Patterico's Pontifications


GOP Looks to Maintain Ban on Cell Phone Calls on Planes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Not because of safety, but because of how annoying it would be:

Political momentum to keep a ban on cellphone calls during flights gained momentum Monday as lawmakers said it would be crazy to allow them.

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) became the second lawmaker after Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to offer legislation to keep the ban in place.

“Let’s face it, airplane cabins are by nature noisy, crowded, and confined,” said Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “For those few hours in the air with 150 other people, it’s just common sense that we all keep our personal lives to ourselves and stay off the phone.”

It sure is. But why does that mean we have to legislate it?

Lawmakers in favor of keeping the ban say they’re not worried about the safety of passengers. They’re worried about their sanity.

“For passengers, being able to use their phones and tablets to get online or send text messages is a useful in-flight option,” Shuster said. “But if passengers are going to be forced to listen to the gossip in the aisle seat, it’s going to make for a very long flight.”

I am all in favor of a ban on cell phone usage on planes — by the airlines. I would not want to fly any airline that allowed someone to gab in the seat next to me. But I am mystified as to how this is the subject of federal legislation.


  1. The party of small government?

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 12/10/2013 @ 7:53 am

  2. Let’s face it, you’re a statist whore.

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/10/2013 @ 7:54 am

  3. There’s a good reason the GOP is fracturing.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:01 am

  4. facepalm with an old one,

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:04 am

  5. Anyone for the “Stupid Party?”

    Comment by MikeK (cd7278) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:09 am

  6. “I am all in favor of a ban on cell phone usage on planes — by the airlines. I would not want to fly any airline that allowed someone to gab in the seat next to me. But I am mystified as to how this is the subject of federal legislation.”

    +1 and +1.

    Comment by J.P. (bd0246) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:10 am

  7. Really? Bad use of people’s time and frankly TOTALITARIAN in nature.

    Let each airline figure it out with their customers and BUTT THE FUCK OUT!

    Comment by Rodney King's Spirit (11dcd5) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:14 am

  8. We don’t need government to run our lives. I know the Democrats will never accept that fact but I hoped the GOP might grasp that concept. It’s clear the current crop of Republican leaders don’t get it.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:28 am

  9. dealing with obnoxious public cell phone use is easy:

    i simply join in the conversation, offering a running commentary, offering suggestions, asking questions, etc, until the talker snaps.

    invariably, they claim that they are having a private conversation, which is when i point out they should take it someplace private…

    no one’s shot me yet! O:)

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:32 am

  10. Having solved every other of the nation’s problems, the GOP now turns to the last issue: noisy cell phone callers on airplanes.

    When this is done, they can all go home.

    Comment by Pious Agnostic (c45233) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:49 am

  11. People illegally using cell phones is why we still have a Capitol.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:51 am

  12. I think what we are seeing here is the some Republicans being conservative.

    i.e., This is the way it is, so this is the way it should stay.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (ca4c0f) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:53 am

  13. The party of Epic. Fail.

    Elitism at it’s finest. I agree that people should stop being so dadgum self important that their personal conversations should be exactly that, but make a LAW against it?

    SCREW YOU, politicians. We need SO much less of you in our daily lives. Really we do.

    Comment by © Sponge (8110ec) — 12/10/2013 @ 9:03 am

  14. We already get to overhear national security interviews on the Acela train, to say nothing of impending law firm layoffs and buyouts.

    Why not on airplanes as well?

    Comment by luagha (5cbe06) — 12/10/2013 @ 9:41 am

  15. Since your all rightly sick of me making the point:

    So I don’t know what we do if we can’t actually control the representative government that we claim will manifest the popular will. Even if we all start having the same sentiments that I’m arguing for now, I’m not sure we can effect them any more in the same way that we could at the rise of the Great Depression, so maybe it will be the brick.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/10/2013 @ 9:46 am

  16. Our problem isn’t just that our way of life is going away.

    Its that the small business engine of change, of upward mobility, has been dismantled. Resurrecting it entails undoing 50 years of bipartisan progress, of sunsetting the gainful employment of 2 million Federal employees.

    Our good buddy Alan Simpson is every bit as much at fault as Crack Whore.

    Knocking a few heads is a place to start, but they need to stay knocked, forever.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/10/2013 @ 10:02 am

  17. Way to go. This will demonstrate to people the serious nature of federal lawmaking while supporting the Republican ideal of smaller government and less government regulation and intrusion into commerce. Good allah.

    Comment by elissa (e410e0) — 12/10/2013 @ 10:05 am

  18. “milk cow with 310 million tits”, you gotta admit, is a pretty good turn of phrase.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/10/2013 @ 10:06 am

  19. Is this “rebranding” or is this “fighting”?

    Comment by TimesDisliker (b1380d) — 12/10/2013 @ 10:07 am

  20. Is this “rebranding” or is this “fighting”?

    it’s “reaching across the aisle” while jerking the public around

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/10/2013 @ 10:26 am

  21. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a jet liner on which you could hear the person next to you unless they’re yelling at the top of their lungs.


