A lot of people have been wondering why this blog seemingly veered off course after the Christmas holiday. Some are asking: “What happened to all the coverage about in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) and aircraft interiors? Why are you writing about bloggers, social media, TSA agents, and misplaced notebooks? Would you please get a grip girl and get back to business?”
Let me take a stab at an explanation. In the aftermath of the recent failed terrorist attack from the ‘thunder from down under’, the TSA issued a security directive that would have had grave implications for the IFEC industry had it remained in force.
Yes, the TSA made a quick about-face and dropped its more outlandish provisions, including one that prevented US-bound aircraft from displaying moving map software, but not before it went on the attack against the two travel writers who posted the security directive on their blogs.
You may not agree with the writers’ decision to post the directive on their web sites. But the same information in the directive was becoming apparent to any passenger unlucky enough to be flying into the USA after Christmas. Some carriers were even reading the security directive in near entirety to passengers before take-off.
In any case, as a journalist I felt compelled to follow the story. After all, the bloggers were the reason why I knew the details of the security directive that most immediately impacted IFEC, my largest audience. They were the reason I was able to tell RWG readers what was going on. Plus, I felt the TSA used heavy-handed and unfair tactics to uncover the two mens’ sources for the security directive (even going so far as issuing subpoenas and confiscating – and damaging – one of the bloggers, Steven Frischling’s computer).
I gotta admit, after spending less than two weeks covering security-related issues, I have a new-found respect for journalists and bloggers who cover aircraft and airport security on a daily basis. God bless them, I don’t know how they do it. (For at least a week I’ve been fully expecting to see a black sedan pull up in front of my house.)
I look forward to getting back to my familiar beat. To wit, while checking YouTube for fresh IFEC/interiors video tonight I came across a video of a passenger using the excellent Panasonic Avionics in-flight entertainment system on a Qantas Airbus A380.
Guess what the passenger does first? He looks at the aircraft flight path on the moving map! But of course!
Back on course