I almost can't imagine anything worse than being on an airplane at 30,000 feet trapped next to a Regional Pharma Sales Rep loudly explaining the benefits of his erection pill to a client, so I was thrilled to learn that at least 77 Congresspeople aren't total idiots.
In a plea to federal regulators, 77 sane members of Congress warned the FCC that letting passengers talk on mobile phones could threaten the flight. That sounds like hyperbole, but if that's what it takes to keep “loud talkers” from spending an 14-hour red-eye flight jabbering on about their Euro-Disney experience to Grandma, I'm all for it.
The lawmakers verbosely summed up the core of the problem — namely, human nature:
The nature of an aircraft cabin would make it impossible for passengers to remove themselves from loud or unwanted conversations and disputes. Instead of focusing on required safety-related tasks, flight attendants may be forced to intervene in or mediate disputes between passengers … thus distracting their attention from other passengers and job responsibilities.
Common sense, right? Who in their right mind would think that making phone calls while in flight was a good thing? Only a total moron, right? Well, then it shouldn't come as a surprise that Anti-Net Neutrality poster-boy, Tom Wheeler, is drafting a proposal to lift outdated rules that prevent in-flight calling due to concerns about interference with ground-based cellular networks.
Once that ban is lifted, it'll be open season for all the world's telecoms to make my personal hell a grim reality. So I am getting all my traveling in now.