EDIT: Corrected direction of the flight — which was headed FROM Rio De Janeiro to Paris.
» Quick thought on the matter: Anyone see shades of AT&T and Verizon in this whole mess, in that (like AA) both companies sold unlimited service for something — in this case, mobile data access — only to change their minds after they decided it was costing too much, in the process treating their customers like jerks? The lesson: Unlimited has limits, apparently.
» But there’s a major downside: Because the FAA is so entwined with the kind of red tape only a complicated government organization could invent, if things are decided a certain way, it could force some crazy rules before an airline could allow such devices. For example — just for the right to allow the iPad on their plane, the current standards would force each airline to test each version of a device in a plane by itself (i.e. no passengers) to make sure everything was OK. If that sounds like an insane waste of money, that’s basically how the airlines feel.
ohheybill asks: Well, anyone who's been on a plane will know that flight attendants don't make the pilot turn the whole plane around at the first sign of tweeting. They tell you to turn it off. Baldwin escalated it rather than comply. I disagree with the policy too, but not to the point where I'm willing to make a complete ass of myself and inconvenience a whole planefull of people. If you or I were to do this, we'd be seen as a crazy a-hole. Alec Baldwin is practically getting endorsement deals out of it.
» SFB says: Sometimes you just have to laugh at things like this, rather than getting offended. Clearly, this doesn’t happen often. But you have to admit, there’s something funny about Alec Baldwin getting kicked off a plane for playing Words With Friends. The absurd nature of it is why it’s great to make jokes about it. That’s the path we’ve chosen. — Ernie @ SFB