Theoretical question for y’all. It goes without saying that most people have at one point or another not followed the “no electronic devices under 10,000 feet rule,” and I’m not just talking about passengers, but also pilots and flight attendants. If I had a dollar for every flight attendant I’ve seen on their cell phone during taxi or takeoff, I’d have enough money for a lifetime supply of Diet Coke with lime.
So pretend you have a habit of putting your phone into airplane mode when the aircraft door closes and placing the phone in the seatback pocket, since you intend to use it as soon as you pass through 10,000 feet. A violation of FAA policy? Sure, much like going a mile over the speed limit is technically illegal, though neither present the least bit of a threat.
If a flight attendant “caught” you I’m sure you would turn it off, because understandably they have to enforce the FAA regulations.
On the other hand, pretend that as you taxi to the runway your seatmate (who you haven’t spoken a word to) says to you “are you going to turn your phone off?” Mind you, you haven’t touched your phone since you left the gate and the phone presents no threat to their safety (and your seatmate is a frequent flyer, which you know based on the status on their boarding pass, which is visible).
How do you react, and what do you assume is their motive?
When reacting do you say:
a) Yeah, let me turn it off
b) Oh, it’s on? I had no clue…
c) It’s already off
d) What’s it to you?
e) Something else
And given the circumstances, what do you assume is the person’s motive?
a) Legitimately concerned for their safety
b) Didn’t make it into the police academy, so is trying to do the next best thing
c) Just doesn’t like you
d) Something else
Not that any of this happened on my flight or anything, but nonetheless curious to hear what y’all think…