I was on American Airlines flight 2355 from Miami to St. Thomas on July 6th. I myself am an aviation photographer, enthusiast, and frequent flyer of both US Airways and American Airlines. Ever since personal handheld devices in non-transmitting mode were allowed to be used during takeoffs and landings, I have recorded the takeoffs and landings of my flights using a GoPro video camera. I am aware of the camera’s Wifi transmitting capabilities but I make sure to turn it off to ensure that it does not interfere with the aircraft’s navigation and communication systems. During the final cabin check one of the flight attendants very rudely told me to turn off my video camera. I tried to explain what I was doing but instead of letting me explain she interrupted me and waited for me to turn it off and take it off the window. Unlike many passengers, I complied with her commands knowing that she had control of the cabin of the aircraft and I took it off the window. As soon I as did that she stated the most confusing statements I had ever heard. She said that “In case it ended it up on YouTube” in the tone she used before. I believed that the statement was confusing because first I didn’t record any of the customers or attendants faces while walking in the aircraft and second I don’t know why it would matter if footage of the landings and takeoffs would mater. I could understand her motive if had I recorded other flight attendants including her and the other flight attendant’s faces while boarding but I did not record anything but the exterior of the plane. She clearly saw that I had not recorded anyone while getting on the plane because she had seen me and my family get seated from the back galley with my camera still in my backpack.
Even though the non-transmitting mode rule is fairly new and she probably was not notified of it I find it unsettling that new company policy takes this long to be communicated down to the flight attendants. If there was a situation where the passengers relied on the flight attendant to do his or her job and it was found that the attendant was not trained properly or at all and there was a loss of life the airline could face huge fines and backlash from the public and the media. Even though this is purely hypothetical the proper training of attendants in moments where every second counts could prove to be life or death for the entire group of passengers. This experience won’t deter me from flying US Airways or American I find it unsettling that some flight attendants are not properly educated on company policy.
Thank you for Reading This,
Tyler S. Frequent US / AA Flyer
Have any of you guys had experiences after the non-transmitting policy change? Please let me know as this would be greatly appreciated.