Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Airlines have gone berserk

with 3 comments

Some action must be taken:

Airline films need attention. On a recent US Airways flight, the in-flight airline movie screen dropped down from the overhead and began showing images of incredible violence. A drive-by shooting, a child crushed to death by a car, kids swapping guns. And that was in the first five minutes of the film. What’s crazy is that children on the flight were watching these images regardless of whether or not their parents purchased headsets. All because the screens were positioned so that everyone could see them. On other flights, parents have struggled to protect their kids from images of murder, torture, melting faces and death – all shown on publicly viewable screens.

And the NY Times notices it, too:

A husband shoots his wife in the face, then drags her body from the pool of blood. A 12-year-old boy is crushed against a fence by a car. A teenager zips up her jeans in the bathroom after a sexual encounter.

These are images from movies shown to passengers recently on overhead screens in airlines, and they are sources of a new and vigorous outcry from parents, flight attendants and children’s advocacy groups who say that in-flight entertainment has become anything but family-friendly.

Critics say their anger comes as airlines, eager to cater to current tastes and acceding to more permissive standards for the entertainment media, have relaxed their rules for what they show.

Movies with R ratings are more frequently shown, though with editing, along with television reruns including sexual content, violence and other fare intended for teenagers and adults.

Because federal broadcast laws do not apply to in-flight entertainment, and because airlines need not adhere to Motion Picture Association of America ratings or television standards, parental advocacy groups have begun lobbying for change. At least one group has asked federal legislators for laws to curb violence shown on overhead screens.

Flying with children, the critics say, has become a scary experience.

“It’s almost routine now when you’re on a plane to sit there and go, ‘Whoa!’ ” said James Steyer, chief executive of Common Sense Media, which reviews entertainment products for parents. “But you’re a captive audience, and you have almost no control.”

Thomas Fine and Sara Susskind of Cambridge, Mass., recently spent two hours on a United Airlines flight distracting their 6-year-old son, Zachary, from the R-rated “Shooter,” which depicts multiple gory killings. The sound of gunshots from nearby earphones alerted Zachary to look up, Mr. Fine said. “It’s not like he can look away when he hears the sound, and he’s sitting on a plane bored, and he’s 6,” Mr. Fine said.

The airlines counter that they are trying to appeal to the widest possible audience while respecting parents’ needs, and that parents can avoid shows if they wish.

“Parents have to be responsible for the actions of their kids — whether they shouldn’t look at the screen or look away,” said Eric Kleiman, director of product marketing for Continental Airlines. … “People love Pepsi, and we don’t serve that, so there you go, we just ruined their flight. That’s an accurate analogy.”

More at the link. I stopped here to show the stupidity of the airlines’ response.

Written by Leisureguy

26 September 2007 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life, Movies & TV

Tagged with ,

3 Responses

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  1. Kids will see scantily dressed women passengers on flights, will parents have to tell them to look away?

    Whatever happened to good old common sense??!!



    27 September 2007 at 7:03 am

  2. Some kids react quite badly to scenes of violence. That’s in another ballpark from immodest dress. Or so my common sense tells me.



    27 September 2007 at 7:08 am

  3. Speaking as the parent of a 4 year old, its hard to tell a 4 year old what to look at or not look at and have them comply, especially for a duration of several hours on a long flight. Young children don’t understand the distinction between reality and make-believe in movies and on tv in the same way that older children and adults do. Seeing scenes of people in distress — crying and screaming — is especially disturbing to young children. Please note that parents on only requesting that the public screens viewable from any seat not show age-inappropriate material — personal seat-back screens are not included in the request.


    The Eldest

    27 September 2007 at 8:23 am

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