Delta & Southwest Don’t Want To Listen To Passengers Gabbing On Phones For The Whole Flight

Last week, the FCC said it was investigating whether to lift the ban on in-flight cellphone usage, which caused the Dept. of Transportation to effectively say, “Are you flippin’ crazy?” and announce that it would look into the need to set out its own guidelines to possibly stop planes from turning into flying tubes filled with obnoxious one-way conversations. In recent days, two of the nation’s largest carriers have joined their voices to the call for quiet on board.

“Delta will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications onboard Delta or Delta Connection flights,” reads a statement from Delta CEO Richard Anderson to all of the airline’s employees. “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.”

Anderson’s memo comes on the heels of Southwest CEO Gary Kelly telling CBS News (warning: Auto-Play video at that link) that, “I know that our customers don’t want it. The vast majority of the polls that we’ve taken, 60% say they don’t want cell phones in flight.”

Kelly admits that it’s “a little premature” to assume that the FCC will simply allow everyone to gab away from gate to gate, “but so far I don’t think our customers want it, and if our customers don’t want it, than our employees are not going to be for it either.”

The CEOs’ statements seem to be in line with those of thousands of Consumerist readers. When polled about whether or not phone use should be permitted on planes, only 6% gave an unqualified “yes,” while more than 76% of respondents flat-out said “no.” Nearly 18% of voters said they might be okay with in-flight chatter if there were rules to keep it to a minimum.

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