The Federal Aviation Administration announced this week that they’ll be taking steps toward allowing airline passengers to operate electronic devices during takeoff and landing, because Heaven forbid some people go 20 goddamn minutes without checking their fucking email.
“The FAA recognizes that many consumers are super-entitled crybabies who can’t fathom the idea of not having access to their gadgets whenever the hell they want,” the FAA said in a statement. “That is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the potential safety risks and the feasibility of easing current restrictions. You know, so passengers don’t miss out on the chance to be the first to comment on Kanye West’s latest tweet.”
The agency is under public and political pressure to ease such restrictions as more passengers are travelling with tablets, smartphones, laptops, and e-books, and refusing to entertain the thought of maybe just reading something printed on paper for the brief period of time when their plane is less than 10,000 feet above the ground.
Technically, the FAA doesn’t bar use of electronic devices when aircraft are below 10,000 feet. But under FAA rules, airlines that want to let passengers use the devices are faced with a practical impossibility — they would have to show that they’ve tested every type and make of device passengers would use to ensure there is no electromagnetic interference with aircraft radios and electrical and electronic systems. As a result, U.S. airlines simply bar all electric device use below 10,000 feet since airplane accidents are most likely to occur during takeoffs, landings, and taxiing. Which seems like a fair compromise, considering the fact that any person flying on an airplane who absolutely had to have an internet connection every minute of every day would probably be on Air Force One and not Jet Blue Flight 863 to Orlando.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that a draft report by the advisory committee indicates its 28 members have reached a consensus that at least some of the current restrictions should be eased, mostly because the members have just fucking had it up to here with all these people bitching about not being able to catch up on Arrested Development right this instant.
A member of the committee told The Associated Press that while the draft report is an attempt to reach consensus, no formal agreement has yet been reached. The member was not authorized to discuss the committee’s private deliberations and requested anonymity.
“However,” added that committee member, “I am authorized to discuss how people need to cut it out with all this instant gratification bullshit. I mean, just because you have all this wonderful technology at your fingertips doesn’t mean you have a God-given right to use it every second of your waking existence. For Christ’s sake, can’t you people read a paperback, or be alone with your thoughts for half-an-hour of your wretched lives? Yeesh.”
“Sure, the risks of using electronic devices below 10,000 feet aren’t huge or anything,” the committee member continued. “But hey, I guess fuck the FAA because we only want to minimize danger as much as humanly possible. So go ahead and keep trying to get that 3-star rating on Angry Birds. It’s totally cool.”
Edwin Panafarro, co-founder of frequent flier discussion site MilePoint, says lifting the restriction is long overdue. “I actually feel like this regulation has been toughest on flight attendants. Flight attendants are always left to be the bad guys and gals,” said Panafarro, “The bad guys certainly aren’t us, the passengers who would be free to use our electronic devices eventually if we could simply have more patience than 10 year-old children.” Mr. Panafarro then had to pause our interview, because he positively had to post a new video to Vine right fucking now.
Upon uploading a looping 6-second video of himself making a Vine video of himself, he continued: “I just hope they do the sensible thing and don’t allow people to talk on their cellphones during flight. There are plenty of people that don’t have the social skills necessary to make a phone call on a plane without annoying the people around them. What insufferable, immature d-bags.”
Special thanks to The Associated Press for their reporting