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ATA Airlines detains passenger for using iPhone in 'airplane mode'

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#1 Nvyseal


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Posted 15 October 2007 - 11:34 PM

Apparently putting your iPhone in airplane mode is not the digital equivalent of returning your seatback to the upright position.

A flight attendant for ATA Airlines recently asked a flier watching a movie midflight on the way to Hawaii to shut off his iPhone, not for the perfectly reasonable reason that the man was watching the inane Jennifer-Love Hewitt vehicle I Know What You Did Last Summer, but because you're not allowed to use cell phones inflight. Casey, the iPhone user, told Consumerist that he tried several times to explain to the flight attendant that the iPhone was in "airplane mode," with all the radios disabled. But the flight attendants did not accept that explanation, and continued to insist that FAA regulations prohibit talking on cell phones when the cabin door is closed, despite the fact that Casey wasn't actually talking and the fact they were over the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

As happens with these things, people got huffy, tempers flared, and Casey eventually found himself talking to a few bemused policemen in Hawaii. He reported that the flight attendant changed his story several times, first telling police that the airplane wasn't shielded for any type of electronic device (although apparently everybody else's MP3 players were fine), then telling police the plane wasn't shielded for "ONLY (emphasis his) phones in airplane mode." Casey was allowed to go, and apparently was not sentenced to watch Heartbreakers in its entirety to get a better sense of what might have provoked the flight attendant.

First of all, "airplane mode" doesn't appear to be a universally defined state of being by the FCC, FAA, the airlines or the mobile phone industry, and perhaps it should. Apple's Web page on the iPhone's airplane mode clearly states, "If you turn on airplane mode, the wireless features of iPhone are disabled, and if allowed by the aircraft operator and applicable laws and regulations (emphasis mine), you can continue to use the non-wireless features after takeoff.

looks like the airlines need to keep up with the tech industry

read the whole article here

#2 chriso_86


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Posted 16 October 2007 - 02:36 AM

Guess he should go buy a psp or something to watch his movies.

#3 Visentinel


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Posted 22 October 2007 - 09:21 PM

I disagree, if the phone has a mode that allows the phone to follow FAA rules, he should be allowed to use his iPhone to watch movies while in flight.

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