Prohibited Gadgets When on a Plane

Prior to September 11, 2001, airport security was actually kind of fun. You could joke with the staff, ask questions about the weird things people tried to bring on a plane, and even commiserate with them when an obnoxious person tried to pass through with something unreasonable large or plain ridiculous.


Image Courtesy of Flickr

Today, all the humor is gone. Unfortunately there also exists an “us” versus “them” mentality on both sides of the security line at the airport. Transportation Security Administration staff are trained to look at every traveller as a perceived threat. Passengers tend to see TSA agents as power-mad-control freaks that seem to enforce arbitrary and pointless rules.

While each side does have their bad apples, there are still some areas we can all agree on.

If you look at photos or displays of items that were confiscated before they were allowed to be taken on an airplane, you can see that we still have some people who fly but aren’t that bright. Large knifes, flare guns, ninja stars, fireworks and similar items are still found every day in the carry-on luggage of clueless travelers—whether or not these items could be used to hijack an airplane successfully isn’t the point. There are still some items that cannot be brought on an airplane.


Image Courtesy of Flickr

The same holds true with some of our favorite gadgets. As much fun as they are to use every day, they may still not be acceptable on an airplane.

Everything is Bad under 10,000 Feet

As safe as it is to fly, takeoffs and landings are where it most likely something could go wrong. No electronic devices should be used during these times for two reasons:

  1. If there is an emergency, it is important to get everyone’s attention, and;
  2. There is a minute chance even the most innocuous device like a CD player or an iPod could interfere with the airplane’s electronics.

All the passengers on the plane want is to take advantage of their cheap los angeles flights in peace and safety; and when there is even a tiny chance, “better safe than sorry” rules apply.


Early on in cellphone technology, it was easy to just turn off your phone when you got onto an airplane. But since today most people carry smartphones, the actual phone part of the devices is only a portion of what it does. You can watch movies or TV and listen to a music or audiobooks, but the phone part of the device needs to be disabled. It is that portion that sends and receives signals that may disrupt airplane electronics.

As long as you follow these simple rules, you can make every place you fly the friendly skies, and don’t forget to be nice to the TSA people you interact with! Ultimately both sides, TSA and passengers, need to work together to keep planes in the air and people moving around the country.