Thursday, December 8, 2011

When Celebrities Do Wrong/Right

Listen, I happen to like him because he's a liberal who says mean things about conservatives and he plays an awesome character on TV, but I've been led to understood that personally, Alec Baldwin can be a pretty terrible guy.  That being said, I'm kinda happy this stupid fiasco, where he gets kicked off an American Airlines flight (an absolutely terrible airline BTW) because he won't turn off his phone, is getting so much attention.  Primarily I'm happy because the policy, like so many other airline policies (including every single post 9/11 policy), is idiotic and does nothing to keep us safer.  All it does it capture the veneer of safety (which I admit, to the ignorant masses, is much more important).  You know why I can arrogantly proclaim that the "no-electronics" policy is bullshit - because it is ignored on pretty much 100% of all airplane flights!  Show me one flight where at least one person is not illicitly using an ipod, cellphone, laptop, personal DVD player, or other electronic device during the takeoff or landing and I will need to regretfully inform you that you are either on-board a military aircraft being renditioned to Syria or, more unfortunately, you are watching footage from the movie Con Air.  The fact of the matter is, on every flight you take, some passengers are going to have in-use ipods or cellphones tucked away in their pockets. And yet, somehow, all of these flights with electronic gadgets in use manage to land without incident.  Huh - funny that.

So if it takes Alec Baldwin to get the policy discussion jump-started, I'm all for it.


  1. I like Alec Baldwin too but I hope this does nothing to change the no cellphone policy on flights. iPods, laptops and DVD players don't emit any radio signals and honestly, they just want those off during take off during taxiing and take off or no one would listen to the safety demonstration. Me not listening to my iPod for the first and last 5-10 minutes of a flight does not change my experience in any way. But my concern isn't about safety. It's about annoyance. I've taken train rides, bus rides, taxi rides etc with people with no filter on volume or content of their conversations and a plane would be no different. People's main concern on a flight is killing time. You know that there would be people that would stay on their phones for the duration of the flight if they were allowed. I don't need that. If I got a vote on this, I'd maintain the status quo.

  2. Keith I have no problem banning cellphones to prevent the annoyance to other passengers - but that should be the policy then. Not some bullshit about safety. Plus, then you could offer cellphone-free or cellphone-available flights at different price rates. Let the free market decide!

  3. See:

    And by the way, it's probably easier to justify banning cell phones by calling them a safety hazard than an annoyance. I'm with Keith--please for the love of everything holy do not allow people to use phones on planes.