Flying’s a frustrating experience, and I think all of us have been tempted at one point or another to take that frustration out on an obnoxious neighboring child. Perhaps he’s kicking your seat rhythmically and incessantly: not one of us would blame you for turning around, dumping your soda all over his crotch, standing up and then loudly shrieking, “Look! The baby wet himself! Big baby!” over and over again until he burst into tears and the rest of the airplane burst into applause. That’s not vindictiveness… it’s just justice.
We draw the line, however, at actually hitting kids. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what 68-year old Russell Miller did on a recent flight heading to Boise, Idaho, after a neighboring fifteen year old refused to turn off his iPhone (which seems to have been in Airplane mode, and we being used to play games and music, not make calls),
I can just imagine the smart alecky teenager now. “Hey, grampaw, instead of getting angry at me, how about you get on Boeing to frickin’ iPhone-proof their multi-million dollar airplanes, huh? Don’t you think that’s a pretty big vulnerability for airplanes to have after September 11th? Trust me: if Al Qaeda could take down a plane by playing Infinity Blade on their iPhone during takeoff, they would. In conclusion, you’re an idiot.”
Not that the kid probably said that, but he should have. Turning off electronic devices upon takeoff and landing are nonsense procedures that do not impact the safety of a commercial flight in the slightest (as evidenced by the tens of thousands of smartphones, PMPs and handhelds that are accidentally left on each and every day on flights around the world).
In other words, Miller punched a kid for nothing… and was arrested when he landed accordingly. Airplane security actually worked for once.