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AFL-CIO rallies support for airline cell phone ban (7/14)

July 14, 2009
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Telling Americans to “do your part for airline safety and passenger sanity,” the AFL-CIO’s union of flight attendants is directing the public to send their senators a message urging the U.S. Senate to maintain the ban on in-flight cell phone use.

The union says, “Cell phone usage in the cabin would create a new security risk, compromise flight attendants job of safely executing an emergency evacuation, and ability to maintain order within the cabin amongst cabin noise and tension.”

The ban was included in the House-passed version of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill (H.R. 915) in May. The Senate is expected to act this summer.

Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.) told the travel blog Gadling the cell phone ban goes beyond just eliminating the annoyance factor.

“Everyone has experienced poor cell phone etiquette and how annoying it can be. Our bill will make sure the current ban on in-flight cell phone use is not lifted. Beyond the annoyance factor, this is a safety issue. Flight attendants already have to deal with people that will not hang up their phones, and physical altercations between passengers are not unheard of. Also, in-flight cell phone use is not conducive to providing safety instructions and other important announcements.”

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