Airplane Mode No More - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Airplane Mode No More

Airplane Mode No More

You board the plane excited to begin an adventure. You put your bag in the overhead compartment, your water bottle in the seat pocket behind you, fasten your seat belt, and listen to the ever-so-familiar speech about finding the nearest exit (keeping in mind it may be behind you). The next step in this routine includes powering down devices. Do people really turn them off? What really happens when a device is left on? Can one access text-messages from 30,000 feet off the ground? Can it interfere with the pilot’s controls?

For sure, air travel has relaxed a bit since the increase in security after 9/11. Simply allowing internet on flights would have been taboo during the post-9/11 days, months, and years. However, now, after the 12th Anniversary of the attacks, phones are equipped with airplane mode and go-go in flight may be purchased for as little as $3 per hour. Although most devices may be used once the plane has reached its “cruising altitude”, in an age where we are connected to our devises, ten-minutes may seem like an eternity. The New York Times, reported this week that the F.A.A. will likely diminish their restrictions on certain devises such as e-readers and laptops on flight to allow these devises to be on during takeoff and landing. However, the article reports that the restriction against communication with those not on the plane through phone calls, emails, and texts during takeoff and landing, will most certainly remain in effect.

Julie Greenbaum