A bit of good news today for those of you deathly afraid of someone making a phone call next to you on a Delta flight — it ain't gonna happen, CEO Richard Anderson said today in a memo to employees.
"Our customer research and direct feedback tell us that our frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin would be a disruption to the travel experience," Anderson wrote. "Delta employees, particularly our in-flight crews, have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls onboard."
We're going to see more and more phones in use one way or another on planes. While we agree that the fear of in-flight phone calls largely is sensationalized — it's loud up there, and someone talking on a phone really isn't an different than someone talking to the person next to them — a little solace at 35,000 probably won't hurt us.
For more, see our special feature, "Below 10,000 feet: Gadgets on planes."
Here's Delta CEO Richard Anderson's full memo to employees:
Last week the U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted to seek public comment in consideration of lifting its ban on in-flight cell phone use. Delta will not allow cellular calls or internet-based voice communications onboard Delta or Delta Connection flights.
Our customer research and direct feedback tell us that our frequent flyers believe voice calls in the cabin would be a disruption to the travel experience. In fact, a clear majority of customers who responded to a 2012 survey said they felt the ability to make voice calls onboard would detract from – not enhance – their experience. Delta employees, particularly our in-flight crews, have told us definitively that they are not in favor of voice calls onboard.
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 U.S. 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.
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. This is yet another example of how we continue to have your back and how we also rely on your professionalism and experience to guide our actions and decisions.
Thanks for all you do every day for our customers, our colleagues and our business.