Does FCC support United Airlines beating?
RingPlus News Service Los Angeles April 12th, 2017: New FCC rule now allows passengers to be thrown out of airplane flights more frequently. The Federal Communications Commission has decided to reverse its plans, and year-long efforts that would have allowed passengers aboard a flight to use their mobile phone, and make voice calls. This reversal was led by recently appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Pai’s reasoning behind the decision was the he did not believe it was “in the public interest.” This is a strange statement since recent events have showed that aviation authorities do not have public interest in mind, with incidents such as travelers being forcefully removed from their seats.
Airlines based in the United Arab Emirates, Ireland and other countries allow their passengers to make inflight calls, as well as use their mobile device for other activities. Originally phone calls were not permitted due to the fear of potential interference with aviation equipment. Technological advances, such as the sophistication of satellite communications have made this fear a thing of the past. In 2013, steps were taken to allow US based airlines to allow the installation of on-board equipment to support inflight wireless calls. This was a move that was supported by airline companies, but was ill received by the public according to polls.
In 2014, the Telecommunications Industry Association and the Information Technology Industry Council sent a joint letter to the US Department of Transportation stating, “Rather than a priori ban that limits airline and consumer choice, the department should permit US airlines to retain the choice of offering applications such as texts, mobile data, and voice that they determine best suits their passenger’s needs.” This is a strange fact, considering that the leading reason why people are escorted or ejected from airplanes are due to use of their mobile device. In an incident in 2011, which involved Alec Baldwin, the actor refused to turn off his device before take-off. This led to him being escorted off the plane. Similar incidents have happened to a Florida woman in 2011, and to rap artist Offset of Migos fame in February of 2017.
The statement made by the US Department of Transportation was met with a backlash from travelers as well as the Association of Flight Attendants, who responded to the move by stating that such a change “would compromise the flight attendant’s ability to maintain order in an emergency, increased cabin noise and tension among passengers and add an unacceptable risk to aviation security.”
This sentiment was echoed by John Dean, former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon, who stated that this move would benefit telecommunications companies, not passengers.