Ever since the FAA approved iPads for pilots of commercial flights, there have been no shortage of editorials complaining about how passengers couldn’t use them. The argument against electronics on an airplane have always been about two things:
- Concern that personal electronics, like cell phones and tablets, would interfere with the plane’s sensitive electronics.
- Passengers should be alert and paying attention to flight attendants and that, during the rougher takeoff and landing procedures, flying objects are dangerous should their owners lose hold of them.
I can buy the first argument – I know that my alarm clock makes a buzzing noise before I receive a text message, so I am aware that electronic interference exists and can have an effect. The second argument in BS, since you are allowed to read books, which can be heavy and possess the same attention grabbing powers of a tablet or phone.
Here’s the kicker though – do you really need to use those devices during takeoff and landing? I argue that you should take a break, rest your eyes, and just enjoy the majesty of flying. Those periods are very short and having an extra half hour of time with your iPad shouldn’t make that much of a difference!