When Airplane Gadget Rules Are Eased, Will We Start Seeing More Recordings of Crew Behavior?

"Somebody sneezed too loudly. Back to the gate!"It’s no secret that customers
hate how airlines treat them. According to the latest ratings by
the American Customer Satisfaction Index,
airlines rank lower
than post offices. The only companies
customers hate more are cable/satellite television and Internet

Case in point: US Airways kicked a blind man off a flight from
Philadelphia to Long Island Wednesday because he couldn’t stow his
service dog to their satisfaction while the plane was still stuck
on the tarmac. Here’s how Long Island Newsday
described the incident

US Airways spokeswoman Liz Landau said [Albert] Rizzi was
removed — and the flight later canceled — after he became “verbally
abusive” with the unnamed attendant.

“Mr. Rizzi became disruptive and refused to comply with crew
member instructions when the flight attendant asked him to secure
his service dog at his feet,” the airline said in a statement. “As
a result of his disruptive behavior, the crew returned to the gate
and removed Mr. Rizzi and his service dog from the flight.”

But Rizzi said his last-row seat aboard the de Havilland Dash-8
turboprop plane had no under-seat area, and his request to move to
an open seat was ignored.

He said his dog, Doxy, was first placed under the seat of a
nearby passenger, but when Flight 4384 experienced a departure
delay of more than 1 1/2 hours, the dog wandered out to the aisle —
and lay on the floor with his head under Rizzi’s legs.

Rizzi said the attendant told him curtly about 9:45 p.m. that
the dog needed to be “stowed.”

Rizzi received support from several passengers against the
attendant. The crew responded by returning the plane to the gate
and kicking all of them off to take a bus instead.

We’re all familiar with airline safety theater – the pretense
that when the plane is obviously stuck on the tarmac for lengthy
delays everybody is supposed to stay seated with everything stowed
as though the plane was going to leap up into the air suddenly and
begin its flight. The dog didn’t need to be “stowed” while the
plane was just sitting any more than anybody else needed to be
sitting with their seat belts fastened, seat backs up and all
gadgets turned off.

Now that the FAA is going to ease rules on gadget use on
flights, will we start seeing passenger-recorded videos of these
incidents the way people record police? And if so, what impact will
it have on the way airlines treat customers? As Ron Bailey
, when Rialto, Calif., required police officers to wear
cameras, complaints dropped 88 percent and use of force dropped 60

If imperious behavior by flight crew starts getting called out
with video footage, maybe the public response will force better
behavior. On the flip side, maybe Rizzi and his dog were being
disruptive jerks after all, and if so, footage would vindicate
their treatment.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/15/when-airplane-gadget-rules-are-eased-wil

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