Travel annoyance - why can't iPads and Kindles be used during takeoff and landing?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by sandydlc, Apr 17, 2010.


Do you turn off your iPad during takeoff and landing?

  1. Always!! I'm a good girl/boy and always do as I'm told.

    57 vote(s)
  2. Never...let them try and take my iPad away.

    14 vote(s)
  3. Only if I get yelled at.

    27 vote(s)
  4. Only if other passengers give me the stink eye.

    5 vote(s)
  1. sandydlc macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2010
    Okay I get the whole airline concern about not wanting to take a chance by allowing passengers to use a device that sends a signal that could possibly interfere with their equipment; and I even saw the Mythbusters episode on this topic. However...

    If you turn off your wifi or 3G antenna, what difference is there between holding a paperback or hardcover book and a kindle or an iPad??

    I travel fairly often and it is incredibly annoying to be completely engrossed in a book only to be forced to turn your device OFF just because airlines haven't updated their policies to account for new electronic reading devices.

    On our last trip my son couldn't understand how his Nintendo dsi couldn't be used during takeoff and landing either.

    Doesn't it seem archaic not to be able to use your ipad for the *entire* flight? I'd love to hear from any pilots who read this forum.

  2. CarboysDesire macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2008
    Las Vegas
    Yes, it is annoying but those are the rules. If you fail to follow the rules on an airplane I guarantee you will face an even bigger annoyance that you will regret.

    As a side note, once I was on a Virgin Airlines flight from England to the States and the flight attendant asked me to remove the airline-provided blanket from my legs for landing. I had never heard of such a thing. I looked at her quizzically and said "Sorry?" cuz I wanted her to repeat it in case I mis-understood her and she got so irate! Apparently that's a big no-no on Virgin (haven't encountered it anywhere else). You must not have a blanket covering your legs!!! Bizarre, yes?

    ETA to fix spelling error.
  3. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    I wouldn't get your hopes up for any change here.

    A part of the regulation is to ensure you're paying attention to what's going on around you during takeoff and landing phases.

    Another part is to ensure that harder and heavier objects than papers, books and magazines are stowed so they don't become unguided missiles if something were to happen.

    And yes, some carriers cling to the "interference" mantra.

    Hopefully there will be some allowance for placing iPads in seatback pouches, unlike laptops which are supposed to go into their cases.

    As you might have realized by now, carriers tend to be pretty reactionary to this sort of thing and tend to paint with pretty broad brushes, so you won't be hearing any cabin announcements which say "but if it's an iPad, feel free to leave it on."

    I'm assuming you meant Virgin...

    That was actually a regulation put in place after the crotch bomber incident. Apparently he hid some of his actions below a blanket.

    Goes to my point about being reactionary.

    Mods should not post times before editing posts.
  4. vincebio macrumors 6502a


    Jun 27, 2005
    i flew on BMI Baby from Glasgow to East Midlands last week, and they said Blackberrys were allowed after take off but iPhones were not allowed at all at any point...


    I asked why, and the attendant said they were pissed too as they all had iPhones and they had to keep them turned off during the longer BMI flights.
  5. wrxdrunkie macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    The only complaint I have is that I cant have a gameboy in my lap on takeoff, or even a laptop that is turned off, in my lap. Yet people can have huge books, magazines, and babies in their lap. Are those items not any more dangerous when flying through the air?
  6. ZombiePete macrumors 68020


    Aug 6, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    I read once that the reason for having people turn off electronic devices during take-off and landing had nothing to do with fearing electronic interference, it had to do with the fact that these are the two most dangerous times on an airplane and with the pilots engrossed in safely operating the plane and the attendants strapped in and unable to monitor people, they want to ensure that there's no funny business going on while they can't oversee people and have them put their equipment away, "just in case".

    Wish I could tell you where I'd read that, but I can't remember.
  7. smithrh macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    No, they're not more dangerous.

