The “missed connection” was invented by Craigslist as a way for two people who “met” somewhere, but were unable to actually exchange names, phone numbers, or emails. They tend to go a little something like this:
You were the cute Asian girl with a beer standing by the side of the stage. I wish I had introduced myself because think you were there by yourself. You caught me looking at you and smiled. Hopefully you’ll see this because I’d love to take you out for a drink.
I had an interesting moment last week on a flight, and I thought I’d do my own little “missed connection” despite the fact that I made no effort whatsoever to get any contact information from the individual at hand. But that’ll probably make more sense by the time you get to the end of this. I may even cross-post this on Craigslist, just for funsies.
United Flight xx, Seat 8B
You were the middle aged guy who pulled out your iPhone as we were on final descent. I was the guy sitting next to you who politely asked you to put it away while we landed. You may recall looking at me with disgust and putting your phone away while telling me to mind my own business. I did assert that it was “my business” since you were taking an action that put my life in jeopardy (well, maybe, but I’ll get to that later), and proceeded to loudly say “thank you” over and over at me until I raised my voice above you, and with a menacing glare said “you are welcome.” You turned away, probably realizing you weren’t really too sure about the guy a foot taller than you who looked like he had had enough of your childish behavior.
I was really quite surprised by the incident, especially considering I was polite, and asked you to turn it off while smiling. Since you were in business class with me, and sported the iPhone, I was under the assumption that you, like myself, might be a frequent business traveler. I was also surprised by your retort of “it’s in flight mode”, considering every flight you’ve ever flown has similarly had you turn off all electronic devices upon descent.
Now I think we are probably in the same boat: it seems so ridiculously unlikely that you and your cute little phone could possibly wreak havoc on an airplane. I mean really, how on Earth could that happen? Seems crazy. But yet, they have this annoying rule, and it’s imposed by the FAA, and well, I guess since I don’t work for the FAA and I don’t know all that much about landing planes myself that I’m going to follow that rule. I’ve even gone looking around the Internet for a “fact” to prove the FAA wrong, and, well, bummer, I couldn’t find one (although there’s a lively discussion a Mythbusters fan site and this article is good too). So until someone changes that rule or disproves the FAA, I’m going to keep following it, because, hey, knock on wood – it’s worked for me so far (100% landing rate, FTW)!
Which brings us around full circle to you – did you have an email you were waiting on that you felt was more important that, say, a safe landing? Again, even against infinitesimal odds it seems like there are very few emails that could be worth it, right? And even so, you’ve made it for almost 6 hours already, what could have happened in that last 4 minutes? Really, we were on the ground a mere 4 minutes later!
So I’ll end my letter to you, fine sir, with the request that you consider the world around you a bit more thoughtfully. I know you are clearly a Very Important Person because, after all, you do own an iPhone and sat in business class. You must be extremely busy with work, because you were willing to endanger us all just to see what emails may have arrived on a Friday night after work hours were done on this continent. I cannot stand on solid ground and assert for a fact that your phone would (or would not) cause any interference with the airplane’s landing systems – but then again, you cannot prove the opposite to be true, and all things considered, I’ll take my safety over your email any day of the week.
In short (too late), just stop being such a grade-A moron, the world already has enough of them.
<end of rant>
Haha, that is hilarious.
I’m just glad you weren’t sitting next to me as I’ve used my iPhone (and before that my iPod) to listen to podcasts on every flight I’ve ever flown on during take off and landing for years.
So far so good, and in case you are wondering, I use one earphone and sit next to the window so the flight attendant can’t see it when she walks by to check.
Forward this email along with a flight number to the airline’s SVP of customer service and cc SVP of Ops, and I’m fairly certain your seatmate may have the opportunity to read this fine post.
Man, I don’t even know where to start with you, but you’re singing to a choir of 1000’s my friend. I’m not sure what drives me more insane though. The lack of ability to follow or RESPECT simple directions. the lack of concern in any way for anyone but themselves. The lack of recognition that there MIGHT be SOME issue (which there actually is, but the chances of it are by now, very improbable? The best issue is, are you simply deaf or dumb that you cannot listen to a rule and put the f..ing thing away for FIVE minutes? What part of “turn off any and ALL electronic devices, this means ANYTHING with and ON/OFF switch.
