October 31, 2013

The nightmare of flying just got a little more complicated.

"The Federal Aviation Administration will allow airlines to expand passengers' use of portable electronic devices during all phases of flight, the agency announced today, but cell phone calls will still be prohibited," says a "Breaking News" email from CNN.

I'm guessing the cell phones are still prohibited because we really cannot tolerate a plane full of people yakking on their cell phones. And yet... flying on a plane is an ordeal in the toleration of other people. Those of us who are too sensitive to endure it are not on that plane, which means that if you are, you're there with a plane full of insensitive people.

I know that's not completely true. Some people are forced to fly. Or rather: everyone on any plane has some reason to be there that outweighs the unpleasantness of the experience. It just takes more for some of us than others. And now we can use iPads and laptops to watch movies and play video games and work work work. The question for any given would-be passenger is: Does that add to the pro or the con side of flying?

In the future, the planes will be full of people who are there having weighed the pros and cons under the new rule. And when you see (or think about) what that's like, you'll have to redo your own weighing of reasons to fly against the unpleasantness of the experience. Am I going to be sitting between 2 guys playing video games while someone behind me pounds away on a laptop on the tray-table attached to my seat?

ADDED: I do realize that today's rule change relates only to the takeoff and landing phases and that devices have been common on flights for a long time. The "now" in paragraph 3, above, was intended to refer to the way things have been recently and awkwardly to the new extension of freedom to use devices. As for weighing the pros and cons of the new rule: If the absence of the use of devices was a comfort, it was only a small comfort, in part of the flight. Changing the rule at least ends the pestering by flight attendants. Overall, I like the rule change. I need reading or listening material on a plane, and I don't want to have to think about or to carry the weight of a paper book to tide me over during the takeoff and landing phases. I especially don't like being woken up half an hour before landing to be told to turn off the audiobook that enabled me to fall and to stay asleep.

67 comments:

St. George said...

In the future you will have to pay to be in an ad-free zone (i.e. to not have to look at a seat back displaying video content).

PFP...Pay for Privacy...soon to be a luxury.

Coming soon is....

DPAA...Digital Placed Based Advertising is the new big thing. http://www.dp-aa.org and that is its trade association. Saturation ad bombardment at point of purchase. POP!

MayBee said...

Those of us who are too sensitive to endure it are not on that plane,

The word would be anti-social.

rhhardin said...

Airborne cell phones reach too many towers.

Though I'd assume that they'd be pretty well shielded in modern metal aircraft and any signal would have to be rebroadcasted say to a defined service. I don't know what the arrangements are.

Not having a cell phone and not having flown since, um, 1986.

MayBee said...

It is really only a change for a very small portion of the flight. You can already use your laptop, iPad, and iPod prior to take off and during the flight until just prior to landing.

rhhardin said...

Another passenger and I had an Eastern Airlines L-1011 to ourselves one day from Newark to Miami.

That was back before cell phones.

mrs. e said...

And some of us choose to wear life like a loose garment. This doesn't seem like that big a deal.

gregq said...

"I'm guessing the cell phones are still prohibited because we really cannot tolerate a plane full of people yakking on their cell phones."

Nope. the cell phone system simply can't handle large numbers of phones at high altitude.

Cell phones attempt to "talk" to every cell phone tower in range. When you're at 30,000 feet, there are a lot of towers in range. so all those towers have to deal with being "pinged" by your phone, even if you're not calling with it.

Also, unlike an iPad, cell phones actually DO radiate a lot of EM energy, so the FAA does have a reason to say "no, don't have these on inside a flying plane."

Ann Althouse said...

"The word would be anti-social."

If being on a plane with people is your idea of having a social life, then what would be the word for you?

Crimso said...

"And yet... flying on a plane is an ordeal in the toleration of other people."

Drive much?

Ann Althouse said...

"rebroadcasted"

Speaking of words...

gregq said...

"Am I going to be sitting between 2 guys playing video games while someone behind me pounds away on a laptop on the tray-table attached to my seat?"

