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  1.    #1  
    Fellow Treo-ers:

    For the second time now in the last couple of months, a United flight attendant forbid me to use my Treo on a flight. I fly several times a week, and this isn't usually a problem, but yesterday it happened again.

    No amount of explaination or demonstration of "Wireless Mode Off" would make any difference to her. Evidentally, they look in their Flight Attendant book (page 3.110.17) and see an FAA regulation which forbids the use of any two-way transmission device.

    What I don't need is an explaination to me about how the Treo 600 doesn't violate this, we've already done that before in previous threads.

    What I do need is two things:

    1) A document I could show these sincere but mistaken flight attendants that this specific advice is allowed -- dispite the ambiguous wording of the FAA regulation -- from some sufficiently high official in United and/or the FAA that would be recognizable to a flight attendant and get their attention.

    2) Specific name and phone number (or email) of said official inside United /and or the FAA who could clear this up and write a letter.

    Again, I don't need encouragement that this shouldn't happen, I need help to clear this up the next time it happens.

    Thanks,
    Bill Petro
    www.billpetro.com
  2. #2  
    I fly a lot and had differing experiences on United. Don't usually have a problem, but one time a male attendant appeared to almost be on a crusade to prevent me from using my phone. Same as your experience, underlying current of "no matter what you show me I know I'm secretly right so just turn it off."

    Especially frustrating since in reality there's never been a documented case of interference, ever. I just don't kow what can be done. I almost wrote a letter to United explaining what happened and asking if I could get a document t allow my PDA-side use, but realized that they prolly don't give a damn. I think you have to battle by the flight. And bottom-line, if they tell you to do something, it doesn't matter if you're right. If you're willing to go to jail over it (which in some cases I might be depending on what happens), then go for it. Otherwise you gotta grin-n-bear it.
  3.    #3  
    I appreciate your sympathy :-)

    However, I'm not prepared to grin and bear it. I fly over 100,000 miles a year with United and have for several years, and sit on the Travel Council of a Fortune 500 company that spends millions with United. I want to fix this so I can get some work done in the many hours I spend on United's flights.

    I suspect "someone" at United will care about being percieved as being "busines-unfriendly" and losing business while they're still in Chapter 11.

    I'm trying to find out who that "someone" is.

    Regards,
    Bill Petro
    www.billpetro.com
  4. #4  
    Bill, if anyone here is qualified to make this happen, it would appear to be you.

    I wish I could help. I even hear announcements on some flights (NWA or Airtran) about "devices that cannot be used EVEN IN 'AIRPLANE' MODE" - isn't that the point?
  5. #5  
    Has anyone tried to challenge that the Centrino laptops are wireless enabled...and probably always transmitting when powered up?????
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by golfwidower
    Has anyone tried to challenge that the Centrino laptops are wireless enabled...and probably always transmitting when powered up?????
    The challenge would entail having a debate during flight, which isn't going to happen.

    I agree that Bill is the one to do it. Maybe write/talk to palmOne and ask them to push this forward and come up with a statement. It is in their interest to do so.
  7. #7  
    well, united sucks in general. I'm sure you're pretty used to that fact.. lol

    I fly quite frequently and I have never experienced anyone prevent me from using my phone. maybe you could take someone's badge # next time and report them to united??
    radio aj: ajrosales.com (resistor coming soon)
  8. ERicJ's Avatar
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    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by netfreedom
    Especially frustrating since in reality there's never been a documented case of interference, ever.
    Just backin' ya up here...

    At least 52 documented cases, but....
    "Neither the RTCA nor the CAA were able to duplicate under controlled conditions the interference from a PED [Personal Electronic Device] that their studies indicate could theoretically occur."

    Source: The Subcommittee on Aviation Hearing on Portable Electronic Devices: Do they really pose a safey hazard on aircraft

    PDF of applicable FAA regulations

    ERic
  9. #9  
    Unfortunately any debate in mid flight is going to default to the flight attendant's decision. In mid-flight it's not a democracy anymore, since it's illegal to interfere with the actions of the aircrew.

    Despite documentation, all one pilot needs to say is he saw a stutter in his instruments or a glitch he thought he saw and the ban will be upheld in the interests of safety.
    Pete
  10. #10  
    Exactly my point. Even legitimized devices are subject to the crew's discretion. Sadly, I have found the easiest way to avoid conflict is to make the TREO APPEAR like other sanctioned devices by using the headphones while you're doing other stuff. Remember, you're dealing with uninformed people, so you must make what you're doing appear normal to their frame of thought. Perception is everything Sounds stupid, but it works.

