For Immediate Release: April 17, 2008
Contact: Corey Caldwell, 202-434-0586
AFA-CWA Applauds Congress For Initial Efforts To Ban Cell Phone Usage In Flight
Washington, DC – Earlier this week, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), along with nine bipartisan co-sponsors, introduced legislation that would prohibit airline passengers from making or receiving cellular phone calls during commercial flights. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), the world’s largest flight attendant union representing over 55,000 flight attendants at 20 carriers, has long advocated for formal legislation that would continue the current Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ban on in-flight cell phone use. AFA-CWA International President Patricia Friend issued the following statement in support of H.R 5788, the HANG UP Act (Halting Airline Noise to Give Us Peace Act).
“Once again, we applaud Representative DeFazio for his continued dedication to protecting and preserving the interests of flight attendants and airline passengers. The HANG UP Act will serve as an important first step to ensuring safety and security in the aircraft cabin.
“There are numerous concerns regarding cell phone usage during commercial flights that make the recent European Union lifting of their ban alarming. On too many occasions we have witnessed airline management make irrational decisions, without considering the consequences, based solely on perceived “market” factors. If U.S. airline management begins to believe that their airlines will be less competitive with European carriers because of in-flight cell phone use, we can fully expect that U.S. carriers will pull whatever strings necessary in order to lift the current FCC ban. That is why a preemptive federal law is imperative.
“AFA-CWA categorically rejects the notion that passenger use of cell phones on aircraft is a necessity. In far too many easily foreseeable operational scenarios, cell phone use could be worse than a mere nuisance: It could have catastrophic effects on aviation safety and security.”
For over 60 years, the Association of Flight Attendants has been serving as the voice for flight attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill. More than 55,000 flight attendants at 20 airlines come together to form AFA-CWA, the world’s largest flight attendant union. AFA is part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afanet.org.