You can't make voice calls with a phone on a plane yet. Which is why this guy is staring longingly at his dark screen.
Business Traveller

Soon, you may be able to make phone calls on a plane. Noooooo!

Doug Criss and Brenna Williams, CNNUpdated 12th December 2016
(CNN) — Air travel today offers many irritations, but at least that's the one place in this world where you can escape phone calls. Well, maybe not for much longer.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing that airlines have to tell you beforehand if the flight you're about to get on allows passengers to make voice calls from mobile phones.
Phone calls? On a plane? Why?? Aren't we already dealing with...

the back kickers...

the crying babies ....

the passive-aggressive armrest warriors ....

the loud snorers ...

the your-shoulder-as-their-pillow users ....

Now we have to put up with THIS guy?

Zurijeta/Shutterstock
But don't go canceling your next flight just yet.
You can't make in-flight voice calls on your phone using a cell phone signal (that's already an FCC no-no), but you could make calls using Wi-Fi. If the airlines would let you. And they won't.
So this little proposal from the DOT is to protect you if your airline suddenly changed its mind. The airline would have to tell you before you buy the ticket if Wi-Fi voice calls are allowed on a flight.
So what's next? The Transportation Department will gather comments on the proposal, so it can decide whether a warning is enough, or if it should just go ahead and ban voice calls on planes -- either via cell or Wi-Fi -- altogether.
Hopefully they'll settle this soon (and the way that we want it), so we can all go back to grumbling about that person in the row ahead of you who violently reclines his or her seat right into your lap.
Over and over and over again.
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