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Poll shows strong opposition to in-flight calls

A majority air travelers oppose removing decades-old prohibitimaking phone calls planes new Associated Press poll finds. | AP file photo

A majority of air travelers oppose removing a decades-old prohibition on making phone calls on planes, a new Associated Press poll finds. | AP file photo

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WASHINGTON — Many Americans who fly would rather not listen to other passengers make phone calls during a flight, a new poll says.

The Associated Press-GfK survey finds that 59 percent of travelers who’ve flown at least once in the past year oppose lifting the current ban on in-flight cellphone calls. Opposition rises to 78 percent among those who’ve flown more than four times.

The Federal Communications Commission is set to begin debate Thursday on a proposal to lift the phone-call restriction. The agency’s chairman has said there is no longer a technological reason to ban calls.

But just because technology has advanced, it doesn’t mean that etiquette has. Many fliers fear their fellow passengers will subject them to long-winded conversations that are impossible to avoid at 35,000 feet.

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