Call for Alarm: Readers Voice Their Opinions on Airplane Cell Phone Use

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Have you ever hurriedly sent a last-minute text message during take-off, or disembarked from a plane only to find that you forgot to turn off your cell phone off in the first place? Now that some foreign airlines are allowing in-cabin calls, it's becoming clear that the reasons why airlines keep our cell phones in the locked position might have less to do with scientific evidence and more to do with public opinion.

When we called on our readers to voice their opinions on the use of cell phones on airplanes, our question caused quite a buzz. After combing through hundreds of responses, it became clear the mere thought of allowing passengers to yap away on their phones caused travelers anxiety. Surprisingly, hardly anyone mentioned safety concerns-such as calls interfering with airplane communications or phones being used to detonate bombs. Instead, readers overwhelmingly sounded off that cell phones on airplanes would only make fliers vulnerable to annoying conversations.

Will Americans soon get the go-ahead to make calls from 32,000 feet in the air? We're not sure. But here are the top ten reasons why our readers think cell phones should stay turned off:

10. The Plane Would Turn into a Sky-High Chatterbox:
"I can't imagine being stuck in a metal tube listening to 200 people yelling into cell phones."

09. It's One More Addition to the Annoyance of Flying:
"There is enough distraction from screaming children, rude people who recline their seats into your lap, people who don't bathe, people who wear too much perfume, and people who need two seats and occupy one. Please don't disturb the peace any more with allowing people to talk for 6 - 9 hours across the Atlantic!"

08. It Would Increase In-Flight Violence:
"The loudmouth in row 5 might get punched out by the guy with the sleepy kids in row 10 because he talking into that phone like he's at home by himself."

07. It Would Disturb My Slumber:
"You can consider me an 'old fogey' but I enjoy silence, to read, sleep, and meditate. I think cell-phone use on public transportation is an inconvenience to other travelers."

06. It Jeopardizes Passenger's Mental Stability:
"It is the same as if someone is allowed to smoke and all you get is second hand smoke. It may be totally satisfying for them but deadly for you!"

05. Flight Attendants Would Become Cell Phone Police:
"Passengers demanding seat changes or engaging in acts of verbal and physical abuse will overwhelm the attendants."

04. The Airlines Would Find Some Way to Charge Us:
"What other money grabbing trick do the air transport people want to force upon us. Perhaps a quarter pay toilet???"

03. Everyone Loves to Hear Themselves Talk:
"Have you ever noticed when your plane lands how everyone IMMEDIATELY whips out their cell phone? They can't even wait until they're in the terminal to fall back in love with their own voices. SHUT UP ALREADY!"

02. A Better Option Would Be to Allow Texting:
"Nothing is so dammed important it cannot wait until an airplane lands! MORE respect ought to be give given for the comfort of ALL passengers, not just the perceived urgencies of a few. Let 'em text!"

01. Didn't Anyone Ever Tell You "Silence is Golden"?:
"Most people don't shut up, speak loud, and talk as if they are saving the world. It's almost worth the price of a ticket just to have the airline attendants order the phones turned off during flight. Too bad that rule can't be expanded to other venues."

Note: User comments have been edited for clarity and length.

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