A ZDNet post linked to ...
..A Consumerist report that an ATA Airlines flight attendant tried to get a passengerto turn off his iPhone because, well, cell phones are not allowed to be used in flight and he was watching a movie on his iPhone.
And so there is this debate and uproar that this airline customer should be accosted in this way and asked to turn off his digital device while other passengers were allowed to continue. My opinion?
Just as the bartender is well within his rights to determine to the best of his ability who can and cannot drink, flight attendants can determine which electronic devices can and cannot be used. I want them to be experts at their jobs and safety and security. I don't want them to have to keep up on the latest and greatest technological gadgets (like I do).
If it has numbers on it and looks like a phone, it probably is, so if it's lights and screen are still on, you will be asked to hit the OFF button. It's also fair to the other passengers whose phones don't have an airplane mode (or don't know how to activate it).
Nevermind the fact that they have shown on Mythbusters that cell phones aren't likely to be dangerous to the plane. Also, keep in mind that we (those of us reading this page) might think that an iPhone is something everyone knows about. Even though the product might be a household name, I doubt that everyone in the world could tell the difference between one and a television remote.
On a recent cross-country flight, I was asked to turn off my Dell Axim simply based on looks. It is not a phone. It has a Bluetooth mode, but I never turn it on. I turned it off without a second thought. Besides the fact that I'd already read all the downloaded email that was on it, I had an actual novel that I wanted to get to. Perhaps some people believe that certain inalienable rights are being infringed upon, but iPhones and cross-country flights are luxuries that we should enjoy. In order to enjoy them we have to follow the safety rules and requirements of the crew, regardless of their seemingly arbitrary nature.
Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom to Assemble and so on are requirements. But Freedom to Watch Jennifer Love Hewitt on Your iPhone? Yeah, turn it off.
Read the full post at ZDNet.com.