You left out the person in front of you reclining their seat all the way back.

You already have that now, whenever the plane's above 10,000 feet.

gregq said...

St. George said...

In the future you will have to pay to be in an ad-free zone (i.e. to not have to look at a seat back displaying video content).

Do yo fly much? We're already in that situation now, on planes that have video systems. The advantage of this is that you'll be able to plug in and tune out below 10,000 feet, which is when they spam you now.

For flyers this is a pure win.

MayBee said...

It isn't my definition of having a social life. Why would you say that?

rhhardin said...

Rebroadcasted can't be a noun.

It's the anti garden-path form.

MayBee said...

Really, you've been able to watch iPads on planes for as long as iPads have been in existence.

surfed said...

Ughhh. Hate. Flying. By. Airline. Regardless of what they do to head nod the 21st century vis a vis video games, cell phones, etc. Travel technology from the 19th century is much more...civilized. A sleeper car on the train from Jacksonville to New York City is just the most wonderful way to travel. Dinner served at table, on china from an actual menu. Imagine. You own private room for canasta or sex. Forget the Mile High Club. Rail rocking sex has 5,280 feet of pressurized air beat hands down. Trust me on this one. There's just a lot to be said for 19th century travel technology. Even if it's a little pricey. Oh and there are no problems with your modern foo foo electronic gadgetry in the privacy of your own room...

surfed said...

Addendum: Never, ever, has Amtrak lost my luggage. Not in the 60 years I've been riding the rails.

Ann Althouse said...

"It is really only a change for a very small portion of the flight. You can already use your laptop, iPad, and iPod prior to take off and during the flight until just prior to landing."

We'd need to know the total length of the flight to know what "small portion" means.

Like if I flew from Madison to NYC, what % of the time am I forbidden to use my iPad. Seems to me it could be about an hour of the time. You can't have your iPad as your only reading material. And I use audiobooks to be able to sleep. It was really an interference with travel to be told you have to turn those things off. You have to bring additional reading material and you have to turn lights on to be able to see it, disturbing others.

I really don't get why you'd want to minimize how bad flying is. I feel like you're trying to con me.

MayBee said...

Traveling by rail is nice, but you are at the mercy of one set of rails that can be interrupted and hold up everything.

I can't tell you how many hours I have sat in immobile trains because of suicidal people.

Ann Althouse said...

"It isn't my definition of having a social life. Why would you say that?"

Because you said people who don't like it are anti-social!

MayBee said...

.Like if I flew from Madison to NYC, what % of the time am I forbidden to use my iPad. Seems to me it could be about an hour of the time. You can't have your iPad as your only reading material. And I use audiobooks to be able to sleep. It was really an interference with travel to be told you have to turn those things off. You have to bring additional reading material and you have to turn lights on to be able to see it, disturbing others.

I really don't get why you'd want to minimize how bad flying is. I feel like you're trying to con me.


It is really just a few minutes at both take off and landing.
This rule will keep that interruption from happening. As for what else you can do, you can read without lights during daytime flights. Or you can do what you said you'd do if you worked in the Amazon shipping center- think!

I think flying can be nice or it can be unpleasant. Mostly, I feel grateful that I can get places in a few hours that people used to have to travel for months to see.

MayBee said...

"Because you said people who don't like it are anti-social!"

But the opposite of anti-social isn't social life.

MayBee said...

And you didn't merely say you didn't like it. You said you were "too sensitive to tolerate it". There are all kinds of levels of tolerance before that and making it ones social life.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, really? There are these quaint things called "books," and "book lights." Of the zillion annoyances of air travel, I confess that "not being able to use my iPad during takeoff" never crossed my mind.

Possibly that's because I don't own an iPad. But I do have an iPod, and not being able to use that until we're at altitude didn't bother me either.

Reading books (paper books, the archaic kind) is my usual way of dealing with travel. I love me my Kindle, but there is a lot of stuff I want to read that isn't Kindle-accessible, or even online-accessible. Besides, it would be dangerous to walk around reading from a Kindle. I walk a great deal, usually reading, and though I've never tripped doing that, I'd rather trip while reading a paperback than while reading a Kindle book. One of these things puts me out $200, and one doesn't.

rehajm said...

