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Seat Mate Misconduct

New Arrival

Just got off a flight. My seat mate took a phone call on the taxi way, left phone in cellular mode watching YouTube as we took off, only put cell in airplane mode after losing signal above 10k ft, streamed YouTube on SWA WiFi, and then turned cellular once back under 10k ft.

 

So multiple violations of FAA phone regulations and another of using high bandwidth sites on the WiFi. Why SWA cannot limit video streaming I do not know.

 

People intentionally on cellular is not uncommon but I never know how to properly deal with it on a flight.

8 REPLIES 8
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Re: Seat Mate Misconduct

Top Contributor

This is a difficult one.

 

In reality, there isn't much you can do. Perhaps bring it to the attention of a FA, but that would need to be outside of your seat (maybe in a galley area) in order to keep it discrete. 

 

Keep in mind that at least their behavior is unlikely to cause any safety issues with the aircraft, according to the most recent data.

 

One thing though: Southwest does block streaming over their WiFi. I've been unable to view YouTube in the past, I believe it's one of the sites blocked, but there may be workarounds I'm unaware of. 

 

Edited to add: I'm onboard a Southwest flight right now, and it appears that YouTube is no longer blocked. 

Screenshot_20191024-154323.png

 

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Re: Seat Mate Misconduct

Rising Star

Personally, as wi-fi becomes more and more standard I would hope that putting phones in "airplane mode" will soon become a thing of the past. And, as long as people have headphones it doesn't matter to me what they are watching or listening to. It's the people that stream music or videos or games LOUDLY without headphones with no concern as to who's around them that bother me the most. Parents with kids, I'm looking at you. 

 

--Jessica

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Re: Seat Mate Misconduct

Active Member
Solution

Sorry for the frustration that occured on this flight. As mentioned, there isn't much you can personally do in that scenario. Maybe on your next flight you can remind the FA during boarding to stress these points prior to takeoff?

 

You can also share your feedback with the airline (via Contact Us below, or social media) as maybe that can increase the signage or update the seat back material to reflect this?

 

Sorry again, and hey with open seating, better luck to avoiding this next time!


Community Champion | LGA based | Companion Pass Holder | Southwest Passenger
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Re: Seat Mate Misconduct

New Arrival

I fly quite a bit so I know phones get left on for various reasons. I unknowingly do not turn my phone to airplane mode once a year or so. But I fly enough to earn my companion pass without getting points from a SWA credit card, hotels, car rentals, meals, etc. So, I fly regularly and I see this often enough to know that this is not isolated but yesterday was certainly one of the more brazen disregards for rules, curteousy, etc.

 

I would really like a FA’s input. There are rules and knowing how important they are to the crew is really what I want to know.

 

Instance by instance, do they need to know about it? How soon? Etc.

 

For example, when the guy took a call while we were taxing to take off, is it important enough to ring the call button and maybe stop the plane on the taxiway!? Is it something to hold onto until it can be mentioned discreetly later in private (like the galley) to a FA or will they do nothing so let it go and do not worry.

 

This phone situation is going to come up again so I want to know how deal with it then.

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Re: Seat Mate Misconduct

Top Contributor
Solution

@Indy1977TX wrote:

I fly quite a bit so I know phones get left on for various reasons. I unknowingly do not turn my phone to airplane mode once a year or so. But I fly enough to earn my companion pass without getting points from a SWA credit card, hotels, car rentals, meals, etc. So, I fly regularly and I see this often enough to know that this is not isolated but yesterday was certainly one of the more brazen disregards for rules, curteousy, etc.

 

I would really like a FA’s input. There are rules and knowing how important they are to the crew is really what I want to know.

 

You won't get a FA's opinion here as this is a customer to customer forum. To get an official opinion from SW, click on contact us {below}  and ask the question.

 

Instance by instance, do they need to know about it? How soon? Etc.

 

For example, when the guy took a call while we were taxing to take off, is it important enough to ring the call button and maybe stop the plane on the taxiway!?

 

IMO, if it was an imminent safety hazard, yes, but per what you said earlier, you know that is not the case. Like you I have arrived at my destination. Pulled the phone out of my pocket to turn it on, and found that I never that turned it off. I suspect most phone owners have done that at least once. So I would say no.. 

 

Is it something to hold onto until it can be mentioned discreetly later in private (like the galley) to a FA or will they do nothing so let it go and do not worry.

 

Again, IMO, that's what I would do.

 

This phone situation is going to come up again so I want to know how deal with it then.


 

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Re: Seat Mate Misconduct

Active Member

Why do you care?  It doesn't affect you in the slightest.  As long as he's quiet...he could be watching anything.  Where the data comes from is immaterial.

 

And no, leaving his phone out of airplane mode will not affect a thing.

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Re: Seat Mate Misconduct

Rising Star

I also think @gsking that in the past there was such an insistence on having your phone in "airplane mode" prior to take off and landing that people must think that the plane will crash straight into the ground if someone has their phone off of airplane mode while on a plane. While having phones "on" might have potentially interfered with an airplane's sensors / nagivation in the past (read: 10+ years ago), I don't think it's that much of an issue now.

 

--Jessica

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Re: Seat Mate Misconduct

Top Contributor

Here's a little article about some of the reasoning behind the mandatory airplane mode. No, it has nothing to do with causing planes to crash. 

 

https://businessinsider.com/phone-airplane-mode-flight-explained-2017-7

 

--TheMiddleSeat