone" and asked me to turn it off again.

    I probably should have just turned off the screen and left it at that....but I didn't. I politely, with a smile and very friendly voice, told her that since it is a Palmpilot that I cannot turn it off, and all I can do is turn off the screen and I would be glad to do that and put it away.

    She could not understand this and asked me then to take out the battery! There were at least two other people using Palms in the row in front of me and across the isle. Their faces went white when they heard that as you know they were terrified she would do the same to them and they would loose all their data. But, I had no choice but to tell her that I could not take it out, as it is a permanent battery inside a sealed case.

    At that point the other two kind of raised their hands and backed me up that all palm pilots can never be turned off and we could only turn off the screen. Of course I am sure they were protecting themselves from a technology ignorant attendant on the hunt.

    At that point, she looked red in the face, either in frustration in not winning the situation or frustration in her lack of knowledge in asking for and pressing for something that she did not understand.

    I know in this day and age of empowered attendants with increased authority, it was lucky for me and the other two, she did drop it and never spoke to any of us the rest of the flight. Even when leaving the plane, the person in front of me and behind me got a "Good-Bye, hope you had a nice flight", but not me!
  2.    #2  
    Now that they are on the verge of officially claiming Cell phones safe on plans, here is an interesting article.

    Cingular: Keep ban of cellphone calls on flights
    By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/indust...t_x.htm?csp=15

    NEW YORK Cingular, the USA's biggest wireless carrier, thinks cellphone conversations should continue to be banned on commercial flights while planes are airborne and it's told the Federal Aviation Administration as much.
    The FAA is studying the possibility of relaxing the ban on the use of cellular and other wireless devices aboard commercial aircraft. Cingular last week told the agency, in so many words, that it thinks in-flight cell phone conversations are a bad idea.

    "We believe there is a time and a place for wireless phone conversations, and seldom does that include the confines of an airplane flight," Cingular wrote in a June 8 letter to the FAA.

    Even if the FAA decides to relax or even remove the ban, Cingular says it will encourage people to curb their cellphone use aboard flights.

    "Cingular will encourage passengers to 'tap, not talk' that is, to use discreet services such as text messaging and e-mail as opposed to voice communications in flight," the carrier wrote.

    On its face, Cingular's stand would seem to be counter-intuitive. The more customers use their cellphones, the more money Cingular stands to make.

    Spokeswoman Rochelle Cohen says the company is just trying to be responsive to its customers.

    Cohen says discourteous behavior talking loudly or incessantly on cellphones in the confines of a train, restaurant or other closed venues is a constant source of grousing by customers.

    Verizon Wireless, the No. 2 cellphone carrier, recently teamed with Cingular to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission, which is examining the same issue. The FCC has long been concerned about the impact of airborne cellphone users on land-based customers. Interference is the agency's biggest concern.

    In their joint comments, Cingular and Verizon indicated they might be willing to support lifting the ban if safeguards existed to protect consumers on the ground from interference.

    The FAA, which has final say about rules for U.S. airspace, is far more concerned with safety, spokeswoman Alison Duquette says.

    "It's our top priority," she says.

    The agency has banned cellphones from use while planes are airborne out of concern they could interfere with aircraft instruments.

    Verizon Wireless, for one, doesn't see a very big market for cellphones on planes.

    "Societal" issues are the biggest hindrance, spokesman Jim Gerace says.

    "It's hard to have any sort of a private conversation sitting in coach," Gerace says. Or in first class, for that matter.

    Verizon owns AirFone, an in-flight phone service that the airlines have offered passengers for decades. The service is rapidly evolving into a wireless data service, Gerace notes.

    Roger Entner, a wireless analyst with Ovum, thinks the ban on cellphone use in the skies probably isn't a bad idea.

    "cellphones in airplanes is one of these things that everybody would love to have so long as their neighbor does not," he says.
  3. #3  
    you should try to pick up a signal on a plane... It's not that easy.

    I think the carriers have an issue with trying to provide 100% coverage over land.
    .
    .
    .Treo Pro on Sprint Check out www.treotricks.com, Audio jack fix.
  4. #4  
    Nonobeez: that is a good point.

