Schumer talks back to Aviation Autocrat, leaves phone on before takeoff. For once, I agree with him

December 16th, 2009

I’m not a Schumer fan. I met him once before, and he is a nice enough guy, but I just do not agree with his views.

But, in light of this story from Politico, Chuck gets an A+ in my book.

Schumer and his seatmate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), were chatting on their phones before takeoff when an announcement indicated that it was time to turn off the phones.

Both senators kept talking.

According to the GOP aide, a flight attendant then approached Schumer and told him the entire plane was waiting on him to shut down his phone.

Schumer asked if he could finish his conversation. When the flight attendant said “no,” Schumer ended his call but continued to argue his case.

He said he was entitled to keep his phone on until the cabin door was closed. The flight attendant said he was obliged to turn it off whenever a flight attendant asked.

“He argued with her about the rule,” the source said. “She said she doesn’t make the rules, she just follows them.”

When the flight attendant walked away, the witness says Schumer turned to Gillibrand and uttered the B-word.

I could do without the five-letter words, but you are the man for challenging these aviation autocrats.

My favorite part, is even after the flight attendant told Senator Schumer to turn the phone off, he kept it on! Civil Disobedience FTW!

But moments after the flight attendant had told Schumer to shut it off, the phone rang again.

“It’s Harry Reid calling,” the source quoted Schumer as saying. “I guess health care will have to wait until we land.”

I have blogged about the asininity of banning cell phone use before takeoff. It makes no sense. And I am proud that the Senior Senator from my former home state of New York agrees with me.

Senator Schumer, you should use this kerfuffle as a”teaching moment.” You sit in a unique position of power to change the rules of the use of cell phones before takeoff. Establish clear guidelines when phones should be on, and when they should be off. No longer shall airline passengers suffer the arbitrary and capricious whims of flight attendants.

Change these rules. Let us talk on our phones before takeoff. Yes we can!