    All of a sudden it's an MP3 player, not a phone.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by ajrosales
    well, united sucks in general.
    No one can suck worse than Delta. I'm a gold medallion with them, and have made the observation that when my seat is in first class I can do whatever I want. They have never looked twice at my Treo. When a platinum shows up at the gate or when a silly fool pays full fare for the big seat and bumps me back to coach, it's a totally different world. Sad, but from my experience, true. I don't think it's an issue of safety or misunderstanding. I think a lot depends upon the seat you're assigned.
  12. #12  
    I had a similar experience to the first one mentioned in the thread on Southwest. They demanded that I completely turn off the Treo and not use it until the plane landed. This seems like a growing problem that PalmOne needs to nip in the bud by educating the FAA and the airlines that this is a device with two independent functions and the phone can be completely turned off.

    If PalmOne doesn't deal with this, I expect there will be a growing mass of unhappy flying Treo owners.

    How should we organize a common voice to get the Treo 600 (wireless mode off) uniformly accepted for use on planes? A petition?
  13. #13  
    I fly a lot with AA in business class. I've never had a problem with them but I always make a point of turning off the wireless within sight of a flight attendant (with sound and all). I kinda make myself look the the goofy guy in the safety video with his 1991 era motorola flip-phone and his 1990 IBM Thinkpad - as long as they see me do the motions. ;-)

    I guess this is a bit of social engineering as I am kinda giving them the nudge that they are getting the response that they are looking for when they announce the "all electronic devices off" part of the flight.

    This has worked for me and saves me the hassle of "proving" that the wireless part is off and getting into a debate with the flight attendant.

    My $.02 worth

    DemonJ
  14. RobM's Avatar
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    #14  
    Having a degree in Aeronautical Engineering (never used it) the fear with phones is not midflight, but landing. I agree with one of the earlier posters that there is no documented cases of a cell phone causing any problems, it is merely a precaution. The other reason is there own cellular service that they offer. If you somehow figure out how to use your phone thru their cell jamming, then they wouldnt be able to make inflight money off of your phone calls.

    rob
  15. #15  
    from CNN.com: Mobile phone use now legal in-flight

    Sounds like this is exactly what you're looking for...too bad it only applies to the British
  16. #16  
    You may want to try emailing the Chairman of United and very nicely explain the situation while implying that your company may shift their business to another company because of the unpleasant flight attendents. As to getting the email address, find out the chairman's name and try emailing out various combinations of his first and last name to him at united.com. I have done this successfully several times with problems I have had with other large companies!
  17. ERicJ's Avatar
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    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by climber_rich
    As to getting the email address, find out the chairman's name and try emailing out various combinations of his first and last name to him at united.com.
    United e-mail is "FirstName.LastName@united.com"... @ual.com also works.

    ERic
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by tedc
    I had a similar experience to the first one mentioned in the thread on Southwest. They demanded that I completely turn off the Treo and not use it until the plane landed. This seems like a growing problem that PalmOne needs to nip in the bud by educating the FAA and the airlines that this is a device with two independent functions and the phone can be completely turned off.

    If PalmOne doesn't deal with this, I expect there will be a growing mass of unhappy flying Treo owners.

    How should we organize a common voice to get the Treo 600 (wireless mode off) uniformly accepted for use on planes? A petition?
    I typically use it when flight attendants are not nearby to eliminate a possible conflict. The one question I have is.....How do you "completely turn it off"?, perhaps I missed that keystroke sequence in the manual. The only way I have ever seen it off was when the battery was dead. Sleep mode unfortunately does not count as it is really not off rather the screen is just blank. I suppose that pacifies the crew if challenged.
  19. #19  
    I can't remember my cell phone ever working at 30,000 feet and I'm quite sure my two way pager (when I had one) didn't work mid-flight.
  20. #20  
    I always expected the pilot to come out of the cockpit with his hair on fire when I fired up my Iridium phone at 33,000 feet (with a 7 watt transmitter!) but he never did. It actually worked extremely well. If that didn't screw up the instruments or radios, there is NOTHING the 600mW from the Treo will do, especially if the RF section is off. I'd probably be half way through my sentence of 10-20 if they'd spotted me!
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