Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 10, 2015

Alexander, Feinstein Restate Displeasure With In-Flight Phone Calls

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Feinstein has sent a letter to the Transportation secretary calling for a ban on in-flight phone calls. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate’s leading voices against in-flight cellphone calls are at it again.

Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx calling for a prohibition on voice calls.

“I’m glad the Department of Transportation is thinking about putting the brakes on a bad idea before it takes flight. Stop and think about what we hear in airport lobbies — babbling about last night’s love life, next week’s schedule, arguments with spouses — and then imagine hearing the same thing while you’re trapped in 17-inch-wide seats thousands of feet above the ground,” Alexander said in a statement. “With two million passengers hurtling through the air each day, the Transportation Security Administration would have to hire three times as many air marshals to deal with fistfights.”

This isn’t Alexander’s first commentary on the subject of in-flight phone calls. He weighed in late last year with a similar statement.

Feinstein joined Alexander on legislation announced in December to prohibit using the voice functions of cellphones on commercial flights.

The text of Thursday’s letter to Foxx appears below:

Dear Secretary Foxx,

We are writing to express our strong support for a prohibition on the use of mobile wireless services for voice communication on commercial aircraft.

On February 24, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Docket No. DOT-OST-2014-0002) regarding the use of mobile wireless devices for voice calls on commercial aircraft.  We strongly support the agency’s efforts to preserve the last vestige of quiet in our busy skies.  On December 12, we introduced S. 1811, the Commercial Flight Courtesy Act to codify the current prohibition of voice communication use inflight.

Today’s commercial air passengers often must tolerate a challenging flight experience. Constantly changing security measures, smaller seats, and unexpected fees are inconveniences air passengers have come to accept as the new normal.  Adding the burden of listening to a cacophony of personal conversations while confined to a 17-inch seat strikes us as unnecessary.  We are concerned that the addition of this entirely avoidable aggravation of a confined space will create a possibly hostile atmosphere on commercial flights.

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsible for ensuring the safety of the passengers and crew of commercial airlines.   Flight crews endure long hours, separation from families, and sometimes difficult passengers.  A clear prohibition of phone calls by the FAA, will reduce the likelihood that crew will be forced to place themselves in harm’s way to disrupt physical or verbal altercations between passengers.

Further, it is no secret our skies are being protected by undercover Federal Air Marshalls and we appreciate their service. Were the prohibition on voice communication ended, we are concerned that these agents would be forced to disclose their identity to resolve senseless disputes over inflight phone calls.

We strongly encourage you to finalize a rulemaking to prohibit the use of mobile wireless devices for voice communication inflight.  Keeping phone conversations private on commercial flights may not be enshrined in the Constitution, but it is certainly enshrined in common sense.  By doing so, we believe you will have the gratitude of the majority of the two million Americans who fly each day.

Comments (49)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. BMarie

    March 7, 2014
    12:48 p.m.

    Totally agree with banning in-flight phone calls. We all have breaking points and if we are forced to listen to inane one-sided chatter while trying to get a bit of sleep on long, uncomfortable flights there will surely be more incidents like the movie theater shooting over someone texting, or the parking lot shooting of young men over too loud and annoying music. There may be no guns allowed on flights, but that would not stop someone from getting into a physical altercation, which could have disastrous consequences at 20,000 feet.

  2. Layla

    March 7, 2014
    12:53 p.m.

    Oh, I see….two old Senate dogs who think they are royalty (suits Feinstein to a tee…) are making decisions for the little people again. Is anybody else sick of this monarchy?

  3. teapartyidiots

    March 7, 2014
    1:38 p.m.

    I SO agree with them

  4. Elle's Island

    March 10, 2014
    1:11 a.m.

    One thing I’ve noticed recently – Bolshevik ideologues love the word “reform”. It might actually be their favorite word.

  5. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    2:23 p.m.

    I am incessantly thought about this, thanks for posting.

  6. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    3:04 p.m.

    Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this post is awesome, great written and include approximately all important infos. I’d like to peer extra posts like this.

  7. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    5:41 a.m.

    I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site. Studying this information So i am glad to show that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I such a lot indubitably will make sure to don’t put out of your mind this web site and provides it a look regularly.

  8. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:44 a.m.

    I always was interested in this topic and still am, regards for posting.

  9. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    9:07 p.m.

    I love the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great articles.

  10. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    5:12 p.m.

    I as well as my buddies have already been taking note of the best secrets and techniques found on your web site and immediately developed a terrible suspicion I never thanked you for those secrets. Most of the young men are actually totally warmed to learn all of them and already have in fact been loving these things. Thanks for actually being really thoughtful and for deciding upon this form of fine things millions of individuals are really needing to discover. My very own sincere apologies for not expressing appreciation to sooner.

