Is there anything more annoying than being forced to listen to others chit-chat on their cell phones? (Truth be told, I don’t care if your brother’s friend’s girlfriend’s sister broke up with you know who…) So I’m holding out that US airlines will keep in-flight mobile use out of the air.
Across the Atlantic, it’s another story. Passengers flying Emirates, Royal Jordanian, and Ryan Air, are already free to make calls and phone use agreements have recently been announced for Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, and select British Airways business-class only flights.
While industry experts insist cell phone signals do not interfere with aircraft communication and navigation, most Americans agree that we should keep the dull roar to a minimum. In fact, domestic flight attendants are lobbying hard in Congress to keep the ban, and recent surveys reveal that US travelers would rather relax with a good old-fashioned book, magazine, or movie.
Still, I'm convinced it’s only a matter of time before domestic carriers are labeled “behind the times” and are forced to follow in Europe’s footsteps. Our moments of quiet travel should be treasured now. Agree or disagree?
Clara Sedlak is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure.