I still cannot figure out in what world someone thinks that it is perfectly okay to disturb others on an airplane by failing to use headphones when watching a movie or listening to music on their phones. But two recent incidents on two airlines on two continents confirm that this remains a serious problem.
Always Unacceptable: Watching A Movie Without Headphones On A Commerical Airplane Flight
The first incident took place on my Vueling flight I reviewed earlier. A woman sitting across the aisle from me, one row forward decided she would pass time on the 2.5 hours flight by watching a movie on her mobile phone…without headphones. The volume was way up and the noise created quite a disturbance.
Despite passing by her several times, the crew never asked her to use headphones or turn the sound off.
My policy is generally not to approach people onboard a plane. I’ve written far too many stories about those with violent tempers and the last thing I need is to be the victim of the latest story.
If you want to call my approach passive-aggressive, so be it, but I did eventually ask a flight attendant if he could ask her to wear headphones and the crewmember did…but she never got them out. She just turned the sound down a couple of notches and kept right on watching. The crew never followed up with her.
I had noise-canceling headphones, but the way they cancel the ambient noise made the movie even louder, so I just drowned it out by listening to music (using headphones, of course).
I wasn’t necessarily going to write about this, but then it happened again yesterday. A kid was playing a game in the row behind me and rather than tell him to turn it off, his parents said, “Honey, would you mind turning down the sound a little bit?” The boy, about six, refused. They asked him again and he grumblingly turned down the sound, but you could still hear it.
Thankfully, after about 30 minutes he grew bored of his game and watched the seatback TV instead, which does not emit noise.
Folks, everyone has devices and everyone wants to pass time on airplanes. I get it. But so that we can also sit harmoniously together, can we please use headphones? It is never okay to play music out loud on a plane.
There are additional recent incidents I could describe as well…usually briefer than the two above. The mobile phone volume levels are the worst I’ve ever seen. Let’s hope this problem does not get even worse.
How do you deal with loud movies, games, or music on a mobile phone when you’re on an airplane?