Flight Attendant Union Vows To Fight FCC Plan That Would Allow Cell Phone Calls In-Flight

AFA Launches Campaign Against Allowing In-Flight Voice Calls

Washington, DC – The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) began an extensive public and congressional outreach campaign aimed at reversing today’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that would allow for in-flight cell phone voice calls onboard commercial aircraft.

“Flight Attendants and passengers are united on this issue – there should be no voice calls in-flight. As first responders in the aircraft cabin, Flight Attendants know that this reckless FCC proposal would have negative effects on aviation safety and security,” said Veda Shook, AFA International President. “The use of cell phones for voice communication poses unacceptable risks to the security and safety of America’s civil aviation system and must not be permitted.”

The FCC announced its intention on November 21 to review the current ban on in-flight cell phone voice calls. Over the past three weeks, AFA has been engaging Flight Attendants around the issue. Already, hundreds of Flight Attendants have reached out to congressional representatives in support of a letter by Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Michael Grimm (R-CA) that was submitted to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler yesterday strongly encouraging the continuation of the current ban. In addition, AFA continues to be a strong supporter of two recent bills introduced by Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) that would offer legislation to keep the ban in place permanently.

“In far too many operational scenarios, passengers making phone calls could extend beyond a mere nuisance, creating risks that are far too great.  As the last line of defense in our nation’s aviation system, Flight Attendants understand the importance of maintaining a calm cabin environment, and passengers agree. Repeatedly, studies have shown that a large majority of the American public agrees that voice calls have no place inside the cabin. The FCC should take heed and reverse this nonsensical plan that only stands to benefit a few manufacturers and vendors, and take into consideration the impact it would have on Flight Attendants and the traveling public,” said Shook.

The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 68 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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