Delta to keep ban on in-flight mobile phone use due to customer demand

Delta Air Lines will ban mobile phone calls on aircraft even if US regulators allow the technology to be used in-flight.

The US Federal Communications Commission recently said it would consider lifting its ban on in-flight calls.

Chief executive Richard Anderson said a majority of the airline’s passengers who were surveyed indicated calls would be “a disruption to the travel experience”.

He added that in-flight crews also objected to allowing mobile phones to be used.

“Even as technology advances and as regulations are changed, we will not only consider what we can do, but as importantly we will also consider what is right for our customers and our employees,” said Anderson in a memo to Delta’s 80,000 staff

“Delta has moved quickly when technological and regulatory breakthroughs provide opportunities to make flying better for our customers.

“That is why we were the first to file our plan with the US Federal Aviation Administration to allow customers to use portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet.

“Similarly, if the FCC lifts its ban on cellular use in flight, Delta will move quickly to enable customers to use text, email and other silent data transmission services gate to gate.”

A recent poll by the Associated Press news agency suggested that 48% of Americans opposed allowing mobile phone calls during flights. Among those who flew at least once last year, it was 59%.

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