The Federal Communications Commission has taken a step in possibly lifting the ban on cellphone use during flights. On December 12, the FCC approved a “notice of rule making,” meaning the agency will take comments from the experts and the public before it officially decides on the issue. Should the ban be lifted, however, it will still be up to individual airlines to decide whether or not to allow passengers to use cellphones. Despite these recent talks, the CEO of Delta Air Lines said calls would not be allowed on Delta even if the policy is changed. Another option would be for airlines to prohibit calls but allow texting and web browsing. Southwest Airlines went ahead to say it would not allow calls but would provide passengers Internet service from takeoff until landing; United Airlines is in the process of considering input from its passengers but will keep calls banned on planes for now; American Airlines has not yet taken a stand on this issue.
Airlines will also need to install technology that will ensure calls don’t interfere with cell tower communications. Critics say allowing calls while in flight could pose threats to safety, as terrorists may communicate with one another or trigger explosives. A 2012 survey of Delta passengers also showed travelers felt that voice calls would take away from their experience rather than enhance it.