Don't plan on making a cellphone call on a plane any time soon. Though the Federal Communications Commission is in the process of allowing expanded use of phones while up in the air, the Department of Transportation plans to stop fliers from fully taking advantage of that, according to The Wall Street Journal. The DOT reportedly plans to propose a rule this December that would prohibit making and receiving in-flight cellphone calls. The public would be able to submit feedback on that proposal, which would then be factored in to the final rule.
The ban would likely be because calls are a nuisance
Though it's unstated, it appears that the DOT does not take issue with texting or other data use, which would still free fliers up to do a lot more on their phones than they can right now. The use of electronics on flights has notoriously been quite limited until recently, and more options are still being opened up. Once the FCC lifts limitations on cellphones, it'll be up to the individual airlines to determine their policies on usage of them. Should the DOT pass this rule, however, airlines would be limited in what they can allow fliers to do. A ban on in-flight cellphone calls is certainly music to many frequent fliers ears, but should a ban be put in place, it appears that it would be just that — a ban over concerns that phone calls would become too noisy, irritating, and distracting.