Man arrested for using iPhone on plane

Man arrested for using iPhone on plane

Flight-safe mode not enough, apparently

A man has been arrested in Hawaii for watching a movie on his iPhone while on a plane.

The ATA Airlines plane was at its maximum cruising altitude when the passenger used his iPhone in flight-safe mode to listen to music and watch a film.

A member of the cabin crew asked him to stop using it as talking on a cellphone during a flight is banned under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.

The passenger explained that he was not talking on the handset as the flight-safe mode disables the cellphone. A short while later the flight attendant returned and again insisted that he was breaking FAA rules.

"I again explained that I am not using the cell part and it is disabled," wrote the man, identified as 'Casey', in a blog posting.

"I go on to explain that I have been on other airlines that have specific written rules that say cellphones in airplane mode are OK above 10,00 feet, so how could it be a FAA rule.

"And if it is, what rule? He has no answer for that, but now yells at me 'You have to do anything I say, I am going to have you arrested.'"

After further discussions with cabin crew the man was escorted off the plane on arrival and arrested.

He claimed that the flight attendant, described as "very angry and animated" , repeatedly changed his statements to the police, claiming that the plane was not shielded for any electronic device in flight mode then that it was not shielded for phones only.

Police decided that there was no case to answer and released the man.

"Our 'phone-use' policy and the situation you mentioned is currently under review," said Maya Wagle, spokeswoman for ATA Airlines.

"Our existing rules have no clauses relating to the iPhone which, as you know, has been on the market only for the past five months. We are sorry that the passenger was upset. That is the reason we will assess our existing policy."