    Heavier things that are harder with edges are more dangerous.
  8. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2007
    I never turn off my devices during takeoff and landing. I'll stow my devices, but not turn them off. But I don't understand why all the fuss about stowing them for 10-20 minutes.
  9. PDelahanty macrumors member


    Apr 16, 2010
    Boston, MA
    "I'm sorry, ma'am. You're going to have to put that baby away during takeoff. I can put it in the overhead bin for you."

    Magazines are not more dangerous. Have someone throw a gameboy at you and then have them throw a magazine at you. Which do you think could cause harm if it were to go flying through the air due to turbulence? (Seriously, WTF?)

    As for books, most people bring paperback books on planes. It's not that often you'll see someone with a hardcover edition of War and Peace. ...and they're not going to bother making an announcement of "If you have a hardcover book that's more than 300 pages or written by Stephen King, John Grisham, or JK Rowling, please stow it under the seat in front of you."
  10. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    From Captain Steve / NYT:
  11. Rhalliwell1 macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2008

    I think it is because of in the event that you have to 'brace'.... What would you do? Quickly shove your iPad in the seat pocket in front of you - wastes time, could cost lives. Drop it? What if the screen cracked and sent glass flying everywhere? Or it smacked someone round the head?

    Again, i think this is incase you have to evacuate... they don't want you tripping over your blanket.

    I chuckled when i read this.... Babies... Items??? :D
  12. wrxdrunkie macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2008
    I was basically saying babies should be in some sort of baby seat and have their own seat.

    I was also saying that anything that weighs more than what, 1.5lbs? should be put away..

    Lots of people takeoff with objects more than 1.5lbs in their lap. Some soft some hard.

    I figured the force a book and ipad would have when thrown at the same speed would be about the same.

    I am just playing the devils advocate here, not really that important to me either way.
  13. DunnMaui macrumors member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Maui, Hawaii
    Usually for take-off I turn my Kindle off but read right thru the landing. Since iPads are much more visible the flight attendants will surely notice them.:rolleyes:
  14. 2002cbr600f4i macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2008
    Exactly, this has to do with safety... The times when a plane is 1) in biggest need of uninterrupted electronic signals from the ground and 2) in it's most vulnerable time for a crash, is during take off and landing.

    They want your electronics off and everything stowed in case there's an emergency. They want to be able to get your attention quickly, and they don't want people tripping over your gear, nor your crap flying around the compartment at a time when the aircraft is already in danger.

    Personally, I'm annoyed that now they won't even let you put your laptop into the magazine pouch on the seat... So now I have to struggle to fish the laptop out after we're in the air... And then get BACK up to put it away. Grrr. Air travel is one of the biggest reasons I want an iPad because there's just not enough room to use even a 13" Macbook in Coach these days.

    Believe me, I don't like it any more than you do. It's gotten rediculous to fly these days. Just overall a huge hassle. But those are the rules... Deal with them!
  15. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Oct 2, 2007
    Rhode Island
    You should always put your devices on Airplane mode but as far as turning your device off during take off and landing, that's where the lock mode comes in handy :rolleyes:
  16. phishindsn macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2009
    I am always amazed how many people try to bend the rules when you fly. People waiting to the last minute to follow directions, trying to board even though there group wasn't called, people who bring over sized luggage and rightly know they are doing it. I mean like this post, if you can't follow the rules then don't, just don't believe you have a right to fly. There is always driving a car but then that is a whole other topic.
  17. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    thats why there is something called airplane mode. it turns off the phone wifi bluetooth ect ect. :rolleyes: anyway thats what i do and im fine and the people on the planes i was on (about 4-5 times with my phone) are fine with it too.
  18. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Oct 2, 2007
    Rhode Island
    Try driving across 24 hours flight :rolleyes:
  19. phishindsn macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2009
    Me no understand?.

    Are you trying to say, try riding on a 24 hour long flight?
    Or are you trying to say, try driving for 24 hours straight?

