November 22, 2013
(Ralph Lauer/EPA)
(Ralph Lauer/EPA)

Air travel is an abomination. Getting to the gate is a combination obstacle course and striptease. Airplanes are cramped Greyhound buses with wings and passengers dress accordingly. And now a rule change is being considered that is guaranteed to make flying more of a living hell.

The Federal Communications Commission next month will entertain a proposal to allow cellphone use on airplanes once they have reached the chatty altitude of 10,000 feet. The possibility of enduring ceaseless inane phone conversations while trapped in an aluminum tube 35,000 feet above the earth is truly awesome. About as awesome as that time in the 1990s when I endured a flight from Paris to New York seated across the aisle from a man who chain smoked the entire nine-hour flight.

Imagine having to listen to a Rob Ford cellphone conversation. (Chris Young/AP)
Imagine having to listen to a Rob Ford cellphone conversation. (Chris Young/AP)

There are all sorts of real concerns about this possible rule change. The one I’ve heard most often so far is about safety. Folks won’t pay attention to those in-flight announcements about turbulence or other serious emergencies. But, as is her wont, my colleague Jo-Ann Armao spoke for millions when she gave this insane idea a big thumbs down.

“It’s a public safety issue,” she said, “because I will KILL someone.”

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.