Turn it off: The in-flight porn debate that is…

The old in-flight porn debate has reared its big ugly head. With a slew of US majors bringing WiFi connectivity on board their aircraft, the question of whether they should regulate content is now splattered across the news.

American Airlines, which recently became the first US carrier to offer broadband, has opted to provide unfiltered Internet access to passengers. In the event that someone complains about their neighbour’s decision to view explicit content, then it will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by the sky police, aka flight attendants, says this Fox report.

A number of other international operators are said to be planning the same strategy. But is this something we should really be concerned about? Haven’t blokes been bringing racy magazines on board aircraft for eons? And haven’t they been generally pretty discreet about it?

Okay, a laptop screen sitting (oft precariously) on a seat-back tray table ensures a wider audience. And yes, if I’m travelling with my four year old daughter and some guy (or gal) in the seat beside me is downloading the hardcore stuff, I’ll probably ask him oh-so-politely to have some bloody decency.

However, I’m simply not convinced the issue will pose a real problem. When Boeing launched its now defunct high-speed Connexion service, everyone wondered if the skies would turn Triple X. It just didn’t happen.

Indeed, the real story here is that in-flight broadband – and more specifically Aircell’s air-to-ground broadband service Gogo – is in fact working well! The initial reviews are rather good. And Aircell is pleased as punch, as you can imagine.

“Aircell on American has been a phenomenal success. The system, network and service have all been outstanding (as we knew they would be),” says an Aircell spokesman, adding: “The passenger response has been great and the results to date have exceeded even our expectations.”

To wit, the person who is handling Aircell exec John Happ’s interviews at the upcoming World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition in Long Beach “is on AA Flt. 19 from JFK to LAX right now and she was able to log into the schedule on Aircell’s servers while in flight and e-mail to let me know that John can meet with you at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 9, at booth #255″, an Aircell spokesman told me yesterday.

Fantastic!

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

, , , , , ,

13 Responses to Turn it off: The in-flight porn debate that is…

  1. Bob Jahn August 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm #

    I’m not too sure that the problem would occur. Most people that travel with laptops don’t appear to be the kind of person that would be that bold as to watch porn on a aircraft for others to see. Besides, there are not any pictures of Mary Kirby unclothed or clothed to look at so why bother. And why is that?

  2. Dreaded August 27, 2008 at 3:47 am #

    Have to agre – porn will NOT be a problem 99.99% of the time

  3. pundit August 27, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    So, under the law of unintentional consequences, may we asuume the next meeting of Runway Girl’s mutual-appreciation society will be in the WAEA aisles alongside Booth 255 at the said date/time..?

  4. Mary Kirby August 27, 2008 at 8:22 am #

    Now there is an idea, Pundit. We could have a little IFE pow-wow or simply set a time for drinks later that evening. Bob, I’ll see if I can remedy the lack of photos. :)

  5. Cedric August 27, 2008 at 4:44 pm #

    Will it (porn in flight) be a BIG deal? Probably not. Will it happen and cause a BIG stir when it does? Almost certainly. Our legislators (US) are already considering decency legislation for IFE content; should the right person witness porn in flight and report it, the popular press would probably run wild with it (and not the kind of “wild” we want!).

    PS: I’m in for the RG mutual admiration society meet. What’s not to like? (big wink to MK)

  6. Mary Kirby August 28, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    Decency legislation. Oh that is ripe. One flash of boob and we’ll be all stuck watching G rated content in-flight :)

  7. Bob Jahn August 28, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    I haven’t seen anything but G-rated, or close to it, movies on any flights I’ve taken anyway. The first formal complaint about someone watching porn will be interesting though. I am surprised that the decency legislation is being looked at instead of: “How can we tax this but make it not look like a tax?” Oh wait, one in the same?

    I’m game for the meeting too, but I will be in OGG on vacation, darn it! And I do like red-heads, almost worth coming back for.

  8. Jeff August 28, 2008 at 11:23 am #

    Since porn is freely available on DVD and other digital sources, what has stopped people from consuming it on existing laptops and other devices during a flight currently? Just because they are now able to get online, it does not follow that they will automatically begin to frequest porn and other adult material whilst travelling.

  9. Mallard August 29, 2008 at 2:46 am #

    OK sorry for my ignorance what is WAEA don’t want to miss out on the inaugural meeting of the RGMAS, I agree with the general view that the risk of encountering porn during a flight will be rare, most (People) I should think prefare to experience this kind of material in private or with chosen partners. on another topic, I have to concur with Bob the lack of MK in the visual realm is a tad frustrating considering the awsome header pic or is it alas that excess exposure to the radiance of a goddess can be too much for mere mortals.

  10. Bob Jahn August 29, 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    Oh my gosh, I found a couple of pictures of Mary (finally) and I have been happily blinded by her beauty. All I can say is WOW, what a stunning woman.

  11. Mary Kirby August 30, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    Wow guys, you’re too kind. Jeff, I think you make an excellent point. Nothing stops people (girls look at porn too!) from viewing racy content on their own laptops during a flight. Mallard, WAEA represents the World Airline Entertainment Association. They hold an annual conference and exhibition. This year, the event will be held in Long Beach (starting next Sunday).

  12. Mallard September 1, 2008 at 4:34 am #

    So the general agreement is people will indulge if they are bold enough (and dam the torpedos), the rest of us will just have to suffer the Inevitable consequences time will tell. Thanks for the WEAE info MK unfortunately I will be around 5300 miles away in Plymouth UK not to worry I will continue to follow your adventures from afar.

  13. name June 18, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Very interesting sites.,

Leave a Reply