Business Travelers to Feds: Ban Cellphone Calls

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the latest travel industry stakeholder to weigh in on the national conversation about in-flight cellphone use: Yesterday, it filed comments in response to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) Use of Mobile Wireless Devices for Voice Calls on Aircraft, asking it to ban in-flight voice calls on cellphones by passengers.

“DOT’s rulemaking should be guided by the late Pete Seeger, the champion of folk music and social change,” GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick said in a statement. “In short, there is a time to speak out and a time to keep silent. Under its authority to ban unfair practices, DOT should choose the latter approach and ban mobile wireless voice calls during flight on aircraft.”

GBTA based its comments on feedback from its members, who expressed concerns about noise and comfort.

“In such a confined space, there is no reasonable way to provide quiet areas on aircrafts to reduce the harm of loud cellphone conversations,” McCormick continued. “Unlike Amtrak’s ‘quiet cars,’ GBTA does not believe it is feasible to create talk-free sections of aircraft. DOT should not add to business traveler’s misery. On commercial aircraft in the United States, silence is golden.”

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