Good point! It seems impossible to legislate manners.
My daughter just took a red-eye bac from the West Coast. Doesn't EVERYONE know that etiquette in red-eye fligts is you shut the $%^& up and let people sleep?
Evidently not. The whole flight, people next to her watching DVDs on speaker. Astounding! Imagine what these people could do with aell phone.
I have started traveling more and find that people are quite oblivious to those around them. Many are very nice and are not an issue, but there seem to be at least one or two (or more..) at every terminal talking away on their phones. The content of the conversations might not be private but I don't want to know that so and so in the office is a pig. I wonder what they would do if someone took a video of them yacking away on their phone and posted it to youtube? A big part of me wants to ignore them and let them "do their thing" but at some point I just want to say take your personal call somewhere in private please...
As a SuperCommuter, I see three issues: powering off, WiFi, and cell phones. First, the article says 1/3 of passengers have failed to completely turn off their phone at some time. I'd guess the number is closer to 100% (especially between the people who don't understand how to fully turn off their device and the others who quietly refuse). Clearly the navigation systems still work. Secondly, many airlines are encouraging paid WiFi once in high altitude flight. so that obviously isn't a problem. Third, the cell phone annoyance issue is very real.. So many people have bad manners (and aircraft are small enough that a substantial portion of the passengers are subjected to each call) that it makes sense to refuse that service - especially since the aircraft are so noisy that people will be shouting. The old paid phones on aircraft were staggeringly expensive - and had large headsets so people could hear. The short calls (financial necessity) were therefore at least tolerable.
From the article: "In its current form, the draft suggests that devices such as e-readers and music players would be allowed, but cellphones would not."
I find it entertaining that some people's first thought when the words "gadget" are mentioned are "voice function on cell phone". Same people probably do not have a smartphone or tablet and don't understand why anyone else needs one.
I use my phone all the time for email and web browsing and this would be very helpful.
So I thought everyone reading this web site is an electrical engineer.
Doesn't everyone realize that the cell tower antennas don't point up into the sky?
At cruising altitude you can't make calls because you can't reach a cell tower. All of the commentary about "allowing the use of smartphones on planes" needs to stress this point.
Nobody will sit next to you on the flight, yakking away on a cell phone.
Airliners these days have a half-decent internet connection that they offer to paid customers. Perhaps they could charge customers with comparable price models by WiFi off-loading to mobile handsets?