Keep ban on cellphones

The period for public comment for the proposal to lift the ban on cellular phone service on airliners ended Friday.

According to USA Today, some 1,400 people submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission on getting rid of the ban first imposed in 1991. Most of them were ardently against the proposal.

We agree wholeheartedly with John Simpson of San Francisco who wrote to the FCC:

“This is the worst idea ever. It is already bad enough with people talking on their phones everywhere but most of the time one can move away from the idiot; on a plane you are stuck.”

Another commenter, Frank Wake of Anchorage, advised the FCC:

“This is a very bad idea . . . cruel and unusual torture for those of us trapped.”

Not surprisingly, flight attendants are against getting rid of the ban.

We would imagine the only folks beside the cell companies that back this proposal also favor leaving their phones on in theaters.

The bad news is that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told legislators he favors lifting the ban.

The good news is that Congress – of all people – may save us. The House Transportation Committee has approved a bill to ban cell usage on planes and a bill has been introduced in the Senate with the same objective.

We hope Congress will pass a law forbidding cell usage on airliners. Sooner or later, the FCC will find a 3-2 majority that will cave to the cellphone providers.

If Congress allows that to happen, it will be one more step toward making middle seats on jetliners hell on earth.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.