I really don't get why you'd want to minimize how bad flying is. I feel like you're trying to con me.

Well, you'd want to announce it today because the healthcare thing you bet your presidency on is going so badly and you thought travelers would be thrilled with not being scolded by flight attendants anymore. Though based on the reaction, this didn't go so well either.

MayBee said...

MDT-
Possibly that's because I don't own an iPad. But I do have an iPod, and not being able to use that until we're at altitude didn't bother me either.

I don't want to speak for Althouse, but her post reads to me as though she misread the new rule to be allowing iPads, iPods,etc to be used during the flight *at all* for the first time.

Mark said...

Rail isn't really much an option for many of us, as our Governor turned down the funding we were slated to get for Madison to be integrated into passenger rail systems.

I could drive 40 minutes out of town, leave my car in the cold ... or ride a taxi to the airport.

I really don't like having to spend a tedious afternoon surrounded by people to get somewhere, but being on the coast 4 hours after leaving home means more time at the destination.

As MayBee notes, it's only 15 minutes at the takeoff and landing. There's no rule about taking photos out of the window, talking with your companion, or relaxing with your eyes closed.

Larry J said...

The old rules were that you couldn't use portable electronic devices when the plane was below 10,000 feet. Most airlines I've been on the the past few years make everyone turn off their devices once the cabin door is closed. An airliner only takes a few minutes to climb through 10,000 feet but you could be sitting on the ground for some time between the closing of the door and takeoff. It depends on how many planes are ahead of you waiting for takeoff.

The funny thing is that many airlines have issued their pilots tablets in order to store their manuals and approach plates. In the past, you'd see the pilots each carrying a small suitcase into the cockpit. That bag weighed as much as 35 pounds because of all the stuff they had to carry. Now, all of that is replaced by a table computer weighing less than 2 pounds. The added advantage for the crew is that the instrument approach plates are updated electronically. New versions of the instrument approach plates are issued every 28 days and in the past, pilots could end up spending an hour or more going through and replacing the paper copies.

Now, it sounds like passengers will be able to use their devices throughout the flight except perhaps for cell phones.

Greg Toombs said...

I'm getting wider. Airline seats are getting narrower.

Add in the usual cancellations, missing baggage, TSA shenanigans.

The airline business is abusive to it's customers.

Greg Toombs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rocketeer said...

Those of us who are too sensitive to endure it are not on that plane, which means that if you are, you're there with a plane full of insensitive people.

Wrong. The virtue, "sensitive", is the Golden Mean of the vices "too sensitive" and "insensitive."

You're trying to move the goalposts to make yourself feel better, but Aristotle won't let you get away with it.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

MayBee,

I don't want to speak for Althouse, but her post reads to me as though she misread the new rule to be allowing iPads, iPods, etc to be used during the flight *at all* for the first time.

Indeed, the OP does read like that. But Ann's 10:22 a.m. comment doesn't.

(Interesting, btw, that she uses audiobooks to go to sleep. I confess that the spoken word does the same for me. We wake up to NPR every morning, and I swear that if I've been wide awake with the middle-of-the-night heebie-jeebies, it's the radio coming on that puts me to sleep. Weird, but true. Also inconvenient, because the purpose of the radio coming on is to wake me up, but there you are.)

Rocketeer said...

Never, ever, has Amtrak lost my luggage. Not in the 60 years I've been riding the rails.

On the flipside: it's Amtrak. But at least I live in the NE corridor, where I have access to Acela - which gets me to my next unexplained, interminable delay twice as fast.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Larry J,

In the past, you'd see the pilots each carrying a small suitcase into the cockpit. That bag weighed as much as 35 pounds because of all the stuff they had to carry.

