Even Business Travelers Don’t Want Anyone Yakking Away On The Phone In Mid-Air

Who do you think of when you imagine the chatty kind of person who might want to make phone calls in the middle of a crowded airplane, mid-flight? While your mental picture might land on a businessperson in a suit yelling something about mergers and Hong Kong markets and getting that deal done before they close, a trade group representing business travelers has come out against the idea.

The Global Business Travel Assn. submitted its official opposition to the Federal Communication Commission’s plan to possibly lift the ban on voice calls on planes, reports the Los Angeles Times.

That group represents about 6,000 travel managers and pegs the idea of calls on planes as “detrimental to business travelers.” And because everyone loves the late folk singer Pete Seeger, the group quoted him by saying “there is a time to keep silence and a time to speak.”

And while the average traveler certainly has a right to peace and quiet, business travelers carry a lot of financial heft and could have the power to sway any change in regulation: Business travel accounted for $491 billion in spending in 2012, the LAT reports, or about 3% of U.S. gross domestic product.

Both the FCC and the Department of Transportation closed commenting on the cellphone ban in mid-March, and looking at a survey of the DOT’s comments, it appears that most travelers loathe the idea of anyone gabbing in mid-air. Because whether it’s a conversation about the mergers and acquisitions or the guy next to you repeatedly cooing to his lady love that she’s his only iddle biddle pumpkin facey-wacey, no one wants to hear it.

Opponents of allowing cellphone calls on planes gain powerful ally [Los Angeles Times]

You can follow MBQ on Twitter and read any tweets quietly on a plane if that’s what you’re into: @marybethquirk