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April 17, 2017


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Andy Abramson

The concept of "public' voice is really a public behavior issue. I used to fly on planes with Airfone and no one got upset as I usually turned my head towards the window and talked in a quiet tone for a moment or two to simply get something done...

Also, on Business class flights I tend to have a compartment type of seat. I can't see or hear my neighbor if I wear headphones and they same holds true for them. but then again I sleep on planes, tune out the din and avoid United too...

Brad Templeton

Perhaps you did not see the earlier comment on this. Studies show that people find hearing one half a conversation much more distracting and annoying than hearing both sides. That's why people don't want their seatmate to have a call of more than a few seconds duration. Perhaps you are not one of the people who experiences this, but trust me, many do, so it is only courteous not to call.

That's assuming you are one of the very few who know to keep your voice down. Almost nobody does. In a loud environment, we naturally raise our voice, even though the phone's microphone and noise cancel circuits are actually quite good and don't need us to. It takes a lot of work, and I have noticed that every time I remind somebody they should use their indoor voice when on the phone, within a few minutes they go right back up in volume. It's really difficult.

But even if you got past both of these, just accept you are packed in a crowded space with other people, many of whom are trying to focus or sleep. What you would do in your office or even in the airline lounge (and those lounges have no-phone rooms because of how annoying people find even that situation) is not something you should politely do for more than is urgently needed when sitting elbow to elbow with others.

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