    Comment by Hired Mind (7f3e0d) — 12/10/2013 @ 11:06 am

  22. Wouldn’t bother me and would only be for a few minutes when on/near the ground anyway.

    But throw in a ban on CNN in airports, for the same “oh gawd just shaddup already” reasons, and you might be able to win me over!

    Comment by ras (be1e0d) — 12/10/2013 @ 11:17 am

  23. I don’t think I’ve ever been on a jet liner on which you could hear the person next to you unless they’re yelling at the top of their lungs.

    not everyone flies AMC…

    Comment by redc1c4 (abd49e) — 12/10/2013 @ 11:19 am

  24. To be fair, this is an actual regulation of interstate commerce, which is specifically allowed by the Constitution. It’s not like they were trying to tell people how to buy health insurance within their state or something.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/10/2013 @ 11:25 am

  25. Everything for the state, everything within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing above the state.

    Comment by Ken (8447c1) — 12/10/2013 @ 11:27 am

  26. And can you imagine being seated next to a Congressman on his cell phone? I’d rather have the screaming baby.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/10/2013 @ 11:28 am

  27. It was never an FAA safety rule, contrary to popular belief. The FAA left it up to the airlines. It was an FCC rule because it drove the cell companies’ call routing computers nuts, at the time, having those calls coming into the towers from 8 miles up at 500 mph (roughly something like that). Now the cell companies are ok with that, wherefore the rule change.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/10/2013 @ 11:41 am

  28. Mystified?
    If they don’t do it, the entire structure of society is threatened…..or something.

    Just further examples of sufferers of “There Ought To Be A Law Syndrome”.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/10/2013 @ 11:49 am

  29. invariably, they claim that they are having a private conversation, which is when i point out they should take it someplace private…

    “I would if I had somewhere private to take it”.

    Comment by Milhouse (b95258) — 12/10/2013 @ 12:05 pm

  30. Next, Harold Stassen makes a comeback.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/10/2013 @ 12:52 pm

  31. I’m trying to imagine what would happen if states were to regulate airlines. “We are now over Texas, so you may use cell phones for approximately the next 32 minutes. However, Louisiana has banned the use of cell phones in planes, so once we are over their airspace, all phones must be immediately disconnected.”

    I’m with you on airlines banning cell phones, but really can’t get too worked up about the federal government doing it. The normal ways in which people would solve these problems simply do not apply when in a cabin: you cannot leave, ask the other person to leave, smack someone upside the head, call the police if you feel physically threatened, etc.

    Incidentally, how would a brawl be settled while eight miles up in the air? “If you two don’t quiet down back in Aisle 17 and figure it out amongst yourselves, I’m going to turn this plane around and go back home”?

    Comment by bridget (a44b32) — 12/10/2013 @ 1:03 pm

  32. I’d rather have the screaming baby.

    “I had the worst flying experience of my life in 1983. I sat next to a crying baby, who smoked!” – Ron Richards

    Comment by TimesDisliker (b1380d) — 12/10/2013 @ 1:04 pm

  33. I guess I would prefer CongressCritters to focus on this kind of nonsense, as opposed to their normal habit of f@cking things up.

    Comment by JD (5c1832) — 12/10/2013 @ 1:26 pm

  34. bridget, I remember traveling by train, and the club car would have to observe the local laws on alcohol. Very confusing in TX as some counties were wet, some were dry.
    I also believe there was a time when KS was still completely dry that they airlines would have to not serve booze while in KS airspace.
    But, both of these recollections are from 50-yrs ago.

    Brawls are settled by putting all participants in restraints, and having them arrested by Federal Officers upon landing for “Interfering with a flight crew in the performance of their duties” – it is a serious crime come sentancing.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/10/2013 @ 1:39 pm

  35. Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/10/2013 @ 12:52 pm

    Harold might be an improvement.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/10/2013 @ 1:41 pm

  36. Anyone who automatically thinks that “there ought to be a law” should never be allowed to run for public office. The biggest cause of today’s problems are yesterday’s legislative “solutions.”

    Comment by Michael M. Keohane (6dc0ef) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:23 pm

  37. 28. There’s the bathroom, but you may have limited time in there.

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae) — 12/10/2013 @ 2:23 pm

  38. There’s the bathroom, but you may have limited time in there.

    I’m sure it’s done now.

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/10/2013 @ 4:39 pm

  39. the tax and spend Paul Ryan budget is an even gayer idea than letting putin host an olympic games

    Comment by happyfeet (c60db2) — 12/10/2013 @ 4:50 pm

  40. ok maybe it’s *marginally* less gay

    Comment by happyfeet (c60db2) — 12/10/2013 @ 4:50 pm

  41. Evidently our Central Bankers got to the House Budget Director formerly known as Executive Material:

    They need more spending to goose QE 50%.

