Did you guys hear about this news story? On Monday morning, 100 high school students and their chaperones were kicked off an AirTran flight from New York to Atlanta for ignoring numerous requests to turn off their cell phones.
Before I get into the real issue here, I would like to say that I think it is insane that 100 high school students could not follow one of the most basic rules concerning flight. Do not get on a plane if you cannot follow basic instructions. Listen, I don’t like being away from my cell phone either, but I silence it in movie theaters, I do not text during a date, and I certainly at least switch into airplane mode while in the sky. THERE IS AN AIRPLANE MODE FOR A REASON. Disconnect, kiddos. Life goes on when you don’t check your Facebook every thirty seconds. I promise.
But anyway, what is the deal with the electronic rules on airplanes? This is about to be the least technical article you have ever read because if there is one thing this girl knows nothing about, it is electronics. (And animals, and anatomy.) But every time I am flying, I wonder what would happen if I did just turn my cell phone on. It seems preposterous that one person’s cell phone staying on could crash an entire airplane full of people, but what about a hundred cell phones? What is the science behind this? Is it one of those you-can’t-chew-gum-in-class-unless-you-brought-enough-for-everyone things? Like one cell phone won’t kill everyone, but a hundred will so to be fair no one gets the right to their portable social networking device?
Last year, the Wall Street Journal (via Jalopnik) released a report on this precise issue, stating:
Everything I have read about electronics on airplanes leads me to the conclusion that no one is positive about catastrophic results deriving from reading an e-book on your flight to see your mother, however the world is taking the “better safe than sorry” approach to life. Is that so bad, though? Until we are sure one way or another, I think airplane patrons should be turning their iPhones and Kindles off when asked.
They are the experts, don’t be a punk.
Images via ShutterStock.