Indeed; "pilot case" is a recognized sort of bag. My husband has owned a succession of them. Black, maybe 18x12x8", a lid made of two flaps that fold over one another, with a hole in one that the handle on the other fits through. Very useful if you need to carry anything (conductor's scores, let's say) too big for an ordinary briefcase, and big enough to stow a change of clothes (incl. shoes) in if you needed to.

Michael said...

Most planes today are equipped with GoGo which charges from $10 to $20 for a one and a half to three hour flight. It is not available below 10,000 feet so it does not work for about half an hour of each flight. People have been tap tap tapping away on their laptops on their trays for a decade so that is nothing new. Nor is it new that people complain about the flight being "late" about ten minutes (this is Glenn Reynolds). It is new that the planes are filled with fatties. It is also new that excellent and pricey noise cancelling headphones are available and they do a pretty good job of shutting out the ambient noise of an airplane. They do not shut out the inane announcements which are the single most annoying bit of flying. I do not turn off my headphones during flight and I do not turn off my music. I fly a hell of a lot and have learned how to filter out most of the bad stuff. First Class is a huge help.

Professor Althouse does not like to fly, obviously, and this dislike, which may originate in fear, seems to be the first brick in the anti-travel theme that has appeared from time to time. The view that it is simply a distraction to view Rome or Beijing is borne of the aversion of riding the silver birds to get to those places. No?

I

Ann Althouse said...

"Mostly, I feel grateful that I can get places in a few hours that people used to have to travel for months to see."

In the old days, when you couldn't fly, your family and friends stay around the same area. Now, they move far away, and you have to get on a plane to see them.

But the quoted sentence doesn't refer to seeing people. It refers to places. So you can go to farther away places more quickly. But it's people that matter. And yet you call me "anti-social" because I don't want to be crammed into the plane with strangers to get somewhere else quickly.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, really? There are these quaint things called "books," and "book lights." Of the zillion annoyances of air travel, I confess that "not being able to use my iPad during takeoff" never crossed my mind."

When your books are in the iPad for convenience and lightweight, you have to remember to bring a paper book so you won't be without reading material. It's not that you need to remember that there is such a thing as a book, it's that you had this extra preparation step that could be easily overlooked or minimized, especially when you try to travel light.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

It's not that you need to remember that there is such a thing as a book, it's that you had this extra preparation step that could be easily overlooked or minimized, especially when you try to travel light.

If you say so. I don't go anywhere without a book. Hell, I don't go to the frakkin' bathroom without a book. I'd be more likely to forget to pack any underwear than I would be to forget to pack anything to read. But that's just me.

PB Reader said...

Most people leave their phones on. They just turn off the screen. Understanding "Flight mode" takes a degree of sophistication beyond that of knowing Barack Obama is a con man.

Amexpat said...

Flying has become more tolerable for me in economy now that most long haul flights have video on demand. When I put the headsets on and watch a decent film, I can almost forget that I'm on a plane.

I occasionally get to fly business class. Air travel then can be something to enjoy rather than endure.

MayBee said...

But the quoted sentence doesn't refer to seeing people. It refers to places. So you can go to farther away places more quickly. But it's people that matter. And yet you call me "anti-social" because I don't want to be crammed into the plane with strangers to get somewhere else quickly.

You didn't say you didn't want to. You said you were too sensitive to tolerate it.

However, yes, I fly in planes to get places. Planes bring people places. Of course there are people in those places.

And it's simply not true that in the old days people used to stay in the same place. America was settled by people who left their homes and families to travel a dangerous journey (across the land or sea) to get here or to see new parts of this great land.

I was just at the Acropolis. At the bottom of the hill is a library built for and by the Emperor Hadrian. The same Hadrian who built the wall in Scotland. Imagine the travels of his people in the first century AD! And now we can see both of these sights within just a few hours! The sites and the people who live in the countries they are in.

MayBee said...

Althouse, you don't have to travel if you don't want to. Whatever else you were thinking when writing the post about iPad and Kindle use and new calculations, I believe that you are not too sensitive to endure being with strangers on planes.

If there are people and places you want to see, you should simply not let plane travel hold you back. If not, then problem solved. The new extended use rules won't affect you.

gregq said...

