TODAY   |  November 22, 2013

Planes could allow cellphone use during flights

Not all passengers and airline staffers are happy that cellphone use has become an option on planes after a proposed FCC rule change would allow it. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> now to a topic that's going to get the debate going around the breakfast table this morning, is it time to allow airline passengeres to talk on their cell phones during flights.

>> no.

>> no.

>> okay. they're actually considering this. let's get to tom costello. you know how we feel. tell us what might happen here.

>> reporter: that's pretty much the resounding sentiment at the airport. we all sat next to someone that wouldn't stop talking. up until now we choose not to talk to them, maybe they quite down, but now under this proposed rule they can text and talk all the way across country. for some frequent flyers, that's a nightmare. it's been many years since the golden days of flying meant fine china . but do we want this? a plane full of phone conversations at 30,000 feet.

>> i would rather sit next to a crying baby for 8 hours than next to a larry that won't shut up.

>> reporter: while the proposed fcc rule change would allow just that, texting and phone conversations from your seat as you cruise across america, it's already allowed in some countries and the fcc chairman says the time is right to review our outdated and restrictive rules.

>> i think that if passengers were respectful and used earphones or wireless devices and they weren't obnoxious about it it would be acceptable.

>> it was just few weeks ago they eased restrictions on portable devices in flight after they demanded change.

>> why do we have to turn off our electronic devices .

>> because they can interfere with the plane's navigation.

>> how?

>> what's that?

>> how do they interfere with the plane's navigation?

>> reporter: but allowing full phone conversations, not even flight attendants are on board.

>> no, we have done surveys for the use of cellular telephones and passengers don't want that and flight attendants don't either.

>> reporter: some passengers suggest they would give up their frequent flyer loyalty if it came to it.

>> 100%. i'm a frequent flyer on one airline but if they made that change i would consider changing for sure.

>> reporter: it's the talk of the skies this morning, is there any escaping the siren song of the cell phone ? so the fcc is entering this public comment period and then it will take months before any final vote comes and then it's up to the airlines to decide whether they would allow cell phone use. united and american say they'll study the issue. already though delta says no way. it's customers made it clear they're not interested in this.

>> all right tom costello. can of worms opened. i think it's a terrible idea.

>> i think you should be allowed to talk on the phone but only if you get into the overhead compartment.

>> there's no way to shut that person up. that's it.

>> no, maybe they can have a talking only section like they used to have the smoking only.

>> like a curtain.

>> there you go.

>> we need the cone of silence.

>> it's a terrible idea. tell us about this storm --

>> not quite.

>> we want to ask the people what you think. we want to hear your opinion. use the #orangeroom -- see if this is the problem right here, exactly.

>> we rest our case. weigh in #orangeroom.

>> i'm landing early so.