We’re less than a week away from the busiest time of the year in air travel – the Christmas holiday season. According to the American Air Trade Industry, between December 17 and January 6, 15 million people will line up for their pre-flight TSA grope. And if the FCC gives the green light, those 15 million people will probably be talking on their cell phones.
Right next to your head.
I’d be less alarmed if Samuel L. “Snakes On A Plane” Jackson was wrestling a pit viper out of the overhead bin at 15C.
As if the holidays weren’t stressful enough, getting there may now involve your melon being bookended by a couple of Droids. Especially if you drew the short straw of airline travel known as the middle seat.
Give me a screaming baby any day. For all I care, that baby could whip an unfiltered Camel out of his diaper for a few puffs to calm his frazzled nerves. I’d rather have Junior blow smoke rings in my face. Because I could deal with that more gracefully than having a Yakass two inches from my noggin for the duration of my cross-country flight.
If you’ve been a passenger on a commercial aircraft recently, you’ve observed that many levels of civility have vanished from society. Allow cell phones and it’s going to get worse. The FCC says cell phones on a plane aren’t a matter of public safety.
I beg to differ.
Because I will punch somebody in the throat.
I get enough cell phone snippets in public every day. And as a columnist on a deadline, thank you for oversharing. Because when you are speaking on your phone in a volume that could be heard by my parents without their Miracle Ears, any words that leave your lips are fair game.
Like the Cell Phone Woman talking about Ed’s Viagra adventures as she perused the baking products. Cell Phone Woman wasn’t smiling because of the buy-one-get-one-free Duncan Hines products.
I heard a Break Up Call from the other side of a stall door. Dude, if this chick is breaking up with you via cell phone from a public restroom while she’s actually on the john, trust me, it’s for the best.
There was the touching Hallmark moment. “Jack called, he says he’s a new daddy,” the man said. “At least he thinks he’s the daddy.”
With all of these examples, however, there’s one common theme. When I lose interest in your conversation, I can walk away.
Not so strapped in a giant aluminum tube at 35,000 feet.
Because bored travellers are going to whip out their cell phones to call a friend. But I beg you, just watch reruns of 30 Rock like the rest of us.
The FCC insists cell phones won’t be a problem.
That’s because FCC doesn’t fly coach.
Officials claim there are many solutions. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says there could be a limit on the number of simultaneous calls on a plane. Tom, will you be there to tell folks it’s time to hang up so someone else can have a turn?
I didn’t think so.
And speaking of another kindergarten rule, who’s going to tell the Yakasses to use their inside voices?
It boils down to one thing – Money. Once we are allowed to fuel our cell phone addiction in the sky, somebody’s going to make a whole lot of it. It’s called a Roaming Fee.
So airlines, here are a few ideas. Designate a Yakass Section for Frequent Talkers. Charge exorbitant Roaming Fees, correct change appreciated, to talk your way across America. At the end of the flight, give all the non-talkers aboard the Yakass Express a share of that scratch.
Or just make every Yakass hold a baby with an attitude – and a pack of Camels.
Don’t want to sit next to a yakass on a plane? Me neither. Call Tom Wheeler. Tell him I sent you.