First Dumb Post of the Year – Phones on a Plane

Okay, don’t get me wrong. I’m really glad people aren’t allowed to talk on their mobile phones on planes. I’m amazed by how little awareness of etiquette most people display once they have their phone clamped to their ear. I’m glad I won’t get stuck next to some asshole yelling full tilt into his mobile for 6 hours. Unfortunately, airlines don’t actually care about your comfort, they let rich assholes use the in-flight air-phones to do this once they’ve reached cruising altitude for exorbitant fees.

But the predictable and ridiculous charade of listening to flight attendants waltz down an aisle telling passengers to switch off their phones before take-off is also irritating. It’s especially irritating because it is perpetuating pseudo-science, fear-mongering, and exerting authority for spurious reasons.

If a switched on mobile phone could cause a plane to crash, they’d ban them from aircraft. PERIOD.

If you can’t bring a bottle of water onto a plane because you MIGHT be a terrorist with acid in the bottle (calculate the numerical odds on that…) then if there was an even remote likelihood that your mobile phone might cause a danger, they’d confiscate them at security.

I often shove my phone in my purse and forget to turn it off during flights. My guess is that 1/3 of the flying population is just like me. Push tech turned on, phone buried in pocket or purse. And yet – lo and behold – there is not a single documented case of a mobile phone causing a danger. There are a few cases in which pilots, flying in very bad weather, have asked passengers to check that all their phones are off because they were getting buzzing on their headphones, but correlative is not causal.

In fact, there is not a single shred of actual, causal proof.

In 15 years of almost ubiquitous mobile phone usage and literally millions of flights.

Is everyone but me obediently turning their phones off? No.

As a pilot upon whom 300 lives depended, would you risk flying with mobile phones aboard, relying on them all to turn them off when told? No.

Now, there are carriers in Europe who do allow mobile phone usage but… surprise, surprise, using THEIR equipment, at a fee.

The danger that your kindle, laptop, iPad or phone is even REMOTELY CAPABLE of causing ANY ISSUES AT ALL is just so much bullshit.

Another reason, once challenged, as to why phones, laptops, kindles, iPads, etc need to be turned off is because the crew requires passengers’ attention upon take-off and landing.  It’s VITAL TO THE SAFETY OF THE AIRCRAFT!!!

Which is why no one wakes me up during takeoff, and no one takes away my paperback novel?

If you really want to ensure passenger alertness, then please apply pre-boarding IQ tests and disallow alcoholic intake at the terminal, because a significant number of people are either born stupid or drunk at take-off time.

Let’s face it. This is a case of a myth perpetuated for the sake of establishing behavioural authority and artificially inflating the perceived value of on-board communications.

This isn’t about my safety – this is about establishing power and financially taking advantage of me.

In the meantime, I say – no voice calls during the flight – EVER.