It looks like mobile cell phones are on their way to becoming a reality.
Despite the heated discussions in travel blogs, airlines announcing that they’d never allow wireless chatter in the cabins and a Quinnipiac University poll declaring that 59 percent of Americans are against it, mobile phones on commercial flights will eventually come to the United States, as it has already started in the rest of the civilized world.
Good etiquette in the interior of an aircraft is already in short supply, consumer advocate Christopher Elliot wrote in USA Today. Since when is a plane a yak-free zone like a library or church?
So, what else is banned from commercial flights that shouldn’t be?
Bottled water: The water available after the security checkpoint is always overpriced. And, sure, you can easily take an empty water bottle with you and fill it with tap water later.
So those are your only options? A $3 bottle of Aquafina or tap water that may taste a little funky?
The European Union is testing a liquid scanner that would allow passengers to carry drinks through its checkpoints. It’s unlikely that the TSA will officially ease its liquid restrictions in the U.S. anytime soon, but the agency has reportedly gotten a little lax lately with the liquid and gel restrictions, often missing large cups of yogurt, soft drinks and water bottles.
Pets: Most air travelers are forced to leave their beloved cats, dogs and birds at home, as most animals are not permitted in the main cabin. But to the delight of the affluent animal owner, pet-travel fees are one of the few unexploited areas for airline fees. For example, US Airways charges $125 each way to carry on a small domestic dog, cat or bird. But, what’s stopping an airline from loosening its size and weight restrictions if that means more revenue?
Knives: Pocket knives are essentially no more dangerous than a ballpoint pen, knitting needles and cutlery. Why single out small knives?
The TSA continues to prohibit knives in carry-on luggage, except for plastic or round-bladed butter knives. It announced last year that it would permit knives on board that it would permit knives on board, but retracted after flight attendants’ unions, consumer advocates and law enforcement officials raised objections to the proposed rules, claiming knives will make air travel less safe. Never mind that other parts of the world don’t consider pocket knives a threat to aviation safety.
FYI: Some other objects not allowed on a plane
-Scissors with blades longer than 4 inches
-Drills and drill bits