Soon you may be able to make in-flight calls over WiFi while flying


It’s been 25 years since someone has been able to make a phone call during a flight in the US but that may be changing in the near future. Due to the increasing amount of in-flight Wi-Fi capabilities, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has revealed plans to allow in-flight calls, depending upon a few variables.

The first is that the DOT will wait 60-days before making any official decision due to the fact that it wants to get a public response on the matter. There are some that are fearful that even an in-flight phone call using WiFi will still cause issues, which is something that needs to be avoided.

Secondly, the new proposal suggests that any passengers will need to be formally notified of potential phone calls prior to purchasing a ticket. This will help ensure that passengers are made of aware of the potential and accept the results.

Finally, the proposal suggests giving control to each airline specifically. Instead of issuing a blanket clause which requires each airline to offer the capability, the DOT is proposing that there’s a possibility the decision can be made by the officials for each airline. This would make things a bit easier if you are attempting to book a flight but don’t want to deal with someone talking on the phone during your flights.

However, this new proposal is already being met with some backlash from advocates and some of the public. According to Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, “the American public does not want voice communication in flight. Anything short of banning voice calls is reckless.”

Due to the 60-days that the DOT is waiting while receiving comments on the proposal, we’ll have to wait it out and see what’s to come of this. With many of our smartphones capable of taking advantage of Wi-Fi calling, would you have an issue with others being able to make calls mid-flight? Or do you think the ban should stay in place and be expanded to cover Wi-Fi calling? Sound off and let us know in the comments below.

[The Wall Street JournalDepartment of Transportation]


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