Ann Althouse writes:
When your books are in the iPad for convenience and lightweight, you have to remember to bring a paper book so you won't be without reading material. It's not that you need to remember that there is such a thing as a book, it's that you had this extra preparation step that could be easily overlooked or minimized, especially when you try to travel light.


I agree. So why are you objecting to this change? You won't have to put away your Kindle once they close the door, you won't have to bring something physical to read, you won't have to turn off your book on tape.

So how did "The nightmare of flying just got a little more complicated"?

YoungHegelian said...

@MDT,

We wake up to NPR every morning, and I swear that if I've been wide awake with the middle-of-the-night heebie-jeebies, it's the radio coming on that puts me to sleep.

Oh my God! Are you & I married to each other & neither of us knows it?

Balfegor said...

One of the ironies of the no-electronics-during-takeoff-and-landing rule is that everyone knows it was broken by multiple passengers on every single flight. At minimum, I don't think anyone actually turns their phone off -- they just put it in airplane mode (you can tell because after the plane lands, there are no phone startup sounds -- no AT&T whoosh sounds or anything. At all).

Ann Althouse said...

"If you say so. I don't go anywhere without a book. Hell, I don't go to the frakkin' bathroom without a book. I'd be more likely to forget to pack any underwear than I would be to forget to pack anything to read. But that's just me."

When your books are in your iPad and iPhone Kindle app, as mine are, you just don't think about it that way. Books are bulky extras, and you always have your phone. I play podcasts and audiobooks while doing all sorts of things, and I've always got something to read… unless the flight attendants say I have to turn it off.

Ann Althouse said...

"I agree. So why are you objecting to this change?"

Personally, I like it, because I want to use my devices. I just don't like other people using them.

"So how did "The nightmare of flying just got a little more complicated"?"

I did say "a little." I hate flying. There are pros and cons. This devices thing is both a pro and a con, and the weight you give it depends on the person.

Why does anyone ever fly? The pros outweigh the cons.

I agree that "nightmare" injects a lot of opinion into the topic.

Sorry. I really just do hate hate hate flying. Even aside from fearing a plane crash, I hate to be treated the way a normal flight treats me. I put a very high value on my own personal, physical freedom.

Larry J said...

Ann Althouse said...

In the old days, when you couldn't fly, your family and friends stay around the same area. Now, they move far away, and you have to get on a plane to see them.


That simply isn't true. Throughout American history, people have moved in pursuit of opportunity. Not everyone, of course, but a lot of people. They may have traveled by ox-drawn Conestoga wagons or river barges, but they moved. In those days, when someone moved away, odds are no one in the family ever saw them again. How many people who crossed the country by wagon train ever went back home to visit the family? Probaly none, at least until the railroads made it possible.

Air travel lets families come together easier than ever before even if they're overseas. At one point in my family's history, my sister was in Japan, I was in Germany, one brother was in Hawaii, another brother was in Virginia and the rest of the family was in Alabama. We still managed to get together for a reunion. Try doing that without air travel.

Michael said...

Here is how I solve the terrible dilemma of being unable to read any of my hundreds of books on my iPad. I buy a hard copy of the NYT or the FT or the WSJ. And I read those old-fashioned newspapers while I am denied the use of my iPad.

It really isn't a big deal at all.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I fly several times a year. While it's something I don't look forward to, I would hardly consider it a nightmare. Most domestic flights are relatively short and I don't find it difficult to amuse myself for a few hours.

It does seem strange to me that you find the idea of flying so traumatic. I would expect it to barely register on the scale of adversity for most. Perhaps avoiding flight really is the best choice for both you and your potential flying companions.


MadisonMan said...

The times I've turned on my cell phone in flight to see what time it is (I need a watch), I've had a hard time finding service, for reasons that I think rhhardin noted. You'll be moving rapidly through the lines-of-sight for many towers -- how will the cell-seeking software cope?

Larry J said...

