But on Monday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated in no small terms that people deserve peace and quiet on airplanes: “I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants, and America’s flying public against the FCC’s ill-conceived 2013 plan to allow people to make cellphone calls on planes. I do not believe that moving forward with this plan is in the public interest. Taking it off the table permanently will be a victory for Americans across the country who, like me, value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet.”
The ban is expected to pass an FCC vote, overriding former chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal, which called to “expand consumer access and choice for in-flight mobile broadband,” in light of “outdated and restrictive rules.”
This is all to say that it was never all that convenient to make calls while blasting through the ether on a crowded flight in the US. But given the tenor of things at the FCC, it appears like you won’t get the chance for the foreseeable future.