Making skies unfriendlier

Just when you thought nothing more could be done to make airline travel any more uncomfortable, the Federal Communications Commission steps up and says it thinks cellphone use on planes is an idea whose time has come.

Why don’t they just cut right to the chase and start waterboarding travelers.

We can’t think of a worse scenario than being stuck in a middle seat while the window and the aisle guys shout into their cellphones for a five-and-a-half-hour flight to the West Coast.

There are going to be fistfights and flight attendants are going to have to be replaced by bouncers. Come to think of it, that might be fun to watch – a 35,000-foot bounce would be appropriate treatment for some of the cellphone addicts we know.

On the plus side, subjecting criminals to the middle seat treatment might be a punishment that would lead to rehabilitation. First offense, a flight to the West Coast, Second offense, it’s off to Europe for you.

Third-time offenders would be given frequent flier status with permanent assignment to seat 34E on a cellphone-ready Boeing 757 bound for Bangladesh – twice a week until they reform.

No need to worry about escape – anyone who has ridden in a middle seat in coach on a 757 knows you can’t walk (much less run) for a week afterward.

But to return to the FCC’s decision to review the ban on cellphones, what are they thinking? Flight attendants’ jobs are nearly impossible now – imagine the din in the cabin as half the passengers shout into their phones to be heard over jet engines.

Frankly, the TSA’s withdrawn proposal to allow small knives on board planes made more sense. Perhaps the two proposals could be combined – middle-seat passengers could be armed with knives to cut their own throats when the cell chatter became unbearable.

In our book, any airline that rejects allowing cellphone use will have a strong selling point.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.