On both directions flying back and forth this week to Boston on the Shuttle, I sat next to people who Blackberried during the entire flight. Both were asked by flight attendants to put the devices away, both pretended to do so until she was gone, and both then pulled said devices back out again.
I am struck that adults in the middle of their business careers can act like petulant 4 year olds. One of the people complained to his seatmate that because the flight was delayed, he was going to use the blackberry whether the airline liked it or not. This was an adult speaking.
When you’re stuck in a tin can with 150 other people for an hour or three, some rule of order has to apply. We, as passengers, don’t have to like it. But we do have to follow the rules – even when they don’t make sense. It’s not a democracy on a 757. I don’t know why we can’t use Blackberries. I don’t know why they say "You’re free to move about the cabin" when "You can walk around now" actually sounds like English. I don’t know why it costs 4 times more to fly from New York to Boston than from New York to London. I don’t know why the government thinks 3.7 ounces of toothpaste will lead to a terrorist incident, but 2.3 ounces won’t.
But whether we like it or not, that’s the state of flying today – small annoyances, punctuated by having to take off your clothes when you go through security. Acting like a child by refusing to put away your toys when you’re told to clean up doesn’t benefit anyone. And, frankly, it makes you look like a jackass.
Next time a flight attendant (who didn’t make the rules, mind you) asks you to do something you’d prefer not to do, just smile and realize that sitting in a can without a blackberry for 3 hours is still better than being in the office.