There are several issues with using cell phones inside an airliner. The old concern was that the RF emissions could possibly interfere with aircraft systems. Better shielding makes this less of a concern than it was in the past but airlines tend to err on the side of safety with actual data are lacking. There's the concern mentione above about airborne cell phones overloading the terrestrial network because they're in the line of sight of too many towers. At the same time, the aircraft's structure may be blocking a lot of the phone's RF signal, making it hard to make a connection. The slant line range between an airliner and a cell tower might be greater than what you'd get from ground-based phones, meaning the signal strength would be even less.

I've read that some airlines have considered the idea of carrying a micro-cell system in the plane. The phone would link with the micro-cell and it would make connection with ground systems.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann,

When your books are in your iPad and iPhone Kindle app, as mine are, you just don't think about it that way. Books are bulky extras, and you always have your phone. I play podcasts and audiobooks while doing all sorts of things, and I've always got something to read… unless the flight attendants say I have to turn it off.

I doubt that all your books are digital. It's not a good medium for some things. I plead guilty to having a couple of cookbooks on my Kindle, but I'd be reluctant to have no cookbooks not on the Kindle; the kitchen can get awfully messy in the middle of a complicated recipe.

And, as I said, there are a huge number of books that you just can't get in any digital form that I wouldn't be without. There's this great gaping hole between "public domain" and "current bestseller" that contains a hell of a lot of valuable stuff that it's not really in anyone's financial interest to digitize. Which is why Alibris and Better World Books get my continued attention.

MadisonMan said...

Cell phone calls are still prohibited, meaning, I guess, you can text away, which is how anyone under 30 uses a cell phone anyway.

Michael said...

The men and women on the hijacked 9-11 aircraft had no problem using their cell phones while in flight. I think it unlikely that using cells for calls will be permitted, mainly for marketing reasons. Dreadful listening to all those people screaming into their devices. The idea that electronic devices interfere with navigation on the planes is absurd. On takeoff and landing, the times of the concern, the planes are at or above the airports, for god's sake, where thousands of people are on the internet, cell phones,etc.

Peter said...

" I do not turn off my headphones during flight and I do not turn off my music."

Which is surely the secret of staying sane in an airplane. Or in an airport, or anyplace else that imposes an unpleasant audio environment. There may have been a time when one could enjoy public spaces without noise-cancelling much of it out, but if so that time is becoming just a distant memory.

In any case, what makes domestic flights tolerable is surely their short duration.

No doubt it was hard for FAA to claim that iPads jazz up the avionics when pilots routinely use them. Besides, airlines can now charge either for seating in an all-devices-all-the-time area if they wish.

BUT even if every technical issue regarding cell phones on airplanes could be solved I still think airlines would prefer to ban their use, as hours-long chatter just might send some passengers over the edge (and thereby create ugly situations for cabin crew to deal with). And presumably they'd prefer that FAA do the banning so they don't have to. After all, "You might cause the airplane to crash!" is far more impressive than, "You're really annoying everyone around you."

Larry J said...

Michael said...
The men and women on the hijacked 9-11 aircraft had no problem using their cell phones while in flight.


I don't know how many of those people on 9/11 used their own cell phones verses those AirCell phones that airliners used to carry. I have not seen them lately but every row of seats used to have a phone back in the day.

I think it unlikely that using cells for calls will be permitted, mainly for marketing reasons. Dreadful listening to all those people screaming into their devices.

If they think they can make money off it, they'll allow it.

The idea that electronic devices interfere with navigation on the planes is absurd. On takeoff and landing, the times of the concern, the planes are at or above the airports, for god's sake, where thousands of people are on the internet, cell phones,etc.

Actually, it isn't absurd at all if you understand radio propagation. Due to the inverse square law, RF signal strenght decreases rapidly with distance. Even at the closest distance, the signal strength of a cell phone on the ground is going to be many orders of magnitude less than one inside the plane.

