Uh, No, Using An iPad On A Flight Won't Get You On The No-Fly List

from the nor-will-being-a-jackass dept

A bunch of folks have passed around this story from Jalopnik entitled How An iPad Got A Guy Placed On The No-Fly List. Of course, I would bet that almost nothing in the title of that story is actually true. First of all, if you read the details, the iPad only played a minor role. Basically, as the plane was getting ready for takeoff, the guy was trying to use his iPad, and when flight attendants told him to turn it off, he talked back to them a bit, and didn't actually turn it off the first time (but did so later). That's about it for the iPad. Then apparently he just became a jerk to the various flight attendants, demanding alcohol and being a general nuisance on the rest of the flight, which apparently resulted in the airline having the airport police meet him upon arrival. So, what's the "no fly" list got to do with it? Basically, the Jalopnik author was told by a flight attendant that the guy has been put on the no fly list, but there's absolutely no evidence to back that up. While the whole no fly list is of questionable legality, and ridiculously managed, I've seen absolutely nothing that suggests that being a jackass on a flight can possibly get you onto the no fly list. And, even if this guy got in trouble, it was for being a jackass, not for using his iPad.


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  1.  
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    Alias (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    Gawker media

    ...likes to do the sensational thing sometimes, I've noticed. It can get a little out of hand.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 10:51am

    Re: Gawker media

    Gawker is still pissed about the whole iPhone 4 fiasco, and so they'll bash Apple any chance they get.

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Um

    "Basically, the Jalopnik author was told by a flight attendant that the guy has been put on the no fly list, but there's absolutely no evidence to back that up. "

    Well, it doesn't mean that it's necessarily so, but surely a flight attendant's assertion is some evidence.

     

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  4.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Solipsistic error: "I've seen absolutely nothing..."

    You rely far too heavily on your own ignorance.

    My sources tell me that a) TSA thugs have a quota of names to put on the no-fly list b) at least a million names are on it at last report c) includes names of children, besides those of activists, and even those with *no* clue as to how got on it d) Senator Edward Kennedy was on it, ha, ha, just a little joke by the Bush administration to point up that it was using extra-legal means to harass a Senator, so can harass anyone.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Re: Solipsistic error: "I've seen absolutely nothing..."

    b) at least a million names are on it at last report c) includes names of children, besides those of activists, and even those with *no* clue as to how got on it

    You're confusing two different lists. There is a "no fly" list and a "watch list." The *watch list* is broad and apparently has about a million names. It's possible this guy was put on that list, which means you get extra scrutiny at airports.

    But the actual *no fly* list is much more limited, and much more difficult to get onto. That list apparently contains fewer than 10,000 names.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    The real interesting aspect

    The interesting aspect, to me, is the news report itself. Or rather, that it is not unbelievable if someone got on the no-fly list for something as silly as using an iPad during takeoff.

     

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  7.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re: Solipsistic error: "I've seen absolutely nothing..."

    "You're confusing two different lists. There is a "no fly" list and a "watch list." The *watch list* is broad and apparently has about a million names. It's possible this guy was put on that list, which means you get extra scrutiny at airports."

    Are either of those lists viewable by the public (I'm guessing not)?

    Or have there ever been leaks?

     

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  8.  
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    rabbit wise (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Re: The real interesting aspect

    I may be alone here but it is unbelievable to me that someone got put on the (actual) no-fly list for doing something as stupid as using an iPad during take off.

    Do I wish that could happen? At various moments during dealings with said asshats, yes.

    In the words of my dad when I whined that my brother had bitten me, "Ok, now what did you *really* do?".

     

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  9.  
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    Scott Gardner (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Possible confusion?

    Despite the attendant's use of the phrase "no fly list", I think it's more likely that the guy was simply placed on the airline's internal list of "banned customers".

     

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  10.  
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    B, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Sensationalist Blogging!

    Quick, call the media!

    Oh, wait...

     

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  11.  
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    B, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Solipsistic error: "I've seen absolutely nothing..."

    It's true that the government's 'No Fly List' contains 3,000-6,000 names, but the private airlines also maintain their own list of barred clients.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Re: Solipsistic error: "I've seen absolutely nothing..."

    Of course, they don't actually release this information and the criteria for being placed on it are most certainly not released so really it's all speculation.

