Passenger removed for using phone

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Old May 20, 19, 7:11 pm
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Passenger removed for using phone

I was on Ua 922 today. Door closed, safety briefing.... FA walks down aisle to check belts. Tells a passenger to shut his phone off. Didn't hear his exact response but sounded like he says he's not really talking on it or something. She says "excuse me?" Heads to cockpit. Door opens. Plane door opens. Pilot says we have to take care of a matter. Ground agents come on and ask man to deplane, which he does without a fuss. First time I've seen this.... And I've seen worse abusers of phones later in takeoff process than this...
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Old May 20, 19, 7:16 pm
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glad they are finally addressing this problem. A few more reports of this type might actually fix this annoying issue. for the FA to teach this pax a valuable lesson.
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Old May 20, 19, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
glad they are finally addressing this problem. A few more reports of this type might actually fix this annoying issue. for the FA to teach this pax a valuable lesson.
depends upon what was said...
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Old May 20, 19, 7:18 pm
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Was the phone in airplane mode? AFAIK all USA carriers allow this at any time.
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Old May 20, 19, 7:20 pm
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It's the normal procedure. The passenger should follow all crew instructions, otherwise, they could be offloaded before departure.
Indeed, that passenger should have finished his phone call when the doors are closed and switch it to airplane mode. ( US Federal Law ) The safety briefing takes around 3-4 minutes. He had 5 minutes to hang up his call and go texting instead as audio calls from the airplane Wi-Fi is not either permitted. I don't want to misjudge that passenger but probably he had money to spend on a walk-in ticket for the next flight to his final destination.
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Old May 20, 19, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post

depends upon what was said...
completely disagree. Door is closed - phones are off. FA comes by and tells you to do that and you do anything other than immediately complying ... offloading should be the answer IMO.
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Old May 20, 19, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
completely disagree. Door is closed - phones are off. FA comes by and tells you to do that and you do anything other than immediately complying ... offloading should be the answer IMO.
That was pretty much the situation....
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Old May 20, 19, 7:42 pm
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These should be the same for United flights. This image is from the American Way Magazine May 2019 edition.


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Old May 20, 19, 7:44 pm
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Was the guy taking on his phone? Was it obviously not in airplane mode?

You haven't had to turn your phone off on a plane in... what? 6 years?
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Old May 20, 19, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
These should be the same for United flights. This image is from the American Way Magazine May 2019 edition.


Thank you. I'm surprised that all the FFers here don't know about the airplane mode exception, which the FA of course should know too.
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Old May 20, 19, 7:50 pm
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It's the same for United. The image below is taken from the Hemispheres Magazine March 2019 edition.



Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Thank you. I'm surprised that all the FFers here don't know about the airplane mode exception, which the FA of course should know too.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 20, 19 at 8:29 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old May 20, 19, 8:00 pm
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I suspect the FA was reacting to what was said, which was obviously not innocuous.
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Old May 20, 19, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
completely disagree. Door is closed - phones are off. FA comes by and tells you to do that and you do anything other than immediately complying ... offloading should be the answer IMO.
Phones are not off when the door is closed. They never need to be turned off. Maybe he was listening to music or a downloaded voice message.
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Old May 20, 19, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by BBSHOPSINGER View Post
I suspect the FA was reacting to what was said, which was obviously not innocuous.
Or it was 99.999% innocuous and the FA was offended by the 0.001%.

EDIT: wait a second. I may have flown with this FA before. I was on IAH to RDU and my seatmates across the aisle were chatting as we taxied to the runway.

FA comes by and asks in an uppity tone "Are you on your PHONE?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!"

My seatmates glare at the FA. "Uh, no?"

The FA walks away, ashamed she couldn't power trip as hard as she fantasized.
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Last edited by davie355; May 20, 19 at 8:40 pm
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Old May 20, 19, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by BBSHOPSINGER View Post
I suspect the FA was reacting to what was said, which was obviously not innocuous.
I would hope it was more egregious than simply "in a minute" as a response to "please turn off your phone". I get the desire to have everyone comply with the law, even one that isn't actually meaningfully reducing risk, but the potential for massive amounts of wasted time for all passengers if airlines start returning to the gate every time a passenger doesn't flip to airplane mode immediately isn't something I look forward to.
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