    Talk of Taper is just BS to wrongfoot the competition, i.e., the ECB, BOE, BOJ, et alia.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 12/10/2013 @ 8:32 pm

  42. Well, as I’m not planning to fly commercially until the silliness at the gates goes away … yawn.

    Really. I remember changing flights, grabbing a taxi to the airport, running through it with a B-4 bag in one hand and an attache case in the other, handing my ticket to the agent as I slid by, opened the door, ran out onto the taxiway and up into the Convair 440. Made it. More than once, in fact.

    I can drive to Chicago faster than I can fly commercially.

    Comment by htom (412a17) — 12/10/2013 @ 9:07 pm

  43. most people who fly commercial have no choice i think

    and they’re not paid enough

    what you do NOT want to do is question my checked bag expenses or anything goddamn else about my travel

    not when i took radiation for your effing team buddy

    do we have an understanding

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 12/10/2013 @ 9:23 pm

  44. Common to almost all lefties is this: Whenever they conclude something is a “good idea,” they immediately then think: “We should pass a law to promote that.” Or if they think something is bad, they immediately think: “We should pass a law to forbid that.”

    They skip the intermediate steps like: “Does the Constitution give the federal government the power to do this?” And: “Are there ways to [promote/deter] what I want to [promote/deter] that don’t involve passing any laws?”

    It never occurs to them that with each such new law, either promoting or deterring whatever, liberty is reduced. Just doesn’t enter their heads, won’t compute — it typically seems like a meaningless observation to them.

    Comment by Beldar (8ff56a) — 12/11/2013 @ 12:49 am

  45. It ultimately comes down to “I want the government to use bayonets to make happen what I think should happen.”

    Incredibly selfish, self-indulgent, and juvenile. Incredibly consistent among lefties.

    Comment by Beldar (8ff56a) — 12/11/2013 @ 12:50 am

  46. Oh, my a new spam method — echo comments with links. #45-54

    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/11/2013 @ 1:36 am

  47. Oh, my a new spam method — echo comments with links. #45-54
    Comment by Kevin M (536c5d) — 12/11/2013 @ 1:36 am

    It’s not new, just a new one that I didn’t block in the past. The method has been around for several years. I went in and nuked them.

    Comment by Stashiu3 (e7ebd8) — 12/11/2013 @ 5:21 am

  48. I used to do a great deal of flying in the course of doing my work (in the air at least a couple times a week for a dozen years). I am soooooo thankful that I am not required to do that anymore. I would hate the whole experience one has to endure these days.

    Let the market decide and any Republican that would support this sort of busybody legislation ain’t fit for office.

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (058bc9) — 12/11/2013 @ 6:27 am

  49. I can ignore a cell phone conversation. I can’t ignore someone wearing 5 gallons of cheap perfume sitting next to me.

    To hell with cell phone bans, stop the stink.

    Comment by anchovy (16257f) — 12/11/2013 @ 7:27 am

  50. The problem may well take care of itself: The under 30 crowd is incapable of conversation and is so busy texting that they will all be totally inarticulate within a few years. Blessed peace for the rest of us.

    Comment by Bar Sinister (b48c12) — 12/11/2013 @ 9:41 am

  51. the Convair 440

    Now, there’s a “Blast from the Past”!
    Flew one from Atlanta to Charleston back in ’63, with stops in-between.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/11/2013 @ 9:45 am

  52. Comment by Beldar (8ff56a) — 12/11/2013 @ 12:50 am

    and then they wonder why those bitter clingers are so bitter, and clinging.
    Perhaps they’ll get-a-clue when they see us coming while singing “Onward Christian Soldiers”, or “The Battle-Hymn of the Republic”.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/11/2013 @ 9:48 am

  53. My gardener keeps mowing the lawn too close.

    I think Congress should pass a law of minimum lawn blade length.

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 12/11/2013 @ 11:23 am

  54. I am all in favor of a ban on cell phone usage on planes — by the airlines. I would not want to fly any airline that allowed someone to gab in the seat next to me. But I am mystified as to how this is the subject of federal legislation.

    Are you KIDDING ME???

    No, not about the idea that it’s a legislation matter. The notion that even the airlines should be doing anything with it.

    I’m sorry, if someone’s being cluelessly obnoxious right next to me, I can think of ALL SORTS of fun I can have.

    “Oh, John. Hang up on that stupid bitch and come back to bed…”

    “Madame, you DO realize your dog is choking to death while you chatter away?”

    “Excuse me, but is that a BOMB you’re assembling in your lap?”

    Think “photobombing” but verbally. The opportunities to f*** with someone are truly awe inspiring.

    Comment by Smock Puppet, Gadfy, Racist-Sexist Thug, and Bon Vivant All In One Package (225d0d) — 12/12/2013 @ 9:55 am

  55. A little perspective too, please.

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 12/12/2013 @ 1:02 pm

  56. SP, it is never in “good taste” to mention b-o-m-b on an aircraft, even in jest.
    Flight crews take a very dim view, just like you should never greet your friend “John” using the “familiar” of his given name, as in “Hi, Jack!”

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 12/12/2013 @ 1:05 pm

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