For as long as personal gadgets and planes have coexisted, so has this simple question: why do I have to shut off my personal electronic devices before take-off and landing?
Well, as the folks at College Humour point out, that simple question has a very complicated answer.
Er... make that complex answers.
Actually, scratch all that, no one really knows for sure. Warning, you're in for some NSFW language ahead.
After all, could your Kindle really shut down a plane? Is it possible the 13 year old next to you could hold an entire plane full of passenger hostage using nothing more than their Nintendo 3DS? Why is it that 90 million dollars in the latest avionics can't compete with the electromagnetic fields generated by a handful of $40 iPod shuffles?
All valid questions which highlight the biggest issue of the fight vs. flight debate: there aren't definitive answers. And the answers given only raise more questions.
Let's start with the most commonly heard excuse: your wireless device will interfere with the navigational instruments plane use to communicate with airports. If that's the case, then why are pilots exempted and can use iPads in lieu of cumbersome flight manuals, asks the New York Times.
Let's also not forget in-flight WI-FI is becoming increasingly popular on board North American flights. If the electromagnetic radiation from your gadgets is such a concern, why offer such a service that promotes the use of said gadgets in the first place?
The typical answer from the United States' Federal Aviation Association -- the governmental body Transport Canada looks to when it comes to airline policy -- is that two iPads and a wireless router isn't enough to cause enough interference. Hundreds of wireless devices working at once could cause enough interference to mess up a plane.
Only, that's not the case, according to Anthony Carboni from D News, because that's not how electro-magnetic energy works.
The only reasoning that makes any sense is the argument for distractions. By turning off electronics, passengers have fewer distractions when airline crews deliver safety instructions.
It may not fully eliminate distractions as Gizmodo points out, but it simply means one less thing holding you back from finding your life jacket in case of an emergency.
Simply put, for all the fear there is regarding electronic devices causing a fiery death for hundreds of passengers, there isn't enough evidence to support such a case. It's why airlines in the U.K. and even the FAA are looking to at increase the amount of time passengers can spend on their gadgets.
So, do you turn off your gadgets prior when requested? Let us know in the comment section below or on Twitter at @HPCaTravel
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Country star John Rich, of Lonestar and Big & Rich, got into hot water with Southwest in December 2011. The <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/06/john-rich-country-star-booted-from-southwest-flight_n_1131615.html" target="_hplink">inebriated singer was asked to leave the flight</a>, and gracefully made his exit. Beth Gwinn/Getty Images
Southwest also gave the boot to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/27/leisha-hailey-kicked-off-_n_983614.html" target="_hplink">"The L Word" actress Leisha Hailey</a>, apparently for kissing a woman in September 2011. Vince Bucci/Getty Images
While she wasn't technically kicked off a flight, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/whitney-houston-almost-ki_n_1008958.html" target="_hplink">Whitney Houston was almost kicked off a Delta flight</a> in October 2011 for not buckling her seatbelt. Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy
Southwest also <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/14/director-kevin-smith-too_n_461803.html" target="_hplink">struck a huge blow to director Kevin Smith</a>, asking him to leave a flight in April 2010 because he was "too wide for the sky." Donna Ward/Getty Images
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<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/06/alec-baldwin-kicked-off-a_n_1132645.html?ref=travel" target="_hplink">Alec Baldwin was taken off an American Airlines plane</a> in December 2011, also for not turning off his mobile device. Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Reeve Foundation <em>Correction: A previous version of this slide said that Baldwin was kicked off a Southwest flight. We regret the error.</em>
In May 2012, reality TV star Kim Kardashian took to twitter to call out British Airways for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/28/kim-kardashian-twitter-ce_n_1550281.html?ref=travel" target="_hplink">allegedly stealing from her luggage</a>. Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Alec Baldwin's Response to Getting Kicked Off Flight