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Old Nov 5, 11, 8:54 am   #31
 
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This thread should be renamed "The electronics hamster wheel" - as it will go round and round endlessly and never get anywhere. Neither side will convince the other.

I always turn off the transmitters on stuff I intend to use during flight before completely shutting off the devices when the door closes, so they won't turn on when we hit 10,000 - but that's just what I do. Personally, I'd rather avoid any possibility of my stuff causing a problem - whether that possibility is real, imagined, or total bovine excrement.
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Old Nov 5, 11, 9:01 am   #32
 
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Originally Posted by GNRMatt View Post
I think technically you are supposed to be shutting off all electronic equipment, including phones for takeoff/landing. Honestly though, I don't think keeping your phone on in airplane mode will matter. I can't see the FA going through the plane asking each person to take their phones out of their pockets and prove they are powered down. I always keep my phone on and in airplane mode for my flights.
Airplane mode does NOT equal powered down. Many passengers think it does. That is why many f/a's make the announcement. It is tiring arguing with some passengers who are too stupid to know the difference.

I told a passenger to shut off his computer and he said it shuts down when it is closed. WRONG!!! I told him I have an Apple and it goes in sleep mode when it is closed.

The problem is many of your fellow passengers think we are stupid. I have a PC, MacPro, Iphone, and an Ipad, so I know what an electronic device looks like and when it is powered down, thank you very much!!
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Old Nov 5, 11, 9:03 am   #33
 
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Originally Posted by LowlyDLsilver View Post
This thread should be renamed "The electronics hamster wheel" - as it will go round and round endlessly and never get anywhere. Neither side will convince the other.

I always turn off the transmitters on stuff I intend to use during flight before completely shutting off the devices when the door closes, so they won't turn on when we hit 10,000 - but that's just what I do. Personally, I'd rather avoid any possibility of my stuff causing a problem - whether that possibility is real, imagined, or total bovine excrement.
And if your life is THAT important that one can't turn the d*** thing off, perhaps said folks should hire a private jet.
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Old Nov 5, 11, 9:30 am   #34
 
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Originally Posted by LowlyDLsilver View Post
This thread should be renamed "The electronics hamster wheel" - as it will go round and round endlessly and never get anywhere. Neither side will convince the other.

Agreed.

But I can't resist my mini rant ..... I have never heard a single reasonable logical explanation of why someone can't just turn it completely off. I saw once where some supposed engineer said it was about battery cycles doing more harm to the unit than just leaving it on - didn't buy it. IMO - they ask for it to be turned off, so turn it all the frickin way off. You aren't supposed to defecate on the catering carts either and 99.9% of the pax seem to be able to comply with that one. To me it is a matter of courtesy. The only reason I can see someone feeling the need to leave it on is because that someone has a self inflated view of their importance and believes the rules don't apply to them. The ones I especially love are the pax who not too surreptitiously "sneak" their device down next to the armrest so that the FA's can't see it. Really? Do you need immediate access to angry birds that badly?
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Old Nov 5, 11, 10:47 am   #35
 
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Agreed.

But I can't resist my mini rant ..... I have never heard a single reasonable logical explanation of why someone can't just turn it completely off. I saw once where some supposed engineer said it was about battery cycles doing more harm to the unit than just leaving it on - didn't buy it. IMO - they ask for it to be turned off, so turn it all the frickin way off. You aren't supposed to defecate on the catering carts either and 99.9% of the pax seem to be able to comply with that one. To me it is a matter of courtesy. The only reason I can see someone feeling the need to leave it on is because that someone has a self inflated view of their importance and believes the rules don't apply to them. The ones I especially love are the pax who not too surreptitiously "sneak" their device down next to the armrest so that the FA's can't see it. Really? Do you need immediate access to angry birds that badly?

In my opinion, following all rules just because they are there does not happen by anyone. Do you 100% follow the speed limit? I'm pretty sure you've gone over it many times in your life. When a doctor tells you to cut all the junk food out of your diet, do you never eat a piece of candy again? When you were a child and your parents asked you to never lie to them, can you say you've never told a lie to your parents as a child?

