Depending on how attached you are to making voice calls from your mobile phone all the time, this might be received as good or bad news. The CEO of Delta Air Lines, Richard Anderson, has announced that no matter what decision the FCC and FAA make next year on the question of calling from private mobile phones in flight, Delta will not approve in-flight calling on their planes.
When the FAA ruled in October that passengers could keep phones, tablets and other devices powered on during takeoff and landing, many worried that this could head into the territory of voice call approval, and noisy neighbors in the next seat making loud calls throughout the flight in an environment that offered no escape.
Citing results of a 2012 passenger survey, Delta’s message today clearly defines their planes as call-free zones while in flight.
The full letter from Richard Anderson follows:
Last week the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to seek public comment in consideration of lifting its ban on in-flight cell phone use. Delta will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications onboard Delta or Delta Connection flights.
Our customer research and direct feedback tell us that our frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin would be a disruption to the travel experience. In fact, a clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the ability to make voice calls onboard would detract from – not enhance – their experience. Delta employees, particularly our in-flight crews, have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls onboard.
Delta has moved quickly when technological and regulatory breakthroughs provide opportunities to make flying better for our customers. That is why we were the first to file our plan with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to allow customers to use portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet. Similarly, if the FCC lifts its ban on cellular use in flight, Delta will move quickly to enable customers to use text, email and other silent data transmission services gate to gate.
Even as technology advances and as regulations are changed, we will not only consider what we can do, but as importantly we will also consider what is right for our customers and our employees. This is yet another example of how we continue to have your back and how we also rely on your professionalism and experience to guide our actions and decisions.
Thanks for all you do every day for our customers, our colleagues and our business.
So how do you take this news? Were you looking forward to making calls from flight, or dreading being next to someone who wouldn’t stop talking? Let us know in the comments.