If indeed, the most critical time on an airplane is during take-off and landing shouldn't passengers be ready to be alerted to the possibility that an emergency is imminent? You shouldn't be playing Angry Birds and be oblivious to the fact that everyone else is panicked because the bird you are flying on is going down. Why spend money researching and investigating whether boors like Alec Baldwin can safely engross himself in playing Words With Friends?
It would be nice if government regulation of the use of your electronic device wasn't needed. However, I've flown enough to know that airline passengers are too often inconsiderate and don't exercise common sense. I remember a few years ago I was on a plane about to depart from JFK when a passenger was still gabbing on her cell phone even though the flight attendants were giving the safety instructions and the plane was taxiing down the runway. Apparently this passenger didn't find the "Delta Girl" anywhere near as captivating as I do.
And if they ever allow passengers to talk on cell phones during the flight, I'll be done with flying. Sure, people talk everywhere else in public on cell phones these days, but at least those of us who find it annoying have the ability to pick up our things and walk out the door. That's not an option on an airplane, unless you're D.B. Cooper.
I think the FAA ought to scrub their research project and spend the money they save on something more worthwhile. Like buying every passenger their own set of noise canceling headphones.
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Over the weekend I paid a visit to the newly opened Granada Books which is located next door to the theater by the same name on State Street. Nicely done and nice selection of books. I encourage everyone to pay them a visit. After all, books purchased from Granada Books, or for that matter Chaucer's or The Book Den don't have to be powered down during take off or landing.
Craig Smith is a law professor and has been blogging about the local Santa Barbara scene since 2006. When he’s not teaching law school classes or blogging, he enjoys bike riding, skiing and playing piano.