Is making a phone call really the most annoying thing you can do on a plane?

Apparently US regulators are considering what to do about WiFi phone callson planes. Their rationale is that many passengers think that people making phone calls is annoying.

But is that the real reason? If airlines were worried about passenger comfort would they allow the seat-back satellite phones? Is the difference here, perhaps, that they can charge a lot for calls? (Kind of another net neutrality debate, but at 37 000′.)

Similarly, if customer comfort was a priority, surely we?d get more leg space. And better air. And fewer jerks that sit in front of you and recline the seat immediately after take-off.

I’m on a roll here.

How about we also ban people clipping their toe-nails? And demand showers for people who don’t use deoderant or have stinky feet. Airlines should also check your baggage for unpleasant foods. And that guy buying a “top shelf” magazine (for the articles, obviously) should probably be segregated. Crying babies with negligent parents should be given puppies and caffeine.

In short, people can be obnoxious. Banning some options doesn’t change that. Sitting in a pressurised tin can, thousands of meters in the air with a bunch of strangers is never going to be fun. Concentrate on blanking it all out.

This post was originally shared in 2016 on Medium.