3 Passengers Arrested For Not Switching OFF Their Phones In-Flight

Flying into China? You can be indicted for not SWITCHING OFF your mobile phones (not even in airplane mode).

According to a news report from Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced last week, three domestic passengers were arrested for using their mobile phones during flights.

One of the passengers was jailed for 5 days because he was listening to music on his mobile phone during takeoff and landing. Another passenger was arrested because she refused to turn off her mobile phone and insisted on making a call during takeoff. All three passengers were arrested in Beijing.

CAAC safety regulations claim that,

“… using mobile phones and other communication tools during flight may threaten public security and can lead to detention for up to five days. For those cases of gross violation, passengers can be fined as much as 50,000 yuan (US$7,284.1) and be given criminal sanctions.”

It seems like China is the only nation in the world that requires all mobile phones to be completely switched off but according to CAAS, this rule does not apply to tablets. I know that for Qantas/Jetstar and many other airlines only require you to put your mobile phones into airplane mode once the door closes during takeoff and landing. Hence, you can still listen to music or read an ebook on your mobile phone and immediately after landing, you are allowed to turn on your mobile phone.

However, I do not see that a strict rule enforcing all passengers to turn off their mobile phones as something ‘backward’. Rather, it add pressures to inconsiderate people who always forget to switch off their alarm clock or whatever app that beeps and beeps. It also allows me to stop looking at my mobile phone, shut my eye and stay off the grid for that few hours.

I certainly do not see it as a bad thing, sometimes I feel we need that little time and space where we can disconnect from the tethered world so as to be more connected to ourselves.

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