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Old 03-22-2012, 06:17 PM   #61
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Wow..So, how did they decide to ban using cellphones while take off or landing in the first place? Finger in air I guess..
The policy basically says that if a device isn't tested/approved then it is not allowed by default. I don't think they specifically banned cellphones. All devices start out on the ban list. The issue is that nobody has been interested in spending the time/money to take cellphones off of the ban list.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:21 PM   #62
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The point is... if it were dangerous, it would be enforced. But it's not, so it isn't. Until they start holding up departures while they sweep luggage, carry-on and passengers for any and all electronic devices that haven't been turned off, I'm going to assume it's bullshit. Because any safety measure that relies on mass voluntary compliance has already failed anyway.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:28 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by montalex View Post
If devices like cellphones and ereaders really posed a danger, they would not be allowed on flights at all, even in baggage.
The FAA sets the rules, but they're not the ones that enforce them on the flight. The airlines need to be seen as following the rules, but they also know full well that if they actually did what you suggest they would lose customers.

The airlines sometimes walk a fine line between not driving their customers away and not getting penalized by the FAA. At the end of the day, the only thing that the airline cares about is revenue. They don't want to get fined, but they also don't want to hurt ticket sales. The FAA on the other hand doesn't care whether or not the airlines are making money, they care about safety/liability.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:36 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
The point is... if it were dangerous, it would be enforced. But it's not, so it isn't.
The people who set the policy and the people who enforce the policy are two completely different groups with very different agendas (government agency vs commercial business). That's why it's not consistent.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:46 PM   #65
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The FAA on the other hand doesn't care whether or not the airlines are making money, they care about safety/liability.
The FAA has a dual role, regulating air travel and promoting air travel. Some critics of the FAA argue that the roles conflict, i.e. the FAA will not levy fines large enough to significantly impact an airline's bottom line no matter how egregious the airline's behavior.
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Old 03-22-2012, 06:46 PM   #66
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The people who set the policy and the people who enforce the policy are two completely different groups with very different agendas (government agency vs commercial business). That's why it's not consistent.
Doesn't matter. If it were that potentially dangerous. No one should have the opportunity to ignore it.

"Please place all electronic devices in the over-head faraday cage."
"I'm sorry sir, but our sensors indicate that you still have an electronic device on your person. The flight cannot leave until you place it in the over-head faraday cage. Someone will assist you."

Last edited by DiapDealer; 03-22-2012 at 06:51 PM.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:03 PM   #67
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Doesn't matter. If it were that potentially dangerous. No one should have the opportunity to ignore it.
They don't know if it's dangerous. They don't look for proof that something is bad, they assume everything is bad. Then they look for proof that it's safe.

If Apple today wanted to spend the money in order to get all of their iPod/iPad/iPhone devices tested and approved, then they would be allowed. There's nothing stopping them from doing this other than the fact that it makes no business sense to do so. In the absence of said testing, the default is that they're not approved.

I doubt anybody thinks it's a serious risk, they're just saying that they don't know for sure.

Yes, I'm sure if there were 100% proof that the devices were dangerous the ban would be enforced a lot more seriously. That's not the way it works though.

The policy is:
Unknown = not allowed
Tested = allowed

Right now, all of these devices fall into "Unknown". It's as simple as that.
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:20 PM   #68
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Quote:
The policy is:
Unknown = not allowed
Tested = allowed

Right now, all of these devices fall into "Unknown". It's as simple as that.
It's not as simple as that, though. Untested devices make it on flights all the time. Some of them get left on on takeoff. What point is there to even have any kind of policy for untested devices if there is no enforcement/penalty policy to back it up?

If there's any question of safety at all... the devices shouldn't be allowed anywhere near an aircraft. Period.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:09 PM   #69
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I've given this some thought and while I don't think that modern phones would interfere with the electronics of the airplane (at least one call is made on every flight and nothing happens), it might not be a good idea to allow them to be used during the flight. I've heard people talking on the phone on trains, and I don't want to hear it during flights as well.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:59 AM   #70
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I think that the problem is here:

The only flying I've done was between countries in Europe, so I can't say how it is for other airplanes, but the seats closer to the instrumentation are for the business class. That would mean that the people who pay more for flying should have the most restrictions applied to their devices. What are the chances of that happening?
Except that in airliners, most of the electronics are remoted. So the seats closest to the cockpit are not necessarily closest to the electronics.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:49 AM   #71
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Is it or is it not a cumulative effect? That is, three or four electronic devices, spread out across the plane, don't have any effect but if EVERYONE on the plane had their electronics on, it might mess things up?

I have no idea so go ahead and school me.

eP
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:25 PM   #72
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Is it or is it not a cumulative effect? That is, three or four electronic devices, spread out across the plane, don't have any effect but if EVERYONE on the plane had their electronics on, it might mess things up?

I have no idea so go ahead and school me.

eP
They made many, many tests. There was no measurable interference even when every seat was occupied and every single person was running and using a device, including cell phones. It is clearly a matter of going against the public perception of danger they have created over the years and of bureaucratic inertia. Nobody wants to be the first to make a move. And nobody is pushing hard for it. So it is us frequent travellers who lose out.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:56 PM   #73
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I was flying only a few weeks ago (in Australia) and all I had to do was turn off the wi-fi on my IRiver HD and put my phone into "airplane mode". No-one checked my ereader to make sure I had done this and I read it during take off and landing. As Virgin airlines has individual TVs with Foxtel satellite service I could hardly complain of lack of in-flight entertainment, but I find reading very relaxing.
I did hear some talk of making it much easier to get wi-fi coverage on flights so there will no doubt be a work-around for the interference problem
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:23 PM   #74
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Cellphones send a pretty weak signal compared to some of the equipment we have used on board aircraft in the military, but I guess it might be possible that something would be interfered with by a particular cellphone, on a particular day.

I am sure the electronic guys have checked it out. I hope so.

Still there is always the chance that some fool oscillator tries to be an amplifier and some fool amplifier tries to be an oscillator, all at the wrong time.

We used to say, "well you buys your ticket and you takes your chances." They might say, "we didn't buy a ticket." We say "then you go no right to expect anything."
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:23 AM   #75
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Except that in airliners, most of the electronics are remoted. So the seats closest to the cockpit are not necessarily closest to the electronics.
Then the solution is a simple one: install the electronics away from people. For example RF emitting devices shouldn't come within 20 cm of a pacemaker.
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