Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Airport Etiquette - Movie Watching on a Plane


So, as you know, I recently returned home from a vacation.  While on one of our plane rides, the man in the aisle seat, one aisle ahead and to our left (my toddler daughter was in the aisle seat with me in the middle) pulled out his lap top and ear buds and began watching a movie.

Suddenly, scenes of skulls, dead bodies, gyrating bodies, blood, masks, etc. began flashing on the screen.  Images from KISS, Marilyn Manson and other such shock rock concerts barraged the open eye-waves.  Obviously, this was an explicit documentary on a debatable topic.

As soon as I realized what was being viewed, I told my daughter to turn and face me.  Naturally, she was curious about what he was watching and kept trying to peek around.  The couple across the aisle from us saw what I was doing, and peered around the seat to take a gander.  Their eyebrows went up, and I got a nod.

I knew our flight we coming to an end shortly, but was stuck...do I ask the guy to turn off his movie because my toddler daughter was RIGHT THERE?  If she had been sitting straight forward - knees to the tray table, she would have been watching the whole movie.  Instead, I distracted her.  We played with her few toys, the plastic cups and paper napkins.  A stewardess walked by, saw what was going on, and just kept walking.

Thankfully, the "put away all electronic devices" call came about 20 minutes later.  But this incident left me thinking...
  • Did he really have the right to watch a "viewer discretion advised" movie on a public plane in front of my innocent daughter?
  • Should I have asked him to turn the screen or turn off the movie?
  • Was he simply ignorant to this situation or did he not care?
  • Airlines edit movies (or at least they used to) that were for public viewing during a flight, so shouldn't passengers, who are subjecting other passengers to their choice of entertainment, also have to follow some guidelines or decorum?  Especially when a minor is clearly able to see everything!
  • When I turn on the TV, go to a theatre, etc. I get to choose what I deem appropriate for myself and my child, but on a plane, I'm expected to just accept whatever the guy across from me wants to watch - even if it's not child-appropriate?
Personal stories, ideas, rants...anyone?

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