Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Turn On Your Electronic Devices

In light of the Holiday Season and all of the travelling associated with it, I have come up with a new mission that I hope you will join me in. It's not going to cause world peace or cure cancer, but I think it's a sensible idea.

We've all been annoyed by the "turn off all electronic devices" announcement on an airplane. Instead of just accepting the nuisance, did you ever stop to think about it? I politely asked a flight attendant yesterday if it was an FAA policy to require that announcement. She wasn't sure. But she went on to explain that "they don't know exactly how it might affect the navigation equipment on the planes."

Hmmmm. If I cell phone or iPod can cause a plane to crash, I don't want to be on it. And, given the highly technological age that we live in and the millions of passengers that travel by air, the FAA should know exactly how these electronic devices affect navigation equipment. My prediction is they don't. Seriously, the girl across the aisle from me was playing Solitaire on her Treo and we didn't even lose cabin pressure.

I'm going to be doing some research into this and will update once I know more. But, it's probably high time for the FAA to do away with an arcane rule that will allow us to enjoy our iPods uninterrupted from one terminal to another.

UPDATE:
Thanks to Josh Lurie for sending me a link to this Wired article. Seems as though things like pace makers and hearing aids could cause some of the same unfounded interference that our more entertaining electronic devices do. Yet the FAA doesn't ban the hard of hearing or the faint of heart. (no offense meant, it just sounded natural!)