I Traveled By Plane and Enjoyed Reading All Day...

Today American Airlines surprised me (see also: shocked, stunned, amazed, etc.) by allowing passengers to read use electronic devices on the runway. In other words, we never had to turn off our ereaders. I really thought they'd not bother to allow people to do this until 2014, but maybe the flight attendants are as tired of policing this as we are of having to do it. For the entire flight I could read any of the hundreds of books on my ereader, and there were no problems, it didn't disrupt the cockpit transmissions - as most of us had known it wouldn't for the past 20 years. While people assured us that yes, it was absolutely necessary and vital to our safety.


This has been kind of a big deal for me. I've flown alone multiple times per year since I was 12. In that time I've seen a lot of things that makes flying (especially in bad weather) something I'm somewhat nervous about - but to be honest, I'd probably be nervous anyway, even if I hadn't had a fun windsheer-while-we-tried-to-land-in-a-Chicago-snowstorm-hey-why-can-I-look-down-the-runway-from-my-window-when-that-should-be-the-pilot's-view experience. (My dad was in a helicopter crash in the army. He's also not always a happy flier.) I used to turn on my Walkman - because yes, I have been flying that long - and tune out during take off. Except they took both the ability to listen to music and read anything but paper away during the take off, because; terrorists. I've always thought this was stupid and illogical. However I've complied and brought along a paper book. Because I'm going to focus on something else and keep my mind busy.


What I'd gotten SO sick of were the self righteous folks who burble on "well why can't you just turn off your devices, I don't see why this is a problem, I don't need anything, I can just sleep, blah blah, it's such a short time, why are you griping, blah blah..." Maybe those folk enjoy sleeping sitting up, but that won't work for me. Also most of the airports I fly through tend to have us sit at the gate before leaving (where sometimes you're told to turn things off there), taxi, and then sometimes wait even more. It's often 20 min where I'm not allowed to use electronics. I don't know about you, but I can read a lot in that time, and by doing so the time passes more quickly for me. I can actually enjoy myself.


Some of us really prefer not to think a lot about flying, to focus on something else and then be a nice, quiet passenger you wouldn't mind sitting next to, instead of someone fidgeting.


Having to pack one more thing - a paper book - can be a big deal if you're trying to pack light. I'm someone who doesn't ever put anything in the overhead bin - I always put my bag under my seat. Another reason I'm an easy passenger - I'm one less person trying to fit luggage into that tiny overhead space.


So today, even though I was completely prepared with both a paper book and an ereader, I was able to use my ereader.  I got to read the same book in the airport while waiting and didn't have to skip from ebook to paper just because someone said stop. It was really nice. ...Of course it turned out that I had multiple books I wanted to read all at the same time. But that was a problem I loved having.