There's progress, and then there's going too far. While you won't find too many technology lovers who are opposed to having Wi-Fi below 10,000 feet
or being able to leave one's Kindle on from gate-to-gate, there's a fine line here
that may soon be crossed. Enabling connectivity in the sky is a godsend for those who fly frequently and need to get work done, but by and large, all of this happens at a low volume level. The noise of one's keyboard is largely drowned out by the rumble of the airline engines, and there's a good reason that most in-flight Wi-Fi services don't allow VoIP or video calls.
The airline is a cramped place, and any semblance of privacy is precious. But, a new report suggests that the FCC is considering the allowance of mid-flight calls on commercial planes. Of course, this isn't a technology issue. Private planes have enabled in-flight calls for years on end, but they're intentionally disabled on commercial flights for fear of upsetting hundreds of flyers.
The proposal, if passed, would enable airlines to judge for themselves whether to allow mid-flight calls or not, and while there are obviously some customers clamoring for it, it seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Anyone attempting to sleep or simply focus on work could easily be distracted by a voice conversation going on just feet away. It's bad enough to be seated by a couple who can't stop chatting in-flight; just imagine if everyone on the plane had the green light to make and receive calls.
While we appreciate the effort, we're hoping this one hits a dead end. Planes need to remain as quiet as possible for obvious reasons.