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FCC panel votes 3-2 in favor lifting ban on in-flight phone calls, Gogo spikes 3.5%

  • An FCC panel votes 3-2 in favor of a proposal to end the ban on in-flight phone calls.
  • Shares of in-flight WiFi provider Gogo spiked 3.5% on the news and are now in the green (GOGO +0.6%).
  • Another federal agency may have a different view, however. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement earlier that given the department's role in consumer protection, his agency wants to determine if a lifting of the ban "is fair to consumers." Foxx noted "consternation among travelers, airlines and airline workers."
Comments (12)
  • People usually sleep/rest/work on the plane. Having a bunch of people talking will be a disturbance to everyone else.
    12 Dec 2013, 04:11 PM Reply Like
  • Worst news ever. Air travel is insufferable enough without having to listen to all those arrogant swells who need to display their command prerogatives from 30,000 feet. I say make them stand in line for a phone booth next to the head.
    12 Dec 2013, 05:06 PM Reply Like
  • I really don't want to listen to someone talk for two hours with someone I don't know and don't care to meet.
    12 Dec 2013, 10:29 PM Reply Like
  • I really don't want to listen to someone talk for two hrs. To someone I don't know and don't care to meet
    12 Dec 2013, 10:30 PM Reply Like
  • The FCC are right. It will be the airlines to decide if to allow it not big govt. How long would you talk if the charge is say $10 a minute? All calls would go though GOGO cell on board so pricing can be set even call duration. Being able to call ahead when say 20 minutes out would be great but outside that time or for more than a couple of minutes or more than 2 calls then charge them up the wazoo for the call.
    13 Dec 2013, 07:23 AM Reply Like
  • Any unwelcome chatter on a plane flight is annoying. Could someone PLEASE explain the difference between making a cell phone while in midflight versus listening to a couple of businessmen discussing their next deal in the seat behind me or 2 strangers telling each other their life story in the seat in front of me. Let's just ban all talking on flights longer than 1 hour!


    Seriously though, prohibiting people from talking on a cell phone, whether it be a plane (unless it is a safety issue because of the electronic instrumentation on an aircraft) in a bar, restaurant, waiting room, etc., is a blatant violation of the First amendment. The government (nor private enterprises) can discriminate between people talking to one another in person versus speaking to someone over an electronic device. That is one of the "tests", so to speak, in determining whether prohibiting speech violates the First amendment.



    I agree it is annoying but constitutionally, it cannot be banned
    13 Dec 2013, 12:00 PM Reply Like
  • People who generally chat on the plane don't have 15 minute long conversations. If they do, it's usually interspersed. Let's be honest, on ALL the flights you've ever been (if you actually fly more than 10+ times a year like I do), how often have you ACTUALLY been near someone who is having a conversation that is disturbing you? 99% of the time, if there is conversation, it's usually been initiated by me and doesn't last too long.
    13 Dec 2013, 02:42 PM Reply Like
  • It's not a constitutional thing - it's a 'should we provide this service on our privately owned airplanes' thing.
    13 Dec 2013, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • As Global Service on United and Marco Polo Gold I no doubt fly a lot more than you do. I have been on flights where the chatter between 2 passengers have been non-stop. Flying back from Beijing 2 weeks ago, in business class, I sat in front of two(2) woman, one a buyer for the GAP, the other an executive from Columbia (clothing). Their conversations lasted 12 hours, the length of flight covering topics ranging from business, family, divorce, kids, etc. They didn't sleep, they just talked. Happens quite often. If you flew as much as I did, you would have experienced the annoyance. Why allow that and not allow cell phone conversations that have a finite span of time, especially if the airlines charge $1-2/minute for the service.
    15 Dec 2013, 02:57 PM Reply Like
  • Yes. There's OFTEN some really loud people having the best conversation of their life right behind me for the entire flight.
    13 Dec 2013, 04:34 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks, at least this is an intelligent debate...
    There is something way more annoying about one person talking than
    two people talking to each other.
    Also, the cost will not inhibit the high
    flying business types who will expense it anyway.
    They will fidget and surely find someone in their vast rolodex to call
    and sound important.
    Obviously, I am totally against allowing people to talk on cellphones during flight. Once we land, great, pull out your phones and talk away.
    17 Dec 2013, 05:42 PM Reply Like
  • Why is one person talking on a cell phone more annoying than 2 people talking to each other? Noise level is the same or higher with two people than one, topics of little interest, and conversations tend to go on much longer with two than one. Many years ago when there used to phones available in each seat, conversations were brief because of the high cost. I think the same will happen if the airlines charge a per minute rather than flat rate for phone calls.
    18 Dec 2013, 09:13 AM Reply Like
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