No in-flight entertainment for security reasons?

According to this FlyerTalk thread, many international United aircraft have their in-flight entertainment systems disabled due to the “airshow” feature, where you can see the location of your aircraft. Sadly I’m betting United won’t be the only airline that’s playing this game.

I just don’t know what to say anymore, I really don’t. The first issue is that you can’t even really see where you are on the “airshow” feature thanks to the aircraft being half the size of the United States on the screen. Beyond that, seriously? I mean, really, is this going to keep us safe? There’s no doubt that mandatory lowering of the window shades is next.

And I think we can say goodbye to Channel 9 on United. At least this time around it’s not the pilots at fault. I can honestly say that I think we’re only encouraging the terrorists. I can only imagine the joy they’re getting out of seeing the inhumane state of the US airline industry thanks to this and the continuous security “enhancements.”

Filed Under: Security/TSA
  1. BEN,
    If I may add the following comments,







  2. Hey, we’re a country that loves to impose rules with no logical basis (seat belt laws are a great example). What else would you expect?

  3. I agree. I have a 1 hour 20min connection time at LHR from my HYD inbound to my SEA leg in a couple of weeks. With this added security, I think the chance of missing it is going to go way up.

  4. By continuing to make the lives of the traveling public miseable with the idiotic TSA implementation of “rules” THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE WINNING ARE THE TERRORISTS.

  5. simple… if you are Muslim, you don’t fly. let them take a boat and blow it up all they want. i know I will get slammed for this but has any one else done this stuff in the last 20 years?

  6. @deltaPMflyer:

    How would you go about enforcing this rule? Islam is a religion, not an ethnicity. There are brown Muslims, white Muslims, and as in this case, black Muslims.

    As we have seen over the years, these terrorists are not just from the Middle East… many are living among us right here in America.

    Look at Adam Gadahn (born in Oregon to a Jewish father) and US Army Major Nidal Hasan (born and raised in Virginia).

    And since you ask… yes, there have been many non-Muslim terrorists in the past 20 years… Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bombing), Bruce Ivins (2001 Anthrax), Ted Kaczynski (Unabomber) to name a few…

  7. ….ok, knew i was going to be hit for this, but again, name one, just one, anyone, non-muslim, who has blow a plane, killed with a plane, or the like with a plane. sure there are wack jobs in the country, but they have not used the air.

    if i am wrong, i stand corrected!

  8. Sadly, @deltaPMflyer has a point. If our blinders-on government would overlook the political correctness aspect, “profiling” might reduce some of these incidents. Who generally commits these (and similar) terrorist acts? Young, muslim males. The Israelis know this, and base security decisions on behavior and — gosh — profiling.
    I’m afraid I have little sympathy for the sensibilities of most of the muslim world — witness the insanity and violence over the Danish cartoons lampooning (rightly) Mohammed and Islam and violence.
    Of course, TSA security is 90% theatre — anything to distract us from the healthcare debate or Wall St. bonuses. Anything to keep the sheep in line.
    By the way, how did the “bomb” or whatever materials get onto the airplane? Through “security” perhaps?

  9. From now on we will see more of an arrogant, moody and lazy FA’s using these excuses “Due to the high level of security we can’t refill your water constantly, sorry those bins are reserve for incase of an emergency, no warm nuts in F due to oven safety regulation.

  10. I’m with Josh on this. The seat belt and previous restrictions has already been abused by US airlines, this just supports it and makes it worse. I can only hope that this is temporary.

  11. @deltaPMflyer – CanJet flight 918. Was hijacked by a Jamaican in April. Or AeroMexico 576, hijacked by a Bolivian in September.

  12. @Ralph and @DeltaPMFlyer – you are both way off base.

    First, as @DanWebb pointed out, this is not a muslim issue. You are selecting the data points that suit your argument, even though they are not totally accurate.

