I have flown on airplanes hundreds of times and the one thing that was always interesting to me is the banned use of electronic devices during certain portions of the flight. I have done some research and found out that the rule is based on something that has a maybe tenth of a percentage chance to happen, and was more important during the years when the airplane equipment was not very advanced. However, times have changed and this causes a lot of confusion between staff of the planes and passengers.
Almost all of the new smart phone devices have a airplane mode embedded in them, where the phone ceases all external communication but still can be used for other tasks such as music, movies or games. This does not really mean much when the staff is not trained to understand that basic concept. I wonder if the companies making these phones ever take the time to contact the airplane companies and explain to them that this is what they are implementing. If so, why wouldn’t the staff be aware of it and refuse to allow passengers to use these devices in their safe mode? It could be an issue of trust, ignorance, or plain laziness but in any case I find it very confusing.
Leaving all types of phones aside, an iPod or an e-book reader are also electronic devices. I have been forced to turn off my iPod before and it really makes me wonder why. Those devices do not cause any radio interference and are relatively harmless, am I correct? I think it would be in some of these companies’ best interest to talk it out with the airlines as the entire point of an e-books existence is gone if flames when you can’t read it. How can it attempt to replace a book when many individuals only read on planes, and they are not allowed to do so freely?
There definitely seems to be a case of broken communication somewhere. I also believe that a lack of training due to the cost and airlines overall laziness toward the comfort of its passengers. They have created a place where people simply hate going, but are forced to due to the long distances and our current lifestyles. Many weekend couples or business workers do not have a choice but to take planes and for the rest of the population there aren’t any real alternatives.
What happened to the trains? Europe and Asia both have bullet trains running, that are faster and better than anything I have ever seen in the states. We are stuck with the Amtrak and greyhound which are just pathetic, and make these awfully serviced planes seem like a godsend. I sometimes wonder what happened to this country, as we are falling way behind other countries in so many ways.