Yes, I think the rule requiring electronics to be turned off during take-off and landing is a silly rule, but it must be followed until it's changed. I'm having a hard time having sympathy for the kids here:
The dispute surrounding a student vacation flight from New York to Atlanta is getting uglier.
One hundred one students and eight chaperones were kicked off an early morning AirTran flight before its scheduled departure Monday. The controversy now pits the airline against an Orthodox Jewish high school."We take this matter seriously and have started our own investigation," said a statement released Tuesday by Rabbi Seth Linfield, executive director of the Yeshiva of Flatbush school. "Preliminarily, it does not appear that the action taken by the flight crew was justified."From the airline's perspective, it sounds like a large-scale version of the parental "don't-make-me-turn-this-car-around" scenario.Southwest, which owns AirTran, said the group of "non-compliant passengers" would not stay seated, and some were using their mobile devices after being asked not to. When the students failed to comply with requests from the flight crew, including the captain, they were asked to leave the plane, delaying the AirTran flight for 45 minutes, said Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins.
Sometimes in the real world, boys and girls, you don't get warning after repeated warning with no consequences. Sometimes you're required to do what you're told, or else. You have now encountered one of those times.
Related story: a couple weekends ago I flew to Las Vegas, and a 20-something woman sat in the middle seat between me and my traveling companion. After the announcement to turn off all electronics, a flight attendant told her specifically that she had to turn the phone off. She was startled a few moments later when a second flight attendant came from behind us, saw her using it, and told her to turn it off. She blanked the screen but anyone with a phone knows you have to push the button longer than half a second to power off. A few moments later she looked around to ensure no flight attendants were around, then she went back to her texting.
I spoke to her in somewhat condescending terms, but honestly, she was too dumb to know I was being condescending. She tried to justify to me why she needed to coordinate with her friends, so many of whom were converging on Las Vegas by many different modes of transportation. About the time we were forced back into our seats by the acceleration of take-off, she shut her phone down.
It came on again during our approach to McCarran. I couldn't believe it.
The world apparently revolves around some people.