Jewish World Review Dec. 17, 2004 / 5 Teves 5765

Dan Abrams

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Consumer Reports

Please keep the skies friendly — and cellphone-free | I just got off an overnight red-eye flight from San Francisco yesterday (after covering the Peterson trial), and while the people behind me were speaking a little too loudly, I was still able to sleep and do my own thing.

The one thing I always appreciate when flying is that apart from the occasional quick phone call on those prohibitively expensive air phones, there's little noise on planes. I can work. I can sleep. I can watch movies. It is cell-phone free, a true piece of acoustic heaven in the sky.

So you can imagine my surprise and dismay when I arrived at the office, one of the first stories that was mentioned was a new FCC investigation to determine whether they should relax the ban on cell phones in the air.

Cell phones on planes? People gabbing in phones with the "La Cucaracha" song as a ringer going off, while my neighbor is basically sitting on my lap?

Just say "no." Even if the FCC determines they're safe, the airlines should determine that they are unsafe to a flyer's sanity. Maybe they can create a special area where calls can be made, or a cell phone section of the plane with a divider. Or maybe restrict use to serious emergencies at your seat.

But please, allow me to read, to sleep, or even to watch the movie "Elf" in peace. It is my final refuge away from my electronic tether.

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JWR contributor Dan Abrams anchors “The Abrams Report,” Monday through Friday from 9-10 p.m. ET on MSNBC TV. He also covers legal stories for “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Today” and “Dateline NBC.” To visit his website, click here. Comment by clicking here.



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