Ant Pruitt: In-Flight Cell Phone Calls? Please No!

Ready for in-flight cell calls and text messaging? Ant Pruitt is not. — You’re walking through the airport trying make your way to your terminal. This isn’t easy. Why? Because there are thousands of other travelers looking for their terminal. atlThese same travelers are also on their phones looking at the latest stock quotes, texting and emailing contacts or having a conversation about an upcoming meeting. You hardly ever see someone just walking through the airport anymore. There’s always the beloved smartphone slowing them down, which in turn slows you down.

Next, you’re standing in line ready to board your flight. Of course you’ll have travelers in line wanting to share one more good-bye with friends and loved ones. Those are heartwarming. Oh, but we can’t forget the bigshot businessman that must be heard on his cell phone barking out commands and negotiations. “I said cut it by 40 percent or there’s no deal!” I love those guys.

The plane hatch closes and you are instructed to put your cell phone into the off position or airplane mode. Peace and quiet. Finally. Or not.

Flyby Calling

Just recently Delta Air Lines announced that some mobile devices are now allowed to be powered on during the plane’s takeoff. This allows us to capture cool takeoff videos for our children to watch, or get one more skyline shot before we’re in the clouds. But wait, there’s more.


Not only can personal electronic devices (PEDs) be powered on, but cellular calls and text messaging capability is just around the corner. Popular in-flight Wi-Fi provider Gogo has announced plans to implement in-flight cellular calling for consumers. I think this is a bad idea.

I may come off as a crazy old coot, but I stand by my opinion. This feature may be great for those needing to make that one-minute phone call. We would all love to say good luck to our children right before their recital. But, what bugs me is this could potentially turn into the ridiculous conversations you have to endure while being on crowded public transit. I don’t know about you, but phone calls in a crowded space irks me to no end.

I understand a little chatter, but I don’t want to spend the bulk of my flight next to someone rapping about how many shots of whiskey they took last night, or arguing with their loved one. (Disclaimer: I love whiskey.) Sure I’m not your typical people person, but I just want a safe, peaceful flight. A relatively-quiet flight.

What are your thoughts? Are you ready for in-flight calling?  I wonder what our cranky geek John C. Dvorak thinks.

Based in Charlotte, NC, Ant Pruitt is an IT pro, a columnist and the podcast captain at Look for his Smartphone Photographers Community and Yet Another Tech Show. Follow him @ihavnolyfe or on Google+ and email him at See all Ant’s articles on aNewDomain by following this link here.


  • Once sat on the tarmac at LAX for 40 minutes of hell listening to a woman fight with her friend about the history and current status of some silly reality show.

    The problem with people on cell phones is how they raise their voices like the are actually yelling to the other person.

    I kind of hope they do like the in-plane system already available, make it so expensive no one can afford to use it.

    I don’t want cell calls allowed in the plane…

  • I’m cool with texting – it’s silent! But I think phone calls are too
    much – unless they can install an old-fashioned phone booth with doors
    in the front of the plane. :)

    • Hahahaha! Texting is where it’s at, Paul. Just put the ringer on something less annoying and not the theme song from “Night at the Roxbury.” :) Thanks for reading and your comment!

      -RAP, II

  • Oh, I so totally agree with you, Richard. Make it next to impossible or just plain impossible to place calls on-board. And save us from callers screaming into their devices while seated within feet of me. Please, oh lord.