Counter-Point: Just Sit On The Plane And Pay Attention, Idiot!

Frequent Flyer X clearly has the attention span of a gnat -- and he's clearly never actually travelled with children. I couldn't disagree with his "tips" regarding using electronics during landing and takeoff more if I had a multi-core disagreeing machine to help me do it! First off, apologies; I've been flat out this morning and this particular article got right past me; had I spotted it in the stream it would have been diverted away to the digital circular file pronto. But it's up now, and clearly drawing some fierce commentary. Here's my quick take:

Firstly, while the amount of interference a small device may create is negligible, there's the potential risk of several hundred of these to deal with. Yes, we're dealing with intangibles here to a certain extent, but you know what isn't intangible? The ground.

That big round rock we all live on, and that the plane might just bounce back onto. I'll take safety over listening to some music all the time, no matter what.

I'm sure that Frequent Flyer X feels that he's some kind of sticking-it-to-the-man-Ninja with his tips, but frankly, he's just remarkably self-obsessed, and it really clearly shows.

For short hop flights (and from the sounds of it, he's flying mostly in the US, where most flights will be fairly short -- an hour or two unless you're heading coast to coast or similar) the twenty or so minutes at each end really isn't much. Frankly, I find when there's no clattering of keys, overly loud music leaking out of headphones or the like rather nice. I personally tend to use it as something of a mental clearing ground, but tastes vary.

For longer flights, guess what? There's plenty of time for music, ebooks, computer usage... whatever floats your particular travelling boat. I've got to say, I'd also rather the cabin crew were doing something useful -- even if it's just taking a break, as I can't imagine the life of cabin crew these days is all that glamorous, if it ever was -- rather than trying to work out whether that creepy looking guy in the hoodie is hiding electronics, or just sleeping.

In any case, twenty minutes of your day is absolutely inconsequential... unless something goes wrong. At which point, everyone actually paying attention gets off the plane, and Frequent Flyer X may well still be sat in his or her window seat, hoodie scrunched up, headphones on and not listening, sticking-it-to-the-man and not actually getting off the plane. Whose problem will it be then?

Right... rant over. Back to it, then...

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