For the last two weeks, I have been living sans cell phone, and not because I’ve given up cell phones for lent. It’s more that my phone has given up on me. Recently, my relationship with my phone has been strained, at best.
January- my numbers, videos, and pictures were hijacked into some realm of electronic prison. Gone. Unaccessable.
February- I inadvertantly catapulted the rectangular device across the aircraft galley, where it somersaulted and skidded to a stop, arriving not in its prior condition, but sporting a shattered screen. Wups:/
Still working, I declined the offer to switch to an eBay $100 iPhone. No way man! My phone was still functional, and $100 bucks gets me half-way to Europe….do airlines have stop overs mid-atlantic ocean?
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March- My cell said, “I’ve finally had enough of you!” Done. Refused to charge. Whatever.
April- My attitude of, “I don’t need you” lasted all of two weeks, but pretty impressive considering phones are like an internal organ to us these days, completely essential for our survival. I could havce addressed the situation much sooner, but I went to yoga instead. I went biking. I read a book. It’s all about priorities. At least I’m zenned out, right?
As each day passes, my annoyance at my disconnection from the “real world” peaks and wanes; driving me nuts, making me feel free. It also makes me feel the need to address the topic of cell phones, flying and why passengers need to turn off all electronic devices during flight.
Passenger: Why do I have to turn off my cell phone, iPad… during flight?
Flight Attendant: Because I said so
Just kidding. I’m positive many a passenger, including Josh Duhamel and Alec Baldwin, have rolled their eyes at a flight attendant, thinking that the FA is simply on a power trip. No. Not the case. I personally would rather not have to be the rule enforcer, feeling like a robot on repeat: “Turn off. Stow bags. Trays up. Seatbelts buckled. Behave.”
So is it true that cell phones interfere with the aircraft navigation systems?
Short answer: yes
The most critical phases of flight are below 10,000 feet, after take-off, and before landing. It’s important for the navigational systems on the aircraft to be fulling functioning during these phases of flight, and when cell phones are on, the signals crossover with the airplane’s signals. Yesterday, on my trip, the FO (aka: co-pilot), actually asked, “Did someone have a cell phone on during the approach?” Umm…I don’t know. We told em’, but we can’t control the fact that many passengers turn the devices back on once we walk away. They try to be sneaky like that.
Another something to think about, let’s just say the FAA allowed cell phones on during flight. Could you imagine how annoying that would be hearing the life sagas of the 100 plus people around you, and you have no choice but to sit their, strapped in and buckled up? Please pass over a Xanax.
So, the temporary detachment from your phone will be tolerable. I know firsthand that life without a phone for a spell is possible. And also, we flight attendants appreciate it when you don’t throw attitude about the electronic devices.
Just a reminder Mr. Baldwin…