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5 Things You Need to Know About Business Friendly Flights



I break the rules every time I fly.

“Sir, can you please power that down and put it away?” – this is what I hear every time I fly. I always have my Kindle Paperwhite in my hands, wrapped in tough leather case.

“Of course!” I always say with a smile, folding the case closed and leaning forward to put it away.

A few minutes will pass, but the moment I hear “please prepare for cross-check…” (whatever that means) my Kindle comes right out again, and I continue reading–just like the passenger next to me, hefting a generous copy of the latest Dan Brown mind-melter or a tome that could only be War and Peace. I engage in this small act of rebellion every time I fly not because I’m a first world anarchist or because I need to buck the system, but because the rules are utterly out of date and I’m really not hurting anyone… am I?

No, in fact, I’m not. No conclusive evidence has ever existed that electronics in use in flight have ever caused any issues. Anecdotal evidence has been reported from crew members, but no scientific study has ever been able to reproduce those results. As such, the FAA in the United States is taking steps towards removing the restrictions on the use of electronics during take-off and landing. It’s a change that’s been long overdue–and it’s a change that will hopefully see sweeping reforms in similar policies around the world.

But it’s not just the irritation of flight attendants not understanding how e-readers work that makes flying unfriendly. Here are five other things that need to change to make flying better for gadgeteers and business-folk.

More power!
Being stuck on a flight for X hours isn’t so bad now that we’ve got laptops like the MacBook Air, with battery life that generally exceeds X. All the same, when you’re running low on juice on your laptop, your tablet, your phone, or your e-reader, it should be a simple process of plugging your device into the seat in front of you. Shame on any airline that isn’t meeting this basic need!


USB input
If you’re going to put screens in your seats and USB ports right beside them, let us watch, listen, or read the content on what we connect! There are some natural limitations here; unless the seats are licensed under Apple’s Made for “iStuff” program it’s unlikely they’d be able to play material from iOS devices, but that’s no reason why everyone else should have to suffer.


Laptop-friendly trays
Yes, I know that the goal is to sardine as many people as possible into an airplane’s fuselage in order to prevent the airline from going out of business, but is it too much to ask for a little more elbow room to accommodate a normal-sized laptop? Yes, I’m aware that “business class” is there for a reason, but have you tried justifying a $1500 price increase (each way) on a ticket to your accounting department? They get violent.


Device-friendly pockets
Like laptop-friendly trays, device-friendly pockets are those pockets in the back of each seat, but now they’re designed to hold something other than unused sick bags, bacteria-ridden flight cards and sky mall mags, and the headphones of the person who sat in the seat before you. By making the pockets deeper, wider, and removing the jaws-of-life material that keeps them closed, you could actually slide a tablet, laptop, or e-reader in there for when you actually need to use your tray to eat your mouth-scalding $9 pizza.


Internet via WiFi
Please tell me you saw this one coming. Someone people may celebrate the ability to disconnect, but for the rest of us it’s a hindrance. Whether it’s a 2-hour hop, a four-hour jog, or a 7-hour marathon (and beyond), there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have broadband back in coach–and at a reasonable price too.

There’s one thing that shouldn’t change about flight though…


Cellular calls
Seriously. We get enough of these at the gate. Yes, your portfolio is huge. We know, your last deal was a life changer. If you don’t stop talking you’re going to find out what the phone tastes like.

Happy flying folks. If you see me at YVR or YYZ say hi… I’m usually quite nice!


Graham Williams is a Canadian Tech Blogger and correspondent for GetConnected. You can follow him on Twitter at @thetechnogram 

Tags assigned to this article:
consumer techconsumer technologySony

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