My Ombudsman: The Flight Attendants’ Union?

Uncategorized Posted Apr 13, 2005 by metropolis

From my sound-sensitive colleague Randy Wambold…

As I wrote in an earlier blog, there’s talk of allowing in-flight cellphone usage.

I grabbed the blog bully pulpit to rally on behalf of planes as one of the few remaining places in this world of ours where you can count on a little peace and quiet (well, human peace and quiet anyway — I suppose you wouldn’t call a jet engine quiet). I thought I was writing as an idealist, calling this change “inevitable.”

Now I come to find I might have reason to hope that this might be “evitable” after all.

A recent article from the San Jose Mercury News ( registration is required but an account is free) reports that the flight attendants’ union is fighting the move toward allowing in-flight cellphone usage. A recent poll released by the union shows that 63 percent of airline
passengers oppose the idea of allowing in-flight cell phone calls.

My confidence that I/we as “mere customers” could have any leverage to withstand this trend is about nil; thus the statement in my original blog.

But when I consider what flight attendants also stand to lose if cell phones are permitted in-flight — their sanity — and that they have an organized union to represent their concerns…well, confident is probably too strong a word, but hopeful is a lot more sanguine than “nil.”

Sorry, gotta run. I have to make a contribution to the flight attendants’ union.