The REAL Reason Behind Silly Airplane Rules

Why can't you user your cell phone on commercial flights (hint: it has nothing to do with technical limitation, you can use your mobile phones in flights in Europe) or why your seat has to be in their original and upright position a full 20 minutes before landing?

Willy Stern of The Weekly Standard has the REAL reasons:

Mike Munger, a political science professor at Duke University, says the FAA’s silly rules are, in fact, a form of what psychologists and zoologists refer to as “costly signals.” What’s the term mean? Costly signal theory explains actions that might seem crazy, but have a purpose. For instance, a gazelle espies a lion across the veldt and, instead of hiding, expends much energy by leaping high into the air, calling attention to herself. At the same time, she’s telling the lion, “Hey, I’m no simple catch so look elsewhere for your dinner.” Similarly, the FAA wastes a lot of energy and resources with its pages and pages of
inane rules, but is somehow trying to convey the message that planes are safe. Most of us would rather skip the message and finish our naps in full recline.


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@DonW: I couldn't agree more. I hate that seats recline at all. I am invariably seated behind someone who reclines all the way and I'm left to stare at their hair follicles for my entire trip. (No, I don't recline my seat in response; I find it uncomfortable in that position, since my feet don't generally touch the floor)

And reclining seats on those smaller commuter jets often means I can't even lower my tray table there's so little space between rows.
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1. yes, you can use cell phones on the plane in Europe. No one does it because you can't really hear anything (ever notice the amount of background noise in a plane?).

2. The reclining seat rule which wakes you up has the same logic as the open all windows rule: in case of an accident, you are as aware as possible or your outside situation (if you want to fall back asleep or put your neatorama owl eyes back on that's your choice).

3. The only REALLY stupid, useless, uncomfortable rule isn't even mentioned in his article, and it's before you board the plane. This "new" (it's been 4 years now) rule that you can't bring liquids on board. Unless they're in 100ml containers. Or unless you buy them after security. You can have an empty 1 liter bottle, but you can't have a 200ml bottle which contains only 50ml of liquid. That is the single dumbest rule ever, and is being enforced ONLY because it helped beverage sales after passing security and on board. It has NO sense whatsoever. Smaller volumes of liquid can be reassembled later after security. Bigger bottles can be bought for "mixing of materials" or whatever they're scared of.
Perfect example: Security is at its highest where? In Israeli airports. Can't say that they're not the most paranoid when it comes to security (with good reasons). Yet they, of all people, couldn't care less if you go on board with 1.5 liters of coke, half a liter of orange juice, and a big bottle of shower gel which you forgot to put in your suitcase. The point is, if after their security check they let you on the plane, whatever you bring with you won't be a problem.
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Wow, that guy sounded really whiny. Especially with the bus comparison.

Maybe he should be asking why they don't put seatbelts on buses.
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Yeah the REAL reasons in his own six-year-old spoiled brat mind. "noooo I don't wanna put my seat belt on mummy!"
Just f**king do it.

By the way I don't really think the argument "buses don't have seat belts so seat belts are unnecessary" is of the highest intelligence.
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@GailW If you had ever had to sit behind someone who insisted on reclining their seat as far back as it will go for most of a flight you might have a different opinion. :-)

Of course you may be that person. :-(
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