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New DOT rule to require informing about in-flight phone use

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New DOT rule to require informing about in-flight phone use

Unread post by bimjim » Fri Dec 09, 2016

http://www.travelweekly.com/Travel-News ... -phone-use

New DOT rule would require informing fliers about in-flight phone use
Robert Silk
December 08, 2016

The DOT on Thursday proposed a rule requiring airlines and ticket agents (including travel agents) to inform passengers at the start of the sales process if an airline allows in-flight phone calls.

The rule would exempt small ticket agents -- those with less than $20.5 million in annual sales.

The move is necessary, the department said, because existing Federal Communications Commission rules, while banning phone calls on certain frequencies, don't cover WiFi and some other frequencies on which calls can now be made.

"Today's proposal will ensure that air travelers are not unwillingly exposed to voice calls, as many of them are troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight," DOT secretary Anthony Foxx said.

The DOT warned that as technology advances, the cost of making a phone call from the sky may decrease even as quality improves, leading to more calls being made.

The DOT also noted that the FCC has since 2013 been reviewing a proposal to eliminate the existing partial ban on in-flight calls while stipulating procedures that would minimize interference of terrestrial communication networks.

Airlines reacted coldly to the idea of allowing phone calls when the FCC put out that proposal three years ago.

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