Gadget owners on planes could face turn-off fines
NEWARK | The agency that operates the New York City area’s three major airports wants passengers who don’t turn off their cellphones or tablets before takeoff to pay up or go to court.
The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday the agency is considering levying fines that could reach tens of thousands of dollars for behavior that causes flight delays.
The issue of electronic devices on planes received national publicity in December when actor Alec Baldwin was ousted from a New York-bound flight in Los Angeles for refusing to turn off his cellphone.
The use of electronic devices on planes generally is prohibited during takeoffs and landings, and passengers are warned by public announcements. The Port Authority initiative is believed to be the only one of its kind being contemplated at a domestic airport, but it’s unclear whether the agency would have the power to implement it. News of the Port Authority’s plans was first reported in the New York Post.
According to Foye, Port Authority police last year responded to about 400 calls involving passengers who refused to turn off their electronic devices at John F. Kennedy International, Laguardia and Newark Liberty International airports.
Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it is looking at ways to test devices to see if they are safe for passengers to use during critical phases of flights such as takeoffs and landings.