In the absence of actual danger – please turn off your phone.

‘Do you mind tucking your jacket under your chair?’ the air hostess asked.

I looked at her, confused.

‘Your coat, do you mind putting it under your seat for takeoff?’

I looked at my hoodie and then back at her.

Surely she didn’t mean that the several grams my hoodie weighed was enough to make it a dangerous object, a lethal projectile destined to shoot forward through the cabin and bludgeon my fellow passengers into unconsciousness.

She held my gaze.

Huh. It seemed that was exactly what she thought.

Having spent several dumbfounded moments considering her request, I decided that, I did in fact mind putting my hoodie on the floor under my seat. There was no way I was soiling my clothing for such a stupid request.

I picked up the offending hoodie and tucked it behind me. The air hostess seemed happy with this. She’d obviously reasoned that my weight, a little more than said hoodie, was enough to fix it firmly in place and thus remove the threat.

But before I could devolve into an vengeful internal monologue where I cursed her, her kin and all of her descendants, while objectively examining just how ridiculous the whole exchange had been, I heard another hostess say:

‘We’re not trained to identify which Kindles have wifi and which don’t.’

This time, it was a middle-age women sat across the aisle to my left, who was the focus of Air Hostess Idiocy.

No laptop and electrical devices can be used during takeoff. Bad things may happen. Nonsense. If that were really the case then terrorists wouldn’t need bombs or shoes with secret compartments in their soles that even James Bond would be jealous of. No, all your average Western World Hating Nutter would need is a mobile phone and a few pence of credit to text his pals and confirm a job well done. I mean, armed with an iPad I expect your average passenger could take control of the plane and all others within 500 miles*. There’s probably even an app for that…

No, not yet. Still.

In protest of the Electrical Device Embargo, I put on my headphones. Sure, they were little more than expensive earmuffs but when a hostess cited the aforementioned embargo and asked me to take them off, I got to enjoy waving the loose connector at her while practicing my Evil Genius Grin.

Childish, yes. More stupid than the rules surrounding takeoff and the omnipotent fasten seatbelt light – no, not even close.

Guaranteed to stay in the air even near your laptop. Though perhaps not if it rains.

This guy had better hope his phone doesn’t ring.

*If this were true, Die Hard 2 would have been a much duller film.

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2 thoughts on “In the absence of actual danger – please turn off your phone.

  1. Given that anything that has a modem on it these days, also has a “flight-safe” mode, why don’t they ask you to put that on? Rhetorical question: because most people don’t know how. So, they can’t be trusted (rightly) but that means the rest of us have to suffer as well.

    Considering a Kindle only uses a charge when a page is turned (unless you do have the WiFi on…) they’re probably safer than airline food. But, because some chump bought an iPhone and only knows how to use it for iTunes, we aren’t allowed to read.

    I’m not bitter about this.

  2. What I find interesting is that following the volcano eruption some years ago, they sent up planes to test whether it was ok to fly through the ash. With electronic equipment, the airlines aren’t in any rush to test whether it’s ok or not to use them (not convinced by the “they interfere with our equipment” argument) – I’m not aware of any testing that has been done, or planes being grounded because someone posted a status on Facebook during take-off!

    Seems like double-standards to me.

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