We’ve been reading a lot about the FCC possibly lifting their ban on inflight cellular services. Ned Levi has written about the prospect of lifting the ban in past columns. In this column Ned has an update about the FCC’s position on the ban, and data from a recent survey released by the FAA concerning European inflight cellphone use.


The FCC is considering lifting its ban on cellphone use for phone calls on airplanes inflight. Ned Levi explores the problem of cellphone use inflight, in part, by examining cellphone use on Amtrak, and proposes a possible solution which would allow airline passengers to make phone calls without disturbing fellow passengers.


The FAA will now permit the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) from gate to gate, but is continuing their ban on using them for phone calls while inflight. Ned Levi discusses the new rules for PED use in depth, and the continued ban on passengers using their PEDs to make phone calls while flying.


Ned Levi has taken his crystal ball out from from storage and has looked at the future of airline inflight entertainment. With satellite based inflight Internet access and new online entertainment options becoming available for air travelers now, Ned believes the landscape of inflight entertainment will be changing to a more “personal” experience.


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Seven domestic airlines have agreed to a promotion with GoGo Inflight that offers free Facebook access during the month of February. Virgin America, Delta, AirTran, American, US Airways, United and Alaska Airlines have all signed on. Facebook will be free for all WiFi passengers, but those who want to access other internet sites other than Facebook will still be required to pay.


This week, American Airlines announced its decision to filter out inflight pornographic Internet content. But if you’re flying on American’s flight 1960, or others like it, the restriction could be meaningless.