There are a million more examples like this in every aspect in life. My point is, not a single person on this planet always follows every rule, especially when they don't understand the reason for it.

I guarantee you that every time you fly, there are some passengers with various electronic devices on, whether it's in their pocket or bags. I understand the reasoning of not wanting devices being used at that time because it could fly out of someone's hands and hurt someone.

However, the idea that having your phone on and in airplane mode while in your pocket could do any damage is ludicrous. As anyone with a computer or electrical engineering degree can tell you, it just isn't true.

Otherwise, let's just send a note to all those terrorists who want to bring down a plane and tell them to just purchase all the tickets on a plane. Then at take-off, they can turn on all their kindles, iPods, phones, etc. and make it crash.
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Old Nov 5, 11, 11:19 am   #36
 
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Okay, let's quit with the technical mumbo jumbo and come back to the reality that off means all the way OFF. If you don't like turning your stuff off as per the rule, then go find an airline that will allow you to keep your crap on. I guarantee that you won't get very far.

It's this type of attitude that makes flying unpleasant. You aren't above the FAA reg and the consequences for interfering with a flight crew are far worse than getting a speeding ticket. If you hear the announcement to shut your electronics off, just turn the stupid thing all the way off, already. It only 25 minutes to 10,000 feet for Christ's sake. You might actually find it quite liberating to be electronically detached for a few hours anyway.
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Old Nov 5, 11, 1:51 pm   #37
 
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And if your life is THAT important that one can't turn the d*** thing off, perhaps said folks should hire a private jet.
Theres a story that I have to share. When the "mobile phone" first came out - a friend was selling them. When he asked if I wanted one - I said "hell, no, my car is the only place where I get some peace because work can't call me"

Of course I now have a mobile computer tied to my hip - but I'm not important enough to ignore the rules.

Sorry for you, 62, but you'll never get a plane full of me - there's only one.
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Old Nov 5, 11, 2:31 pm   #38
 
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Technical considerations are interesting -- I learned a few things I had been wondering about. Still, I want to weigh in four-square on behalf of the idea that we should all just turn everything off. The FAs are under pressure to enforce the rules. Our refusal to do so is a form of insubordination, indifference, and/or hostility that can only worsen the cabin vibe. It's true that I do some things that perhaps I am not supposed to do. It's rare when I persist in doing them when someone is standing next to me requesting that I desist. It is rarer still when this person is someone from whom I am expecting things in turn.

Last edited by Biggie Fries; Nov 5, 11 at 2:33 pm.. Reason: changed "shouldn't" to "am not supposed to" to acknowledge that it's not clear I/we are doing something that is harmful
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Old Nov 5, 11, 4:04 pm   #39
 
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When a doctor tells you to cut all the junk food out of your diet, do you never eat a piece of candy again?
Maybe a good analogy. For some people, their electronics have become irresistible like candy. I hope I never get that weak. (electronics, not candy)
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Old Nov 5, 11, 4:20 pm   #40
 
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However, the idea that having your phone on and in airplane mode while in your pocket could do any damage is ludicrous. As anyone with a computer or electrical engineering degree can tell you, it just isn't true.
I would not tell you it is not true as I have not seen testing data on your cell phone in airplane mode. I do have a degree in electrical engineering with a signal processing emphasis and worked for years trying to detect spurious emissions from enemy forces. I will tell you that my cell phone does not interfere with radios in my house, and that, theoretically, the odds of it doing so are very, very small. Even more remote would be the chance that the interference would cause a crash. However, I have a watch winder gadget that trashes my radio reception. Therefore, I think I have the solution. Have TSA ban all electronics from the flight, or test each item for emissions at the security check point. Then we would all be safer (and very angry).

