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Congress: No annoying airplane cell phone calls

By JOAN LOWY, Associated Press Writer Thu Jul 31, 6:28 PM ET

WASHINGTON - Cell phone calls on airplanes in flight are not only unsafe, they're obnoxious and they should be permanently banned, according to some members of Congress.

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House members, most of whom board airplanes almost every week, traded horror stories Thursday about their worst experiences with annoying fellow passengers who talk loudly on cell phones before takeoff and after landing. One lawmaker said his wife sat next to a woman who loudly discussed her sex life on the phone.

Another House member topped that with the passenger sitting him behind on one flight who got a "dear John" phone call from either his wife or sweetheart just before takeoff. The begging and pleading was just terrible to listen to, he said. Finally, with the plane ready to take off, a flight attendant had to threaten to have U.S. Marshals drag the man off the plane before he finally put his phone away.

A third House member raised the specter of national security, saying she'd witnessed one man use his cell phone camera to take pictures of sensitive parts of the airplane.

With that, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved by voice vote a bill that would make the current Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communication Commission ban on cell phone use during flight permanent.

The committee's action comes as the European Union is moving to allow airline passengers to talk on their cell phones during flight. Some U.S. airlines are experimenting with in-flight Internet access. And some lawmakers worry that domestic airlines might try to get the cell phone ban lifted so they can charge passengers extra to sit in no-phone sections.

"I do believe this is important that we don't make what is already a crowded and difficult environment for the traveling public and flight attendants" worse by allowing cell phone use in-flight, said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., sponsor of the Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace (HANG UP) Act.

But Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., said there are a lot of annoying things on airplanes, including children with dirty diapers and noisy MP3 players, but that doesn't mean they should be banned.

"You are trying to legislate courtesy, folks, and that just doesn't work," Mica said.

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My dad is a pilot, I practically grew up at the airport. 95% of all airport security is nothing but a giant show they put on to make you feel safe. The only worthwhile thing they have done since 9/11 is improving the doors and hinges on the cockpit.

Taking pictures of sensitive parts of the plane? What? I'll pay 50 dollars to someone who can tell me what you could take a picture of that is both A) remotely important B ) something I couldnt find online in 15 minutes or in an easily obtainable manual.

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My dad is a pilot, I practically grew up at the airport. 95% of all airport security is nothing but a giant show they put on to make you feel safe. The only worthwhile thing they have done since 9/11 is improving the doors and hinges on the cockpit.

Taking pictures of sensitive parts of the plane? What? I'll pay 50 dollars to someone who can tell me what you could take a picture of that is both A) remotely important B ) something I couldnt find online in 15 minutes or in an easily obtainable manual.

Seriously. And these people make our laws... It's a friggin joke. We're going to ban cell phones because of the potential of:

"Dear John" phone calls right before takeoff.

The possibility that someone might take a picture with a ****** cell phone camera (when good cameras are smaller than some cell phones.)

The fear that someone might talk about their sex life (when I guarantee you they SHOW worse things on Grey's Anatomy.)

Seriously, they should all be hanged. *******.

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About 15 years ago when the general mass didn't have cell phones, what were we doing with all that spare time?
We were being extremely inefficient. Just as we were in the early 20th century when we had no interstate system, or in the early 1980's when we did not have email. Like it or not, cell phones make life easier and transaction more efficient.

You can't legislate coutesy. If you could, body odor would have been banned long ago.

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