Markey, Blumenthal Call for Ban on Voice Communications on Mobile Devices During Flight

Senators’ amendment authorizing the Transportation Dept. to ban cell phone use on planes was included in last year’s Senate FAA reauthorization bill

Washington (March 16, 2016) –  Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), members of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, today called on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to prohibit anyone on a commercial aircraft, except the crew and law enforcement, from talking on mobile devices during flight. Today, DOT issued a proposed rule that requires ticket agents and airlines to inform consumers if flights will permit voice communications on mobile devices, but does not outright ban the use of mobile devices for voice communications while flying.

“Small seats, little legroom and, now, cell phone chatter – air travel could become even less comfortable if consumers are surrounded by passengers talking on mobile phones,” said Senators Markey and Blumenthal.“Passengers sitting for hours in the confined space of an aircraft cabin should not have to suffer though other passengers’ conversations on their mobile devices. Notifications of annoyances is no substitute for the zone of privacy that airline passengers pay for and deserve. The Transportation Department should prohibit anyone on an aircraft, except the crew and law enforcement, from talking on a mobile device during flight.”