Personal electronic devices at takeoff and landing

Old Oct 26, 07, 9:34 am
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Personal electronic devices at takeoff and landing

I am not an uptight traveler, but I do get uncomfortable when I see other passengers using their phones and iPods after being asked to turn them off. Last night there was a guy in an exit row across the aisle from me with his cell phone conspicuously on through landing (I don't think it was transmitting, but who knows?) and the guy in front of him was skipping through songs on his iPod and making sure to hide it each time the FA walked past doing pre-landing checks. Typically I tap them on the arm and politely remind them that they need to have turned their devices off, and probably 25% of the time they just turn it over and pretend they did.

I know that transmitting wireless devices are genuinely a problem, and that other small electronics are "probably" really okay, so I'm curious what others do in these situations. Or are you the folks with the iPods playing as we land?!
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Old Oct 26, 07, 9:39 am
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Since this is not just a United issue, I am going to move this to Travel Safety/Security.

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Old Oct 26, 07, 10:49 am
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yeah, probably worrying too much. lots of electronic items are probably on in the luggage hold. and really, if a $50 gameboy can bring down a $200M plane then I better short Boeing stock and sign up for greyhound.

but yeah, you do what the FAs tell you to. is listening to 10 more minutes of Carrie Underwood or whoever worth it.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 10:54 am
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Personally, I'd butt out. It's their business, and if they get in trouble, well, it's their own problem.

Just my two pennies. =)
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Old Oct 26, 07, 11:05 am
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It's more of a risk management issue since they do not want that one random cell phone version 9.2344191823 with a weird antenna possibly interfering with the plane. Sure it's bad form, but there isn't much you can do. If you really feel uneasy, feel free to mention it to the FA and they can tell them to shut it off.... I don't know why people have to use their devices for those 15/20 minutes on take off and landing....

There have been exceptions though. When we are stuck on the tarmac (ground stops) I don't hesitate to whip out either my broadband card or cell phone.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by Trulyblues View Post
I am not an uptight traveler, but I do get uncomfortable when I see other passengers using their phones and iPods after being asked to turn them off. Last night there was a guy in an exit row across the aisle from me with his cell phone conspicuously on through landing (I don't think it was transmitting, but who knows?) and the guy in front of him was skipping through songs on his iPod and making sure to hide it each time the FA walked past doing pre-landing checks. Typically I tap them on the arm and politely remind them that they need to have turned their devices off, and probably 25% of the time they just turn it over and pretend they did.

I know that transmitting wireless devices are genuinely a problem, and that other small electronics are "probably" really okay, so I'm curious what others do in these situations. Or are you the folks with the iPods playing as we land?!
Do you also "tap them on the arm" and remind them that their seatbacks must be upright? That their tray tables must be stowed? That their carryons must be completely under the seat in front of them? That their seat belts MUST be fastened?

Anybody ever give you a stern MYOB? Or worse?

As has been posted before, if the use of these devices had ANY potential to cause harm during any portion of flight, they would not be permitted onboard.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by Andy1369 View Post
Personally, I'd butt out. It's their business, and if they get in trouble, well, it's their own problem.

Just my two pennies. =)
Indeed.

I never get nervous when my seatmate uses electronics at anytime. I've been 'on the range', 'in the chamber', done the math, and have no concerns whatsoever.

You can't spell geek without an EE, btw.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by Trulyblues View Post
Typically I tap them on the arm and politely remind them that they need to have turned their devices off, and probably 25% of the time they just turn it over and pretend they did.
The only acceptable reasons to tap someone you do not have a personal connection with on an airplane:
  1. The pax has requested that you wake him in the event he is asleep when the FA comes with drinks/snacks/meals.
  2. The pax is seated between you and the aisle, and is asleep/zoned out to music/etc. and you need to get his attention to permit safe/polite passage to the aisle.

Any other touching is assault and battery in most states and usually unwelcome contact. If you have a problem with the actions of another passenger, take it to the FA.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 11:18 am
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I agree with FWAAA and DevilDog438. =/ FWAAA put it harshly, but, yeah, like I said, you should butt out. It's their business, and we're all adults here.

Hey, we all make mistakes. I've been guilty of being the "annoying seatmate" once or twice, I'm sure.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 11:40 am
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"Those who give up essential liberties to purchase temporary safety deserve neither and lose both." -Benjamin Franklin-

I might be concerned about people using their cellphones, but not their iPods. What's that gotta do with it? Besides, at 35000 ft in the air, you'd be lucky to get a signal.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 12:10 pm
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This is always an interesting back and forth and a I finally get it! I'm pretty firmly entrenched in the myob camp, however this line of reasoning doesn't work because those that would tap you likely believe that it IS their business because they believe you are directly endangering them. Not sure how to amend the argument though.

I don't often need my device(s) in those 15 or 20 odd minutes during climb out and final approach; however when final approach turns into a holding pattern my seat often goes back and sometimes the bose qc3s reappear.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
Any other touching is assault and battery in most states and usually unwelcome contact. If you have a problem with the actions of another passenger, take it to the FA.
assault? seriously? wow.
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Old Oct 26, 07, 1:29 pm
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Originally Posted by DevilDog438 View Post
The only acceptable reasons to tap someone you do not have a personal connection with on an airplane:
  1. The pax has requested that you wake him in the event he is asleep when the FA comes with drinks/snacks/meals.
  2. The pax is seated between you and the aisle, and is asleep/zoned out to music/etc. and you need to get his attention to permit safe/polite passage to the aisle.

Any other touching is assault and battery in most states and usually unwelcome contact. If you have a problem with the actions of another passenger, take it to the FA.
Aren't we being a tad bit dramatic here? The reason I always thought that all electronic devices are banned during takeoff/landing was to have your undivided attention in case of an emergency since it's most likely to happen during takeoff/landing.
Cheers
Howie

Last edited by stockmanjr; Oct 26, 07 at 4:03 pm
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Old Oct 26, 07, 1:46 pm
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There are numerous posters here with impressive credentials who are totally sure there is absolutely no danger from PEDs, including cell phones transmitting.

There are equally qualified observers who are just as certain that it's a statistical crapshoot - and the fact there hasn't been an accident doesn't prove there's no problem. (This is known in casinos as The Gambler's Fallacy.)

For myself, I simply point out to the miscreant that in today's highly-charged security environment, the FAs could easily bust them for non-compliance with an order issued by the crew.

If they don't take the hint, I mosey up to the galley and say "cell phone in 12C" and get a can of Cranapple.

Last edited by CessnaJock; Oct 26, 07 at 4:11 pm
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Old Oct 26, 07, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Trulyblues View Post
I am not an uptight traveler
IMO, you are being a bit uptight.

Originally Posted by Trulyblues View Post
I know that transmitting wireless devices are genuinely a problem, and that other small electronics are "probably" really okay, so I'm curious what others do in these situations. Or are you the folks with the iPods playing as we land?!
Why do you think transmitting wireless devices are genuinely a problem? What is the "problem?" I turn my devices off for takeoff and landing because I don't want to be hassled, not because I think they will cause a problem.

Also, people honestly forget to turn off electronic devices all the time - haven't you ever heard a cell phone start ringing in the overhead compartment halfway through a flight? If that doesn't cause the plane to plummet from the sky, I'm not too worried about the guy who his BB or iPod on during landing.
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