They KNOW they are doing something wrong, which they shouldn’t since they PUT THE THING down between their legs. They tried to TWIST towards the window so nobody can see. They try to say it is not BROADCASTING, even though the little blinking light (on the BB, treo or mogul at least) means the damb thing JUST GOT A MESSAGE.
One guy I confronted on a small commuter death tube, tried to tell me that his iphone could not conflict with the “electicals” since it was operating at 192kps. I asked him what that meant, and he said it was a higher standard of electrical broadcasting and there was nothing else on the plane that operated at that frequency. Hand up, stewardess called, shut down. I neglected to tell him that his brain was operating at something less than 96kps, or .wmv at best.
Like you, I fly up front and it AMAZES me that people in this cabin seem to feel they are somehow above the regulation. Do they think they are smarter, or their devices are BETTER (which, actually the devices MAY be and therefore LESS likely to impact – wait for it, big word – AVIONICS!)
I usually confront them VERY loudly, “IS that a BLACKBERRY you are using there, or one of them new IPHONE thingies?” Loud, like the whole CABIN can hear me loud. That usually shuts them down quickly.
Another fun tactic is, “Hello, can I HELP you turn on your phone while we are LANDING” Again, loud enough that at least the surrounding passengers can hear me. Usually works well too.
Another good one is, “Hello, but WHICH part of TURN off all electronic devices announcement did you NOT understand”
I really hate the fact that one has to socially enforce this stuff, but until the law changes, it is a law.
the other thing to comment on, is the fact that one of the things the FAA WILL enforce, is a FINE on the AIRLINE of I think 25,000$ for NOT enforcing the CELL PHONE ban while in flight. So, the flight attendants are your friends when confronting these IDIOTS! ( I deleted the expletive)
Wow some people take this very serious.
I see this as I saw the no gum is school rule, because some idiot will stick it under the seat. The fact is I’m not some idiot, and like just about every rule in the world, I decide which ones I’m going to follow.
And yeah, sometimes I jaywalk, sometimes I don’t make a complete stop at stop signs (or right turns on red) and I don’t always come back to work from lunch on time.
What I know is that when an electronic device doesn’t cause any interference, then it is fine. And that’s what “airplane mode” does, bascailly it disables all the functionalities in the iPhone to keep you safe in the airplane.
As for the FAA rule and why it still exists is due to the current existence of other (old?) cell phones that can cause interference. But definitely, iPod/iPhone(Airplane mode)/laptop(wifi & bluetooth off) is not a problem at all.
my two cents.
I don’t know… I think it sort of depends: Was it a first gen iPhone or the new 3G iPhone? Could make a difference. 😉
Really? You asked him to turn it off? Comeon now – we both know that some ‘laws’ don’t make any sense, and this is one of them.. The main reason the airline industry asks for this is so that you can pay attention to them during landing/takeoffs anyways.
I’ve been guilty of listening to music (or reading my ebook) during landings/takeoffs before – if the flight attendant asks me to turn it off, I do.. if not, I keep using it…
btw – it’s very rude for someone to NOT turn it off once he/she is called out…
As an airline passenger you are required to comply with FAA regulations, posted warnings and crew instructions regardless of whether you think they are silly or not or you read something from Mythbusters or the Amazing Randi or whatever.
When the crew says “your compliance is mandatory” they are reminding you of this requirement which you are not at liberty to modify as long as you are on the aircraft.
But because the crew, the FAA and the police cannot be everywhere and see everything, it is up to people to support each other. That is what the blog author is doing when he reminds his seatmate that he needs to do what everyone has to do.
Having spent years in both the wireless industry and the aviation industry, I have found that purportedly tech savvy people do not understand their own devices and there are many things on aircraft that do not work the way they are supposed to. There is something broken, vulnerable or out of spec on nearly every aircraft you fly in.
Not all the answers are in about aircraft radiofrequency susceptibility, and even if more results were available, it doesn’t mean they must apply to your situation and your flight. You might be sitting in just the right spot to couple your RF energy into that wire that has been scraping against a surface for hundreds of flights. Etc.
When I see a passenger hide the device while still operating it during takeoffs and landings I bring it to the attention of the crew without the slightest reservation. You should not have to be effing “called out” before you do what’s right.
I heard this once and it made sense to me: The FAA wants us to turn off phones because nobody wants a (short-distance, low flying) plane to be full of people chatting on phones. It would be dreadful. That’s my idea. I would have turned it off if you told me to though. Probably not if you were the attendant : p