Trust me, I understand! You buy all these fancy and exciting electronic devices to get you through long car rides, subways, standing in line at the grocery store and ESPECIALLY sitting in line to take off on the airplane and then the flight attendants come over the PA and tell everyone to turn them off? WHAT? Surely my iphone or kindle really will not make the plane go down, right?
Trust me, I loooove my electronics! I hate having to turn off my nook and ipod touch too but I do. I listen to the flight attendants and play by the rules because rules are made for a reason. There are a lot of different aircraft that fly each and everyday, I am in no way an expert on each one and could not tell you how electronic devices affect each aircraft. Remember, some of the aircraft you fly on could be 30 years old, these aircraft were made and configured long before ipods and kindles were even around...
Did you know that for my little aircraft, when a passenger texts or emails someone on a blackberry, an error message comes up on the screen in the cockpit. I have had the pilots call me right before and right after takeoff to do a walk through to try and find the blackberry that is still on. They know, call me and then I know and that is Not good. Is it really worth everyones safety to get that last message sent out... And please know that pretending to turn it off, put it in your pocket and pull it out again after I pass by is not complying with the crews instructions. (Which is a Federal Offense if you do not do what you are told to, remember we are there primarily for your safety.)
*** (After so many comments on this post I talked with my pilot roommates on exactly what happens...
On the plane I fly on (CRJ200) they will get message in the cockpit called EFIS COMP MON that comes up on the primary flight display when some information between the captain and first officer do not agree, example heading indicator. A lot of our pilots seem to think this is from cellphones and this is when they call me to do a walkthrough, they have explained it to me as an error message on their screens.) ***
So, how come we can't just figure out which electronics affect which airplane and make everyone turn those specific devices off, how come they all have to be turned off? (I have been asked this so many times)
Well, let's see. We board 20 minutes before our flights depart. 20 minutes to walk to the aircraft, leave bags by the steps, walk on, ask questions, get bags in the overhead bins, switch seats, make PA's, brief the exit row, shove all the bags around to make more room in the bins, get water, throw away trash, close bins, make sure all electronics are off, handout paperwork, close the door. Oh and we aren't being paid yet so unless you want us to board earlier before each flight leaves, making Your ticket price higher all so we can go over the specific electronic devices to be on and off for each plane, they all have to be off.
*** Also, when I ask you to take off your noise canceling headphones for take off and landing, it is so you can hear my commands in case of emergency. I am not just trying to annoy you!!! ***
We really don't have time to even think during boarding so please just help make life a little easier for us all and turn them all off. This means Anything with a battery and on/off switch. Don't make us ask you two, four or eight times, it really doesn't do well for our mood for the flight.
I had a passenger the other week who I had to ask 5 times to turn his cell phone off and then he called someone during taxi. The captain stopped the plane mid taxi and we waited for him to comply. One more time and he would not have flown with us.
Needless to say I was quite annoyed and was very glad to have him exit the aircraft. I love my job as a flight attendant but hate when I feel like I have to school a bunch of 2 year olds.
Anyways, when a Flight Attendant says in the announcement that "electronic equipment can interfere with the aircrafts navigational system", we didn't make this up. So please power down.
(Let me say one more time I am not claiming to be an aircraft expert, these are my opinions based on my experiences on my aircraft. Whether you disagree or agree with me please remember that the FAA has had to review and ok all of our announcements so it's not just my rules that I am asking you to comply with.)