Friday, June 17, 2011

Smokes on a plane

Flight attendant discouraging smoking
Ever since I saw the movie Labor of Love, I always try to listen carefully to the flight attendants on the airplane, as "what they're saying really is quite important."

In particular, I always listen to the smoking stuff the flight attendants mention. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because I don't smoke.

Here are some important points that all airlines make:
  • Federal Aviation Regulations require passenger compliance with posted placards
  • Federal law prohibits: tampering with, disabling, or destroying any smoke detector installed in an aircraft lavatory
My point #1: Here's something that would be against the law:

Someone taking an unopened pack of cigarettes and throwing it away in the trash can in the airplane restroom.

Inside the restroom, there's a posted placard on every trash bin that indicates, "No cigarette disposal." At first, I thought this sign was funny, because the following situation played out in my head: Someone smokes in the airplane restroom, illegally, breaking federal laws, and is left with their cigarette butt. They're about to throw it in the trash, but they see the "No cigarette disposal." Overcome with remorse, and not wanting to break another federal law, they cram the crumbly butt in their pocket, and save it for the trash cans inside the airport they'll be arriving at, so they don't break another federal law.

Upon retrospect, they really should put those posted placards on any crack or cranny that could contain a butt. They should put them on the toilet, the drain to the water basin, and the place where the paper towels are hidden, in a Seusical fashion, "Do not dispose it in the can, do not dispose it with a plan."

My point #2: Here's something that would not be against the law:

Obscuring a smoke detector. You'd have to do it very carefully, and in a way that doesn't tamper with or touch the smoke detector. You'd also have to make sure that the smoke detector was fully functional, or not disabled in any way.

The way to do this would be to attach something to the wall around the smoke detector, and completely contain the air. It would obscure the smoke detector from the rest of the air in the bathroom, while still rendering the smoke detector enabled, not tampered with, and fully functional.

Of course, you still couldn't smoke in that bathroom, because that would be a federal offense. But, there's nothing currently against the law, as far as I can tell, about obscuring an airplane restroom smoke detector.

Those are the thoughts that go through my head while the flight attendants give me their speeches about smoking.

Whether against the law or not, I discourage people from having anything to do with smokes on a plane. Except, of course, buying duty free cigarettes. Those are for sale on every international flight. I wholeheartedly encourage people to buy duty free cigarettes on airplanes, whether you smoke or not, just for the irony of it all.

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Photo purchased from iStockphoto
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