The real reason all devices must be powered down on takeoff

College Humor has an amusing (and NSFW due to language) sketch on the real reason why airlines insist on policing our devices. After chuckling over it, I sent it to a friend who frequently travels for business. She responded with this tale:

A real life flight attendant chose another approach when I flew to NY last week. After the announcements, she took the mic and authoritatively stated that there were still four mobile devices that had not been turned off, and that the aircraft would not leave the gate until ALL devices had been turned off.

I saw at least seven people scramble to turn off their devices…I left mine on (all three of them) and never heard a beep about it. That flight attendant should play poker!

She’d take everyone’s shirts.

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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4 Responses to The real reason all devices must be powered down on takeoff

  1. Lisa Shaw says:

    Regardless of whether electronic devices “really” need to be turned off on planes, I really don’t understand the thinking of people who refuse to comply with this simple, reasonable, non-life-threatening request. Getting away with minor disobedience and being all proud of oneself for it is behavior best left behind in childhood.

    • oregon expat says:

      When Big Business (or Big Government, or Big Banks etc.) tell us, “This is the rule and you must obey. Why? Because we said so, that’s why. Trust us,” for a rule that makes no practical or logical sense, civil disobedience is often the only way anything gets changed. Big Whatever would love nothing more than for the entire population to be quiet and obey without question, but I am glad I do not live in that population.

      • Inge says:

        Ooohhh i can’t let this go.. Been a while since this kind of topic came along. 🙂

        Ah so all the communities/societies that kick out gays and kill them because they are not natural and god tells them that, should just do so. After all it’s only the law that says you shouldn’t kill or hurt people and it’s logical to not obey because the lord says so. Yes, i see your reasoning. Yes, this is an over the top analogy, but having the idea that civil disobedience is ok, is for me the same level of over the top.

        It’s what we see in mobility as well. People drive too fast or drink-drive or (soft)drugs-drive because they think they can. And quite a lot do this so it should be allowed and the rules should be changed? I think not.

        No, i agree with Lisa. One should change the system from within. If you can’t do that, you haven’t tried hard enough or you just aren’t right. So yes, i’m willing to comply for just 13 minutes each time without complaint.

        • oregon expat says:

          Glad to provide you with a good topic! Naturally, while I respect your position, I disagree. In your example, the people involved are indeed disobeying a law; they’re just choosing which one to disobey (their god’s or their society’s). Any society is of course built on laws and based on a (mostly) universal agreement to obey those laws, but over time societies can get bloated and accumulate laws that aren’t necessarily created for the good of the society.

          This is a particular problem at the federal level in the US, where lawmakers are out-and-out owned by campaign donors and lobbyists, who dictate their votes and which bills they introduce or co-sponsor. It’s got nothing at all to do with the wishes or well-being of their constituents, who have next to no power to influence lawmaking, so changing the system from the inside is close to impossible.

          It’s a slippery slope to decide which laws are worth disobeying. I decided back in university, some two and a half decades ago, that the law against smoking marijuana was one of them. Because a whole lot of Americans joined me in that decision (including a young Barack Obama), the Prohibition years are finally winding down, bit by dragged-out bit. Prohibition was never going to be changed by lawmakers doing the right thing, because they are terrified of appearing “soft on crime” and losing votes/campaign donations. It could only be changed by lawmakers realizing that most of their voters were either ignoring or didn’t care about that law anyway, so changing it wouldn’t involve political risk.

          That’s the only way things get done in the US. Perhaps Belgium has a better system.

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