Can passengers read pornography in flight?

2462986853_c271de65a1_nFrom time to time I get questions from readers who want to know what the rules are regarding viewing pornography in flight now that Wi-Fi is available on board most airplanes. Thankfully, it hasn’t been much of an issue (knock on wood). But planes are crowded, personal space barely exits, and when passengers do things they shouldn’t, well, they usually get caught.

Last week on a flight from New York to Fort Lauderdale, a coworker had to ask a 10-year-old boy to turn off the erotica and to fasten his seatbelt. On either side of him sat his younger brother and sister. Across the aisle were his parents who had no idea what was going on until we informed them why he may have been holding the computer screen so close to his face. On a different flight another passenger was caught reading a PlayboyMagazine. Next to him sat his young son. What gave this man away was the opened centerfold he was eyeing up and down. When a flight attendant politely asked him to put it away, he yelled at her for embarrassing him.

How common is it to see someone watching something rather risqué on a laptop, iPad, tablet or even the in-flight entertainment system in the air? I can only think of a few instances I’ve seen something that might raise a few eyebrows. When this happens, I’ll gently inform the passenger that there are children on board and remind them that other passengers seated nearby might find what they’re viewing distasteful. Nine times out of ten they’ll either fast forward through the scene or turn it off – end of story.


[Photo courtesy: Bekathwia]



  1. It’s rude, selfish and trashy to have any sort of nudie magazines out while on a commercial flight! That is ccertainly not the time or place.

  2. The other issue is nude scenes in TV shows or movies… Big shows like Game of Thrones have sex and nudity but would you ban people from watching them?

  3. I’m a flight attendant and if I saw someone watching porn or reading Playboy and no one around them was complaining, I wouldn’t say anything. As long as they don’t start fondling themselves I really couldn’t care less cuz they are entertaining themselves and not bugging me! 😉

  4. Years ago, I had a clergy man in full attire reading pornography on an aisle seat. He thought nobody knew as he had a book cover over the outside; however, every time I carried something up the aisle I could view the trash. When I finally asked him kindly to close the material as everyone could view it from behind, he looked mortified and went to sleep.

  5. Heather in the “Old Days” the only pornography I saw on the airplane was in the cockpit. Once served a Captain his meal and had to look away while handing it to him. I felt very uncomfortable with him. I’m glad we have rules against that sort of thing now, at least on the job.

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