11 October 2008

Dude, Stop Interfering With My Navigation

Not long ago, when I was taking a flight somewhere and, upon landing and taxiing to the terminal, suddenly had to listen to a spate of cellphones being turned on and used, I got to thinking about why cell phone use is banned in-flight, and whether – as I've often suspected – the whole thing was some scheme by the airlines to force you to use their in-plane systems, thus raking you for more dough.

A (very) little bit of investigation led me to this interesting post on Wikipedia about the whole thing. The gist of it, basically, is that there's really no proven correlation between cell phone use and interference with avionics, but the social aspects of the ban are more compelling. And frankly, when I think about it, I tend to agree.

If someone's being a loud asshole on a cellphone in a restaurant or a train, you can always ask them to move, or move yourself. But there's nowhere to go on an airplane, so I don't think it's so unreasonable to force people to be a little considerate of the rest of us. It's not freakin' likely they're going to do it on their own.

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