    The longest I have flown direct is to Japan just around 14 hours.
    The longest I have driven is 25 hours straight. Well the drive was 20 hours but then sat in traffic for 5 hours to a phish concert in florida.
  20. harry*333 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2009
    I think that there is no good reason for you to turn off your iPad during takeoff/landing, but I just turn everything off or at least to sleep so they don't yell at me, and anyway who would want to miss the takeoff/landing? its awesome:D
  21. Simgar988 macrumors 65816


    Jul 22, 2009
    First of all, magazine vs gameboy?? I'll take the gb cuz paper cuts suck.

    Second, who has ever read a book not by those three? Do any even exist??
  22. /dev/toaster macrumors 68020


    Feb 23, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    Some older plans *could* get interference from external electronics. Regardless of what the mythbusters found, it has happened. Take offs and landings are a very critical time for planes. In poor visibility and weather the pilots are working on pure instruments.

    The question you need to ask your self is. Are you willing to take full responsibility for the plane crashing due to your selfishness ? What are you doing on these devices that is so important that you are willing to put everyone on the planes life in jeopardy ? I am not interested in the chances of it happening. Sit back and really ask your self if its worth it.

    The amount of time you aren't able to use your electronics is pretty small, bring a book or something for those times.
  23. sandydlc thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 10, 2010
    Interesting responses

    I should mention that I do put my iPhone in airplane mode when asked though I've noticed most people don't. I'm not trying to be a rebel but on my last flight, the lady next to me had her purse handle threaded through her seat tray the entire flight and she had the aisle seat. Talk about a hazard for everyone in our row!!

    I guess I'm hoping that in the future, small devices such as iPad will be allowed for use as long as any transmitting signal is off. Seems like a reasonable compromise but I understand would be impossible to verify and control.
  24. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    As far as the interference issue, there is actually a real concern here.

    ALL electronic devices emit RF, even those those that don't have a transmitter of some sort (WiFi, cell, Bluetooth, whatever). ALL electronic devices emit unintended RF.

    Intended transmissions can be dealt with. They are in a known frequency band, which typically is different than that used in on-board systems. They are usually different enough in frequency and low enough in level that they would have no adverse effect on onboard systems. Unintended transmissions are, well, unintended. Although typically at low levels, they can pop-up at all sorts of frequencies, including those that might be used for air-to-ground voice and data transmissions.

    With increased regulation (and enforcement of regulation) this has become somewhat less of an issue than it once was. Electronic devices are better-shielded against unintentional emission than they once were.

    When I was in high school (graduated in 1972) we had a computer - one of the few high schools in the U.S. that did. (It was an IBM 1620). There was a program that would play music if you sat an AM radio on the console. (And if you ran any other program, you'd still head random bleeps and bloops.)

    The FCC (in the U.S.) limits amount of unintentional emissions from electronic devices, but this is thinly enforced, and devices are only "type accepted". The manufacturer submits design drawings and specifications, and a test is done in an approved laboratory. But there is no requirement that every individual device be tested. (Any design change requires re-testing and re-submission.)

    It's important to note that unintended transmissions are only LIMITED, not BANNED. To BAN them would be impractical. 100% shielding and filtering of out-of-band transmissions is a physical impossibility. And as you approach 100% elimination, it becomes exponentially costly. So, we have to settle on a reasonable limitation that can be implemented at a cost that consumers will accept.

    Things sometimes go wonky in the manufacturing process. Some manufacturers lie and cheat (surprise, surprise!).

    Additionally, I suspect that MOST consumers don't know or don't care if their INTENTIONAL transmitters (WiFi, Bluetooth, cell, etc.) are turned off. Try explaining this nuance to the grandma with the Jitterbug and a new iPad.

    The safest thing, then, is to have everybody turn their stuff OFF and stow it away.

    So, in addition to the other issues mentioned above (attention of the passenger, electronic objects as projectiles, etc.) there really is some potential for consumer electronics to interfere with the onboard avionics.
  25. Hmac macrumors 68020

    May 30, 2007
    Midwest USA
    I used to leave my cell phone on, but it goes to full power searching for a tower and get depleted quite a bit faster, so now I turn it off.

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