Delta Says No to In-Flight Wifi Phone Calls

by Christopher Freeburn | December 18, 2013 12:08 pm

Delta Says No to In-Flight Wifi Phone Calls

Even if aviation regulators eventually permit smartphone use during flights, passengers on Delta Air Lines (DAL[1]) jets won’t be making cellular or WiFi phone calls[2].

airplane cabin interior empty 630 flickr 300x225 Delta Says No to In Flight Wifi Phone Calls[3]
Source: Flickr[4]

DAL made the announcement on Wednesday. The airline’s CEO said in a memo that WiFi phone calls or cellular calls made in the cabin during flights would “be a disruption to the travel experience.” He cited customer feedback and research as persuading the carrier to forbid in-flight phone calls, the Associated Press notes.

In the wake of news reports that federal regulators may relax restrictions on cellular and WiFi phone calls on airplanes during flights[5], some consumers and flight attendants had objected, warning that people jabbering on their phones would irritate other fliers. Delta’s CEO noted that the carrier’s flight crews had strongly opposed permitting in-flight cellular and phone calls.

The ban on cellular and WiFi phone calls will extend to flights contracted under Delta’s Connection service.

Delta joined Southwest Airlines (LUV[6]), which said last week that it will not allow cellular or WiFi phone calls on its flights[7], Fox News notes.

Discount carrier JetBlue (JBLU[8]) hasn’t decided on cellular calls, but says it won’t “police” WiFi phone calls made on flights[9], even though it does block some voice and video chat ports on its airplane WiFi systems, CNET notes.

On the news of Delta’s decision, shares of in-flight broadband Internet service provider GoGo Inc. (GOGO[10]) plunged more than 12%.

Shares of DAL stock slipped slightly in Wednesday mid-day trading.

Endnotes:
  1. DAL: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=DAL
  2. won’t be making cellular or WiFi phone calls: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/delta-no-voice-calls-our-planes
  3. [Image]: http://investorplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/airplane_cabin_interior_empty_630_flickr.jpg
  4. Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/davelevy/
  5. may relax restrictions on cellular and WiFi phone calls on airplanes during flights: http://investorplace.com/investorpolitics/fcc-considers-allowing-cell-phone-calls-planes/
  6. LUV: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=LUV
  7. will not allow cellular or WiFi phone calls on its flights: http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/12/13/southwest-ceo-wont-permit-in-flight-phone-calls/
  8. JBLU: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=JBLU
  9. won’t “police” WiFi phone calls made on flights: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2080440/jetblue-wont-police-inflight-voice-calls-over-wifi.html
  10. GOGO: http://studio-5.financialcontent.com/investplace/quote?Symbol=GOGO

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