Interference has been documented in the past. It has long been prohibited to use an FM radio receiver inside an airliner. Commercial FM radios operate between 88.0 and 107.9 MHz. Aircraft VOR and localizer frequencies start at 108.0 and go to 117.9 MHz. If you understand how a superheterodyne radio receiver works, it's easy to see how stray signals from the radio receiver could interfere with navigation radios. This isn't a factor on takeoff but could be very serious for landings in bad weather where those nagivation radios are being used to guide the plane to the runway.

Cell phones work on very different frequencies than FM radios but the concern was that their much higher signal strength could saturate avionics receivers. Better shielding helps prevent this from happening so it likely isn't a problem with newer planes.

Freeman Hunt said...

Having an RV must be wonderful. Lounge around in a little house while you are transported from A to B. i realize that you're probably supposed to be belted in as though in a regular car, but does anyone do that? I can't imagine doing that.

Michael said...

LarryJ: Thanks for the information on radio waves. The landing part is the important part!! Would have thought that the very ether is filled with these signals around an airport.

The people on the plane used both cell phones and those that were on the seat backs. Right after 9-11 I recommended that they replace those phones with stun guns and do away with the idea of a TSA. My way would have been as safe and a lot cheaper!

gregq said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...

Personally, I like it, because I want to use my devices. I just don't like other people using them.

AS long as they have their headset on (so I don't have to listen to their whatever) and keep their elbows to themselves, I couldn't care less.

>>>
"So how did "The nightmare of flying just got a little more complicated"?"

I did say "a little." I hate flying. There are pros and cons. This devices thing is both a pro and a con, and the weight you give it depends on the person.
<<<

Well, they're still going to make people put away their laptops during takeoff and landing ("too heavy" say the Feds), so the con of the person behind me putting their laptop on the tray connected to my seat, then pounding away, hasn't changed.

I assume the airlines will still tell people they have to have headsets with sound-emitting items. So unlike you I'm just not seeing any cons for this.

>>>
Sorry. I really just do hate hate hate flying. Even aside from fearing a plane crash, I hate to be treated the way a normal flight treats me. I put a very high value on my own personal, physical freedom.
<<<

Oh, I'm definitely with you, there. Thing is, this change makes it easier for me to slip into my own world and ignore the people around me, which IMAO makes flying much easier to bear.

nina said...

Doors close. I stretch. Take out a New Yorker. The plane soars up, up... Music comes on. A trolly comes by -- a friendly person offers me champagne. Then a meal. Movies on my own private screen -- which ones? So many to choose from... After one, I switch back to music. It's quiet. ALways, it's quiet. I lean back.

After a while, I see that night is done. Sunrise. We're about to land. In a new place with possibilities like you can't even imagine back home.

What's there not to love?

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Alas, nina, we can't all fly first class.

kentuckyliz said...

I'm driving to my sister's farm for Thanksgiving. Airfare was what I'd expect to pay to go to Europe. Eff the airlines.

Rusty said...

Travel technology from the 19th century is much more...civilized. A sleeper car on the train from Jacksonville to New York City is just the most wonderful way to travel.

Ah yes. Another metal tube filled with assholes you cant avoid until the vehicle stops. Rather than enduring 4 hours of tedium I must now endure 24 or 48 mind numbing hours.
The only advantage is paying extra for an oversize closet with uncomfortable beds and an iffy toilet cum shower. Which appropriately enough, smells like a public toilet.
I'd rather talk to a liberal.

MayBee said...


After a while, I see that night is done. Sunrise. We're about to land. In a new place with possibilities like you can't even imagine back home.


Yes! And that's what I love, even if I have to be uncomfortable in a crowded coach cabin for a few hours. Such a small price to pay to experience the wonders of this world.

Strelnikov said...

With everything going on in ObamaCare, all three networks led with this last night. Pathetic.

Strelnikov said...

"What's there not to love?"

Agreed. Thank God for this technology that has allowed me to see most of the world during my lifetime. A century ago and I would have been lucky to get out of the county.

Since almost all my travel has been for pleasure rather than business, at this point I get excited even going to the airport to pick someone up. Apparently, I'm now programmed to associate the airport with going someplace wonderful.