    Hobbes: I was actually surprised that the wireless carriers did not want us using as many minutes as possible. On a lot of the flights that I take (west coast to east coast) most people have headphones on listening to mp3's or the inflight movies. My point is that I wouldnt care if people talked on their phones...I just turn up my mp3's.

    (OT: got my sync cable and installed all my software that wasn't a cab file...including my IR keyboard driver....SWEET! This thing really feels like a laptop replacement now)
    Palm III-->Palm IIIxe-->Palm 505-->Samsung i300-->Treo 600-->PPC 6600-->Treo 650-->Treo 700wx-->BB Pearl--> BB Curve

  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by nonobeez
    you should try to pick up a signal on a plane... It's not that easy.

    I think the carriers have an issue with trying to provide 100% coverage over land.
    I have been Blackberried from my boss, VPs, etc... while they were flying. They were probably over a major metro city at the time, but the point is.....it is possible.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by t2gungho
    Hobbes: OT: got my sync cable and installed all my software that wasn't a cab file...including my IR keyboard driver....SWEET! This thing really feels like a laptop replacement now
    Now maybe...I can get a second opinion on all that I do on my phone, that some on this board seem to have a hard believing I am able to actually do it!

    The fun is just beginning for you!
  7. #7  
    As some one who flies alot, I hope they never let us use cellphones in flight. Not only do I not want to hear about someone else's problems, I don't want to wind up on conference calls in the air. Personally, I hope airlines continue to ban inflight use of cell phones even if the FAA allows it.

    I think the cellphone companies will oppose this for two reasons - the stated one of interference with land comms; and an unstated one that they want to sell broadband access inflight, and allowing cellphone use would mean they lose sales to people using DUN instead of buying the airplane's WiFi. Of course, as soon as WiFi becomes more common the cellphone issue will be overcome by people using VIOP. At least it'll make for some interesting inflight entertainment as passengers get into fights and the drunk in 2C calls his girlfriend and proceeds to detail his plans for when he sees her...

    Of course, this opens up a whole new area for Podcasting - stupid things people say while in flight; brought to you by the magic of the voice memo; and for hardware as well - the unobtrusive cell phone jammer.
    Last edited by jcoffey; 01/14/2006 at 07:10 AM.
  8. #8  
    Being able to use data on a flight would be awesome! EVDO tethered to my laptop....yum
    1 | 2
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal
    Now that they are on the verge of officially claiming Cell phones safe on plans, here is an interesting article.
    I think the answer lies in the quote from that article "Verizon owns AirFone, an in-flight phone service that the airlines have offered passengers for decades. The service is rapidly evolving into a wireless data service, Gerace notes."

    AirFone is obscenely expensive, but people still use it. I sat behind one well-known actress who was on the phone for a full two and a half hour flight. Given that the revenue for AirFone would be all but lost with in-flight cell phone usage (since most cell call costs are built into the plan anyway) VZW doesn't have a lot of motivation to encourage it.

    Safety is the only valid reason, in my opinion, to limit cell phone usage on planes. All of the other reasons (like the "societal" ones given in the article) seem a litte too much like social engineering. That's not what I pay Verizon for.
  10. #10  
    Just a side note: I agree it would be annoying to hear "Hello? Can you hear me now?" from all five or six people directly around me, I'd rather not have my cell provider in the babysitting business.
  11. #12  
    I can't say I've run into issues flying. Really, the first device that would have happened with is the XV6600 and I travelled fairly extensively last year, not a peep. But it's surprising that that attendant made the reamrk that you can't do anything on something that resembles a phone because I have taken plenty of trips of watched drunken businessman and college kids playing games on their phones. At most, I've heard a flight attendant ask if the phone piece of it was off. That was it.

    But I have to agree that I wouldn't want my flight interrupted by calls to me or listening to the calls of others. Just rude. And I just see the arguments and emergency landings resulting from some guy who had too much to drink, fell asleep, and awoke to a teenager just "blip blip blipping" away on the phone.
  12. #13  
    Big Calhoun,

    Why is the teenager on the cell phone rude but the snoring drunk isn't? Worse, not every drunk flyer is going to simply fall asleep. Or what about the crying baby? Or the kid kicking the back of your seat? How do we restrict them?