    Second, profiling as done by the Israelis is based on *behavior* not race. Racial profiling does not work. Behavioral profiling does. Unfortunately, our TSA is not nearly sophisticated enough to implement something like that. They are unfortuately too busy worried about our 4oz of shampoo…

    Third, racial profiling is unconstitutional. This used to be a free country and one that followed the rule of law. When you suggest waiving the constitution, the terrorists win. “Those who would give up personal liberties in the name of temporary security, deserve neither.”

  13. The terrorists profiled AMERICANS as targets of the attacks. If the TSA were to profile people for being MUSLIM then it essentially makes them taxpayer funded terrorists – because then they are in effect terrorizing the 99.99999999% of muslims that fly who are law abiding people. That is totally un-american, un-democratic, un-fair, un-constitutional, and worthless.

    That being said, I think certain reasonable security precautions are a good idea, but when we go overboard it is just letting the terrorists win. On my flight SAN-LAX yesterday they told us we couldn’t get out of our seats or access our carryons due to “heightened security.” Absolutely ridiculous!!! The TSA was also patting down every single person who went through the line.

  14. @AS I don’t recall using the word “racial” in my opinion about profiling. Muslim/Islam is not a race – it is a faith, behavior, choice. And yes, the TSA is too incompetent to implement it anyway. But even the AP notes: “The Obama administration promised … to review security procedures at airports and the government’s system for checking SUSPICIOUS TRAVELERS [emphasis added] after….”
    Behavior profiling, selecting certain people for additional screening (do granny and the 6-year-old really need a pat-down?), is not racial profiling. It’s smart security. It’s targeting “suspicious travelers,” as good security should.
    Oh, I forgot, we’re talking about TSA and the government.

  15. Pleased to report that there is no insanity at HNL today. It seemed to be the standard security procedure and none at the gate. I was even allowed to board early to stow my medical equipment in the closet AND the FA told me to stow the wheelie in the overhead bin =:O

  16. @Ralph – not sure if you are trying to split hairs, but you suggested that young, muslim males be singled out. Maybe that’s not racial, but religious profiling (and also unconstitutional).

    The practical problem with all of this is that it is a severe waste of resources. You can’t single people out for what they look like. Selecting someone for screening based on what they look like (for example, a young, muslim male), is not smart security. It targets a vast majority of innocent people, and others will easily slip through the cracks. We’ll always be one step behind, and that’s why appearance-based profiling just doesn’t work (and it’s unconstitutional). It’s reactive, and its a waste of resources, just like the random selection of kids and the elderly to meet screening quotas.

    Screening resources should not be targeting people based on appearance, they must target based on suspicious behavior. That does work. It focuses resources on the right things and people. But it requires a lot of extra training and supervision. Israel is said to use ex-counterintelligence resources for profiling and air security. I don’t know TSA’s hiring guidelines but I imagine it’s a high-school education, not much more.

    As we both seem to agree, TSA is not sophisticated enough to put anything like what is required in place. TSA is also apparently unwilling to provide the transparency and accountability required to support an effective security program. Instead, we get TSA security theater, with visible wasted resources at airport, secret rules and arbitrary enforcement, and very little confidence that we are safer because of it.

  17. I know you were worried about Channel 9 but I’m on United 327 Lax to Iad right now and Channel 9 is still on!

  18. Hate to tell you guys this, but racial (and certainly not religious) profiling is *NOT* unconstitutional per se. Better head back to law school…

  19. @sjs – can you please elaborate on your comment “racial (and certainly not religious) profiling is *NOT* unconstitutional per se.”

    The First Amendment provides for freedom of religion and was one of the main reasons the pilgrims came to America.

    The Fourteenth Amendment provides for Equal Protection, effectively to reinforce the point that ‘all men are created equal’.

    Taken together, these two clauses in the Constitution would mean that individuals are free to have any religion (or to not have one at all) and that they are to be provided equal rights by Federal (and State) governments. Religious profiling certainly seems to countervene these rights. The government does not have the right to interfere with their freedom of movement (which is also provided for, via the Fourth Amendment) on this basis.

    I didn’t go to law school, but maybe you could tell us why this is invalid?

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