Regular readers of my blog know my strong feelings about cell phones on planes: I am against it for many reasons (you can ready why here). So this headline in The Next Web – Delta calls cops on Viber founder for using VoIP app on plane – really caught my eye.
Talmon Marco is the founder of social VoIP and free texting app Viber. On a recent Delta Air Lines flight, Marco was told by a flight attendant that he couldn’t use the voice part of Viber, citing FAA regulations. In fact, FAA says it doesn’t have any regulation specifically covering VoIP, adding it’s more an issue with airlines. The flight attendant then told Marco he was violating the terms of service of Gogo, the carrier’s inflight Wi-Fi vendor.
Marco took to Twitter complaining about a regulation that doesn’t exist, and was told by the airline that they had called the police, who would be there when he landed. They were, but let him go when they realized that he hadn’t broken any laws.
I won’t go off on a tangent about how flight attendants like to throw around the phrase “FAA regulations” when they want passengers to do — or not do — something. Technically, Marco wasn’t breaking any rules. But if I’m flying in a metal tube sitting next to or near him, I do NOT want to hear him gabbing away via VoIP.