Keep cell phones in silent mode

December 2, 2013 

Tom Wheeler, the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, says cell-phone rules for use in airplanes are "outdated and restrictive."

That's technically true. Anyone who's accidentally left his cell phone on during takeoff or landing knows that phones don't interfere with flight systems. But whether passengers can safely make calls from a plane isn't the issue. The question is whether it should be allowed.

The answer is a resounding "no."

Passengers already have to endure sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers in a tight, enclosed space. To then have to listen to others babble on their cell phones in a loud voice would be beyond the pale.

Passengers can text, email and communicate in other silent ways with their family and friends all they want. But no calling, please. Restrictive rules aren't necessarily a bad thing.

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