Thainy Tidbits: Cell phone regulation unnecessary on planes

If you’ve been on a commercial airline before, you know how it goes. If you haven’t, let me walk you through it.

You stand in line to get your ticket and then stand in another line to get through security. After security gets a good look, and sometimes more, you stand in line to get into the airplane.

Finally, you get in the airplane and squeeze into your seat, maybe bump into a few people on the way and slam your head against something. Typical.

Just as you get as comfortable as you are going to get, you may start to text your loved ones and listen to some ‘N Sync or One Direction to keep your mind off of the terrible odor coming from the lady or gentleman sitting in front of you and the beautifully intolerable children kicking your chair from behind you.

Just then, a sweet flight attendant’s voice comes over the loudspeaker and says that the cabin doors are closing, and all portable electronic devices should be turned to the off position.

Wireless devices include all cell phones, MP3 players, laptops and eReaders. Any gadget with a battery must be off. So help you if you don’t turn off your cell phone before that sweet flight attendant comes sweeping down on you and releases his or her fiery wrath upon you.

There are many noteworthy complaints about air travel floating around. As a frequent traveler, I can attest to pretty much every single one. But the one thing that I can’t wrap my head around is why I can’t play Candy Crush after the cabin doors close.

The FCC rules prohibit the use of any wireless electronic device on airborne aircraft while traveling below 10,000 feet. This means that during takeoff and landing you cannot use your wireless devices.

The ban was put in place when the FCC and FAA claimed these devices could potentially  interfere with the plane’s navigation and communication systems.

You may be thinking that I’m being a little dramatic. Keeping your texting fingers to yourself and turning off ‘N Sync for a few minutes during takeoff and landing are a small price to pay to prevent the failure of navigation and communication systems on airplanes, right?

Sure, I absolutely agree. Or, at least, I would agree if there were absolutely any scientific evidence supporting these regulations.

The FCC actually began looking into the possibility of lifting the portable device ban in 2004, but in 2007 they concluded that technical proof provided by manufacturers of such devices wasn’t good enough to lift the ban.

Then, in 2012, the FCC finally deemed in-flight cell phone use to be safe. So essentially, it is now up to the FAA and individual airlines to do away with this unnecessary ban.

What this all comes down to is that it is about time the FAA lets this one go. There is no legitimate reason to continue the ban on portable electronic devices.