Or, you can shut it off and stop being a rebel without a cause.
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Old Nov 5, 11, 6:14 pm   #41
 
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The legal issue is clear:
  1. The FAA says "off and stowed" during takeoff and landing.
  2. The airline and flight attendants are required to enforce FAA regulations.
  3. So yes, they can require you to turn anything off.
  4. Failure to follow instructions of the flight attendants can lead to you being kicked off or arrested. Since this is an explicit, non-optional FAA regulation, you can't claim they don't have cause.
You can disagree, but that's the FAA rule and the airlines have no choice or discretion in enforcing it. Yes, there are particular electronics that are excluded (wristwatches, hearing aids), but the list is intentionally kept very small. The FAs shouldn't have to try to decide that a regular Kindle is okay, but a Kindle Fire is not.

The risk of the electronics causing a problem is tiny, sure, but the cost of mitigation (turning them off under 10K feet) is zero.

So you can complain about it all you want here or to the airlines, but it will do no good. If you have proof that it will be safe, by all means submit your research to the FAA. You could also petition your elected representatives to forbid the FAA and airlines from imposing any restrictions on personal electronics.
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Old Nov 6, 11, 2:00 am   #42
 
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Originally Posted by blue47 View Post
I would not tell you it is not true as I have not seen testing data on your cell phone in airplane mode. I do have a degree in electrical engineering with a signal processing emphasis and worked for years trying to detect spurious emissions from enemy forces. I will tell you that my cell phone does not interfere with radios in my house, and that, theoretically, the odds of it doing so are very, very small. Even more remote would be the chance that the interference would cause a crash. However, I have a watch winder gadget that trashes my radio reception. Therefore, I think I have the solution. Have TSA ban all electronics from the flight, or test each item for emissions at the security check point. Then we would all be safer (and very angry).

Or, you can shut it off and stop being a rebel without a cause.
This.

The odds are small that most common, modern devices would be problematic. Older, less common ones, are another story. Do we trust the passengers to know which devices are safe and which aren't, and act accordingly? The same passengers who don't always know that you can't take a full-sized shampoo through security or fit a tuba in the overhead bin? Or do we rely on the FA's to memorize every make and model of electronic anything so that I can play Bejeweled for an extra 11 minutes? How about we all just behave and comply with what is, fundamentally, a very reasonable request?
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Old Nov 6, 11, 3:10 am   #43
 
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Sorry to bring up a corner case, but what about the poor guy that's still got a Palm Treo or Centro? For those of you that haven't used one, there is no "off" -- airplane mode is all you've got. The only way to turn it completely off is to yank the battery (and I think it powers on as soon as you reinsert the battery, but don't quote me on that). So, is airplane mode acceptable in this case because the FA's "anything that's got an on/off switch" doesn't apply?

-OM
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Old Nov 6, 11, 5:44 am   #44
 
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'Electronic hamster wheel' is a good description of these topics, and Alanh basically summarized the main sticking point to the whole on/off/airplane mode issue. Unfortunately, the FAA (possibly with input from the FCC) created this rule when the age of the portable electronic device began and has never revised or updated the scope of its coverage.

If a cell phone manufacturer, or other electronic device company, would like to go through the process of having their items FAA certified ($$$$) then maybe there would be some movement on the FAA's part to change or modify the off rule. Of course that might mean your $500 iPad might cost about $1500+ for a version with acceptable documentation (which then must be available if asked to prove certification), and possible required re-certification intervals.

I personally don't foresee the above happening since it will open a whole new bureaucratic nightmare for portable electronic devices.
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Old Nov 6, 11, 5:56 am   #45
 
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And it's still emitting the same signal my laptop does when WiFi is on. Yet that's safer somehow having an FAA sticker on it ...
I recently watched a rerun of Mythbusters that focused on this.

They were able to show interference from older cell phones with NAV equip in a "cockpit" they assembled in the shop. Significant interference. However, on the ground in a private jet, no interference was registered due to proper equip. shielding.

So they asked the FAA why make us turn them off. The answer was that the potential existed that past tech. would interfere AND that phone/wifi technology changes constantly-particularly phone. They cannot keep up with testing and safety of those changes. So, they just keep them off.

In your example, the inflight equipment is known and tested. Your laptop isnt.
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