I am flying in an Airbus 330 of US Airways, back from Barcelona. Just like any other flights, as soon as I settled down, a flight attendance came to me offering a newspaper. Since I was reading my New York Times on my iPad, I politely declined her offer. Then, about 10 minutes later, a routine “please turn off all your electronic devices” announcement came through. I grudgingly turned off my iPad and started looking for something to read. Since I travel only with my iPad and MacBook Air nowadays, I often find myself having nothing to read during the takeoff and landing. I sometimes read airline magazines, Duty Free shopping magazines, the dreadful Sky Mall catalogue (although I must admit that it is always inspiring to read it to find out what not to do in terms of innovation), and even safety instruction cards.
So here is a suggestion. Why don’t airliners work with Apple (or Amazon) to design an iPad (or a Kindle) that does not interfere with their system and handout iPad (or Kindle) pre-loaded with newspapers, magazines, and popular books? In fact, Samsung or any other Android-based tablet device manufacturers might do it as well. This device should be pre-certified so that passengers can continue to read contents during the take-off and landing. It will save papers, keep my fingers clean and most importantly give me something to read during that takeoff and landing period (probably the most boring time during any flight).
P.S. I wrote this posting couple months ago, but never uploaded to my blog site. Recently, Wall Street Journal had this article raising a question about the necessity of the routine procedure of “turning off all your electronics”.