  11. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    8:32 p.m.

    I have recently started a blog, the information you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  12. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    9:08 p.m.

    Appreciate it for helping out, superb information. “The health of nations is more important than the wealth of nations.” by Will Durant.

  13. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    3:43 p.m.

    You really make it appear really easy with your presentation however I to find this matter to be actually one thing that I feel I might by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and very wide for me. I am taking a look forward in your subsequent publish, I will attempt to get the grasp of it!

  14. Anonymous

    Aug. 2, 2015
    10:58 a.m.

    you have a great blog here! would you like to make some invite posts on my blog?

  15. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9 a.m.

    You could definitely see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  16. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9:53 a.m.

    I just like the valuable info you supply in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at again here frequently. I’m relatively certain I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Good luck for the following!

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    3:12 a.m.

    Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    7:39 a.m.

    I am glad to be a visitant of this arrant website! , regards for this rare information! .

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    10:05 a.m.

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your website by accident, and I am shocked why this accident didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    9:58 p.m.

    Hi there this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding experience so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    1:54 p.m.

    Hi my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include approximately all significant infos. I’d like to see more posts like this.

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    2:44 p.m.

    Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 18, 2015
    1:31 a.m.

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but generally people are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  24. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    9:06 a.m.

  25. Anonymous

    Aug. 25, 2015
    1:24 p.m.

    Hello there, You’ve done an excellent job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

  26. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    6:35 p.m.

    Hello there! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  27. Anonymous

    Sept. 1, 2015
    9:13 p.m.

    Hello, i think that i noticed you visited my weblog so i got here to “return the want”.I’m trying to in finding issues to improve my web site!I suppose its adequate to use some of your concepts!!

  28. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    11:32 a.m.

    Thanks – Enjoyed this post, is there any way I can receive an email every time there is a new article?

  29. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    6:17 p.m.

    Yay google is my king helped me to find this great internet site! .

  30. Anonymous

    Sept. 2, 2015
    11:10 p.m.

    Hey there! Someone in my Facebook group shared this site with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and superb design.

  31. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    1:52 a.m.

    Absolutely composed content, Really enjoyed studying.

  32. Anonymous

    Sept. 3, 2015
    4:04 a.m.

    I like this post, enjoyed this one appreciate it for putting up.

  33. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    6:14 p.m.

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  34. Anonymous

    Sept. 7, 2015
    10:29 p.m.

    It’s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  35. desene animate romana

    Sept. 9, 2015
    3:29 p.m.

    Thanks for the blog post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  36. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    2:38 a.m.

    Very interesting subject , appreciate it for putting up.

  37. Anonymous

    Sept. 13, 2015
    9:50 a.m.

    I consider something genuinely special in this internet site.

  38. Anonymous

    Sept. 17, 2015
    6:25 p.m.

    I in addition to my buddies have been examining the good techniques on your site then instantly got a horrible suspicion I had not expressed respect to the blog owner for those secrets. Those guys happened to be consequently glad to see them and now have extremely been enjoying those things. Thank you for indeed being simply kind and for obtaining varieties of awesome subject areas most people are really eager to be informed on. Our own sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  39. esurance insurance reviews

    Sept. 20, 2015
    10 a.m.

    Get quotes on Esurance for auto and home policy. Save with esurance quote!

  40. state farm insurance quote online

    Sept. 20, 2015
    3:51 p.m.

    Whats amazing note here. It would be great to use your info for future posts or comments.

  41. amica insurance rating

    Sept. 22, 2015
    3:34 a.m.

    Get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  42. amax insurance illinois dallas tx

    Sept. 22, 2015
    5:25 p.m.

    Try discounts up to 40% on auto or home insurance.

  43. Anonymous

    Sept. 22, 2015
    8:50 p.m.

    Its like you learn my mind! You appear to understand so much approximately this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you just can do with some to pressure the message home a bit, but instead of that, that is excellent blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back.


    Sept. 23, 2015
    5:22 a.m.

    Get quotes by zip code from top insurance companies.

  45. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    3:27 p.m.

    I’d have to examine with you here. Which is not one thing I usually do! I take pleasure in reading a post that may make folks think. Additionally, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  46. Anonymous

    Sept. 23, 2015
    11:02 p.m.

    Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, regards. “Success doesn’t come to you…you go to it.” by Marva Collins.

  47. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    12:37 p.m.

    Hello There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. That is a very neatly written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of your helpful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  48. Anonymous

    Sept. 26, 2015
    2:14 p.m.

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100 positive. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  49. omega insurance brokers

    Oct. 7, 2015
    10:13 a.m.

    Free quotes online by zip code! Get cheap rate on auto policy, save up to 520 dollars per year.

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...