    You can't draw any reasonable conclusion either way. Yes, the ipad probably had not a whole lot to do with the situation, but you have no way of knowing whether or not this guy was placed on the no-fly list. Maybe he was "disrupting the flight crew" and that got him on it.

    The lack of evidence that he's been placed on the watch list does not imply that he hasn't been placed on the watch list because the evidence wouldn't be made available to you anyway.

     

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    out_of_the_blue, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: Solipsistic error: "I've seen absolutely nothing..."

    You can't have it both ways. NOW you're an authority on it, eh?

     

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  14.  
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    mark, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 12:55pm

    Rational analysis aside, this incident can only be a setback for those of us who are forbidden to look at our Kindles during take-offs and landings.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:25pm

    Let's face it, the average i-pad user is a jackass so they should all be put on no-fly lists.

     

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  16.  
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    Zacqary Adam Green (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 1:28pm

    Being a jackass, using an iPad, same difference.

     

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  17.  
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    a-dub (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 2:22pm

    I never turn off my ipod when on flights...as soon as the flight attendants buckle up...ear buds go in.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 2:41pm

    ^^^^^^^^

    case in point.

     

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  19.  
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    Russ (profile), Oct 27th, 2010 @ 3:57pm

    Banned in Boston

    Airlines maintain a list of flier's that aren't welcome anymore. I believe that it only applies to that airline. I remember being on a flight where they had to escort a passenger off the plane to spend the night in Cook County jail and we were told he would be on the airline no fly list. This was before 9/11.

    I am sure it is not the same as the TSA no-fly list unless the idiot made terroristic threats.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 27th, 2010 @ 9:16pm

    I don't know man. I had a flight attendent imply heavily to that I could be put on NFL, and mocked me for pointing out the flight mode on the 3GS (which was on). A lot of these folks are barely technically and are trained to possess as little independent thought as posdible (I'm sure they are collectively reasonable people out of uniform).
    Never mind that half the flight probable had gsm phones in their pockets, not in flight mode.
    I probable would have been a ass too, if, and this a quote, I was told at the start of a flight that I was "risking everbidy's lives with my phone".
    It was at the end, so I just sighed sadly at the awfull state we have come to and let mr. Authority run his powertrip.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 6:06am

    I find this whole story very hard to believe, the reporting on Tech Dirt has sunken to a new low. There is no way that an iPad owner could be a jerk and rude. It just isn't possible.

    Hmmm, I wonder if that guy who squatted on the drink cart and then took a dump made the no fly list?

     

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  22.  
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    abc gum, Oct 28th, 2010 @ 6:15am

    I wonder if that flight attendant is now on the "No Slide List"

     

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  23.  
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    Gabriel Tane (profile), Oct 28th, 2010 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Solipsistic error: "I've seen absolutely nothing..."

    "My sources tell me that..."
    Can you cite these? Or are they just emails you got with a large number of "FW" at the beginning of the subject lines?
    "a) TSA thugs have a quota of names to put on the no-fly list..."
    First: by adding the word 'thugs' to the TSA, you're giving yourself the image of a 'conspiracy nut' or 'anti-establishment nut'... just so ya know.

    Second: a quota of names to put on the no-fly list? Are you saying... oops, sorry... is your source saying that the TSA has a set number of names during a set period to add to the list? Are they directed to grow that list by a certain number of people over a certain time? Seems odd that the government would direct the TSA to gradually reduce air travel as a course of policy.
    "b) at least a million names are on it at last report c) includes names of children, besides those of activists, and even those with *no* clue as to how got on it d) Senator Edward Kennedy was on it, ha, ha, just a little joke by the Bush administration to point up that it was using extra-legal means to harass a Senator, so can harass anyone."
    Ok... again, citation? other than circulated emails?
    "You can't have it both ways. NOW you're an authority on it, eh?"
    As opposed to yourself who has the inside scoop from someone who knows these things, right?

     

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  24.  
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    Ross Petal, Jul 15th, 2011 @ 3:49am

    iPad and jackass

    This is an interesting post. Most people blame the tools rather than our own actions. The iPad is an amazing tool if used properly and to it's full potential. Half knowledge and carelessness causes problems.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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