Two weeks ago, the New York Times and The Atlantic both had columns about the sheer pointlessness of the FAA requiring us to turn off our electronic devices during take-off and landing — as opposed to just putting them in airplane mode. Last week, Alec Baldwin got kicked off of an American Airlines flight because he wouldn’t stop playing Words With Friends on his iPhone while it was idling on the ground, thereby possibly securing his place as the Rosa Parks of upscale jetsetters. And yesterday, the FAA approved American’s request to use iPads instead of paper manuals and charts in all phases of flight, including take-off and landing.
The FAA ruling came after 6 months of testing during which, shockingly, the iPads did not crash any planes. Other airlines are in the process of getting the same kind of approval. So if, in the next year or so, the FAA doesn’t change its rules and free the techie population from the Luddite shackles of powerlessness under 10,000 feet, then it will be blatantly obvious that its hypocrisy and anti-elitism knows no bounds.