There’s a distinct possibility that some carriers would not allow any mobile phone use. It is already legal for air passengers to make calls over onboard WiFi connections, but airlines don’t permit it. Some travelers are waging a campaign against anything that might lead to more noise in cramped airplanes. Major airlines did not rush to celebrate the FCC’s announcement.
The immediate impact of the FCC ridding the country of its unnecessary rule, then, may well be small. Yet we hope that carriers explore their options to bring air travel into the 21st century, with all its pluses and minuses. While some passengers mourn the disappearance of their last disconnected refuge, others will embrace the convenience of connection. Either way, there’s no reason for the government to play referee.