We all know it. Airline travel has de-evolved into bus travel with fewer heroin addicts and beer farts. The only thing that could possibly make the experience more simultaneously irritating and soul-crushing is if the FCC allows loud, obnoxious airline travelers to be even louder and more obnoxious on their cellphones.
Fortunately, the congressional Republicans are taking up the issue, and they're exactly right to do so.
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) became the second lawmaker after Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to offer legislation to keep the ban in place.
“Let’s face it, airplane cabins are by nature noisy, crowded, and confined,” said Shuster, the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “For those few hours in the air with 150 other people, it’s just common sense that we all keep our personal lives to ourselves and stay off the phone.”
The bills follow a flood of complaints to the Federal Communications Commission, which announced last month that it would look into ending the ban.
Of course it's common sense. Texting and emailing are fine because of the, you know, silence. As it is already, we're forced to endure inconsiderate jagoffs who recline all the way back, then grumble and sneer when you bump into their seatbacks on your way to a toilet that smells like the ninth level of Dante's hell if the ninth level of Dante's hell was eaten and digested by Roseanne Barr. We surely don't need hundreds of self-important Dell Griffiths on their cellphones shouting recaps of their Carnival poop ship vacations to people who they're going to see in three hours anyway.
Seriously, the ban on phones in-flight is the last defense against commuter airplanes descending into torturous sapien-tubes containing in close, pressurized quarters the very worst aspects of humanity. And while I'd much rather they act like grown-ups on a wide range of other issues, finally we have something positive from the congressional Republicans.