"Someone on this aircraft is using the internet"

 
Old Jul 19, 06, 3:52 pm
  #1  
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"Someone on this aircraft is using the internet"

I heard this announcement mid-flight on 563 to DFW on 7/17 and noticed one of the FA's had a small device on her keychain which apparently indicated the presence of RF energy in the cabin. It may very well have been a wi-fi detector but the way she spoke over the PA could lead one to believe that there are now antenna police on board along with the FAM's.

Actually, it was a rather amusing announcement as I could not imagine that AA would even consider the possibility of deploying technology to provide on-board internet access.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 4:00 pm
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If it was a wifi detector, and these certainly abound, it would just detect that someone's wireless radio was on...and have nothing to do with "using the internet" since, as you mention, there is no internet connection.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 4:02 pm
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to my surprise, I've powered up my laptop a few times on various airlines and found an unsecured wireless network available. (just to be clear - these were airlines who supposedly don't have connexion / internet). These don't look like nodes from the ground, but rather stick around through the flight. I try to be good so I have never tried to actually connect.

funny how the airlines with powerports for your laptop don't have the internet, but often the ones who do provide internet (LY comes to mind) don't have powerports....

c'mon AA - I'd pay 30 bucks on transatlantic to be able to surf the web....
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Old Jul 19, 06, 4:03 pm
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I was on a flight once on which the captain announced that we couldn't push back from the gate because someone was using his cell phone. I could never figure out how the pilot knew that, unless the FA spotted someone and reported to the captain rather than just telling the passenger to shut it off. I also suspected that perhaps the captain had no idea whether someone was using their cell phone but rather made the announcement anyhow just to scare people into turning their phones off (the equivalent of dad shouting, "Don't make me come back there.").
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Old Jul 19, 06, 4:04 pm
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Originally Posted by wannabe
to my surprise, I've powered up my laptop a few times on various airlines and found an unsecured wireless network available. (just to be clear - these were airlines who supposedly don't have connexion / internet). These don't look like nodes from the ground, but rather stick around through the flight. I try to be good so I have never tried to actually connect.
What you are seeing is someone else's wireless radio signal. I've seen this, too. First time, I actually tried to connect before realizing what it was. There's no there there, however.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 4:05 pm
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I understand that wireless devices, like mobile phones, wifi and bluetooth, are forbidden when the doors are closed. When doors are open, i.e. during boarding and disembarcation, these devices may be operated. Quite frequently at airports with pervasive wifi, like SFO, I'll update my podcasts/rss feeds/email for use on the plane. Has anyone had an FA provide a request not to use wifi/bluetooth/etc. while the door is open?
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Old Jul 19, 06, 4:06 pm
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Was it the FA that refers to herself as "old" and/or "grandma"? (not to be confused with us calling the FA these types of terms...) If so, she's full of BS. She could also use a heaping helping of ShutTheHellUp.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by worldwidedreamer
I understand that wireless devices, like mobile phones, wifi and bluetooth, are forbidden when the doors are closed. When doors are open, i.e. during boarding and disembarcation, these devices may be operated. Quite frequently at airports with pervasive wifi, like SFO, I'll update my podcasts/rss feeds/email for use on the plane. Has anyone had an FA provide a request not to use wifi/bluetooth/etc. while the door is open?
ABQ's wireless reaches out to the tarmack. Since I board right after the FC folks, I'll often just close my laptop, which I've been using at the gate inside the terminal with the wifi network, board, and reopen my M2, once seated. Since I have a good 20-30 minutes of waiting time, it's a great option!

I've never had any FA ask me to shut down the laptop while the door was still open.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Blumie
I... was using his cell phone. I could never figure out how the pilot knew that,..).
Because like all cell phones users who assume the device is voice powered like the Gertie on a submarine they talk at the talk of their voice, louder if long distance. Or they have "Stairway to Heaven" as a ringtone and play all 7+ minutes of it before answering.

I think the FAM's should be allowed to use the taser on these people.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ricktoronto
Because like all cell phones users who assume the device is voice powered like the Gertie on a submarine they talk at the talk of their voice, louder if long distance. Or they have "Stairway to Heaven" as a ringtone and play all 7+ minutes of it before answering.

I think the FAM's should be allowed to use the taser on these people.
Maybe that guy in MIA never said anything about a bomb: the FAMs just took him out so he would stop screaming into his cellphone.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 6:42 pm
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People using their normal phone at home talk normally which is funny since a cell is amplified as well so this practice especially with some quite private information going to and fro has always amazed me. I commute on public transit here and the stuff people discuss (after Inagadadavida plays first) is really personal stuff.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Nachtswerg
ABQ's wireless reaches out to the tarmack. Since I board right after the FC folks, I'll often just close my laptop, which I've been using at the gate inside the terminal with the wifi network, board, and reopen my M2, once seated. Since I have a good 20-30 minutes of waiting time, it's a great option!

I've never had any FA ask me to shut down the laptop while the door was still open.
You beat me to this... I have used ABQ's free wireless while inside the plane while parked at the gate also. I never though it would work when I first tried about 9 months ago!
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Old Jul 19, 06, 7:50 pm
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Yeah, a spectrum analyzer on a keychain.

The FA was really putting you on.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 7:54 pm
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... or detected the signal and had no clue what it really meant, but tried to tell people to shut their 'tronics down in her own way.

Originally Posted by Spiff
Yeah, a spectrum analyzer on a keychain.

The FA was really putting you on.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Spiff
Yeah, a spectrum analyzer on a keychain.
Can I buy one of those in the AA duty free catalog?
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