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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Airplane passenger detained for playing movie on iPhone

iphone_airplane.jpgMy colleague Tom Krazit notes a Consumerist report that an ATA Airlines flight attendant tried to get a passengerto turn off his iPhone because, well, cell phones are not allowed to be used in flight and he was watching a movie on his iPhone.

The passenger, who we know as Casey, tried to explain to the flight attendant that the iPhone was in airplane mode, really truly.

If you’ve flown at all, you know that as a general rule, airplane mode use is generally allowed above 10,000 feet. And hey guess what, the plane was above the Pacific Ocean.

The passenger was briefly detained in Hawaii but was allowed to go.

There are two aspects of this story that strike me as at least somewhat relevant.

As Tom writes:

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.

Probably this is a good juncture to note how Apple explains iPhone’s airplane mode:

Turn on airplane mode to disable the wireless features of iPhone on a plane.

Read the whole article @ ZD Net

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