FAA Moving Toward Easing Electronic Device Use by Scott Mayerowitz originally appeared on the Associated Press website June 21, 2013.
Heather Poole, a flight attendant for a major U.S. airline, blogger and author of the novel “Cruising Attitude,” said easing the restrictions would make flight attendants’ jobs “a whole lot easier.”
There is a lot of pressure for airlines to have on-time departures, she said. Flight attendants are dealing with an “out-of-control” carry-on bag situation and then have to spend their time enforcing the electronics rule.
“These days, it takes at least five reminders to get people to turn off their electronics, and even then, it doesn’t always work,” Poole said. “I think some passengers believe they’re the only ones using their devices, but it’s more like half the airplane doesn’t want to turn it off.”
But there is concern about whether easing restrictions will result in passengers becoming distracted by their devices when they should be listening to safety instructions.
On a recent flight that had severe turbulence, a business class passenger wearing noise-canceling headphones missed the captain’s announcement to stay seated, Poole recalled.
“Takeoff and landing is when passengers need to be most aware of their surroundings in case — God forbid — we have to evacuate,” she said. “I don’t see that guy, or any of the ones like him, reacting very quickly.”
[Photo Credit: Heather Poole]
100% agreement on the safety issues during takeoff & landing. If the FAA is going to insist on telling passengers how to use a seat belt, it is at least as important (chuckle) that they don’t have earphones on for those first and last 10 minutes.