    My point is, where do we draw the line in trying to modify behavior?
  13.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    My point is, where do we draw the line in trying to modify behavior?
    Not much we can do about the kids, snoring, kicking, etc.... But the difference with cell phone use is that it is currently restricted. It is a lot easier to keep something restricted than to make it restricted after it was already allowed.

    I am all for Data access and no voice. See the link up two or three posts, they are progressing to include WIFI for data. I can see them say data only no VOIP as well, and I would suppport that. Emails and access to corp website or just wanting to browse the news on the web is more important to me personally generally speaking when I am flying than voice anyways.
  14. #15  
    As one who flies every week, I am horrified by the thought of cells running during the flight. It's bad enough when you touch down and hear 30+ conversations all start up at the same time. Yes, I DO turn on my phone when I land, but my wife is smart enough to know that I'll answer text messages far more willingly than voice calls when I land.

    Remember, freedom of speech also gives me freedom to listen. If you choose to speak loud enough that I can hear you, don't complain when I join in the conversation!
    Former: Visor, Prism, VisorPhone, Treo 270,Treo 650, Centro Now: Pre
  15. #16  
    Hobbes,

    I still don't get the difference. I mean, I understand that cell phones are currently restricted, but the question is why is voice such a big no-no? Why is someone next to me talking on a cell different that the two people sitting next to me in coach having a conversation? One might say "Well, the cell phone users get too loud." But, believe me, people can get very loud talking to the people right next to them. If someone is getting out of control--either on a cell phone or in person--we kindly ask them to keep it down. Or the attendent tells them to keep it down. That's a current problem with the AirFone anyway. Why aren't they restricted?

    Now, realize, I'm being somewhat of a devil's advocate here because I like peace and quiet as much as the next guy. And I certainly concur that cell phone use can be rude in certain settings. Private companies have every right to limit cell usage on their premises, such as restaurants, theaters, etc. And it may well be that certain airlines restrict them. But why the FAA or FCC? If there aren't any safety concerns then I don't see why the government needs to be involved.
  16.    #17  
    A couple differences, is a lot of the times the person sitting next to you is a stranger. When you make a cell phone call you are talking to a friend. Big difference generally speaking to the flow and length and subject matter of conversations. The AirFones cost something like $4.00 a minute, that alone is a pretty good manager of it's use and abuse of this service.
  17. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs
    I still don't get the difference.
    One difference is that not everyone on the plain will be a drunk guy snoring...while the vast majority of people flying will own a phone. And when they get bored, they're going to dial up. And same for kids...not every seat will have a child, but again, most seats will have a phone.

    You can tolerate one kid (sometimes)...you can tolerate one drunk (unless he's abusive then air marshalls get in)...you can't handle 50 cell phone conversations.

    A few months back I had to go to my old college campus and I just noticed from point a to point b (only a few hundred feet) over 90% of the kids had a cell phone IN HAND talking (what really shocked me was that it was both boys and girls, not just the girls talking)....so they can't even go from class to class without calling someone. So you think that if people had the means to dialup for no cost, that they wouldn't think twice?!
  18. #19  
    Hobbes & Rico,

    Believe me, I understand that it has the potential to be a major annoyance. My question is whether or not its appropriate for the FCC or FAA to regulate cell phone usage based on the annoyance factor. If its a matter of a public nuisance then why can't the same reasoning be employed to restrict cell phone usage in other public places like restaurants?

    I'd be happier to see them focus on some more major annoyances like people shoving their entire worldly belongings into a carry-on bag then requiring two or three attendents to help find a place for it once they figure out it won't fit in the overhead. Nobody ever uses that little "size wise" thing they have at the gate to make sure their carry-ons fit.
  19.    #20  
    Any issue that would or could potentially distract a Flight Attendents attention to any great degree...i.e. resolving continual concerns amongst passengers getting upset with other passengers becomes a FAA concern.
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