The Essentials

Will Airlines Allow Cell Phone Calls?

Remember when you had to switch your cell phone to airplane mode — when using a cell phone on a flight was forbidden?

That may be about to change with the advent of 5G frequency bands on cell phones. It now means there are no technological or safety barriers to using your phones on a plane.

And now, members of the European Union have a decision to make — and a deadline as well.

Will airline passengers be allowed to use their phones to make calls from the air? The member states have until June 23rd to decide. Because that’s the date when airlines will be allowed to enable 5G technology. And that will be followed soon after by the implementation of that technology in the U.S., forcing a similar issue to be discussed and debated.

The fact that you can safely make cell phone calls from your seat is one thing. But what is the annoyance factor for your fellow passengers?

Airlines are unlikely to create a new cell phone seat category. So fasten your seat belts, and maybe, bring some noise cancelling headphones.