Airplane Etiquette: What Should You Do When The Jerk Next To You Is Watching Porn?

PCWorld examines an interesting problem: What to do when the jerk next to you is watching hardcore porn on his laptop? Or what can be done about jerks who let their kids watch movies with no headphones? Can the airline do anything to stop jerks?

According to PCWorld’s investigation into several airline’s “Contracts of Carraige”… not much can be done. From PC World:

Airlines do have rules regarding passenger conduct, however vaguely worded they may be. For example, American Airlines’ Acceptance of Passengers states: “American may refuse to transport you, or may remove you from your flight at any point, for one or several reasons, including but not limited to the following.” The document goes on to list seven examples of behavior that may cause you to be kicked off a plane, but only number six comes close to addressing the offensive behavior described in the Times: “Your conduct is disorderly, abusive, or violent, or you…refuse to obey instructions from any flight crew member.”

Is it disorderly to watch pornography on a laptop in full view of the person sitting next to you? It happened to one passenger, and she told the New York Times about it:

Recently, [a female airline passenger] was in a window seat on a full flight from Newark to San Francisco, next to a man who opened his laptop on his tray table and began watching a hard-core pornographic DVD.

“It was hard to ignore, with him sitting that close,” said [the passenger], who finally got up and asked a flight attendant what could be done, since she didn’t want to engage the man. The answer: Nothing.

We guess that the only thing you can do is ask the jerk to quit watching porn. PC World asked a retaired airline captain of 36 years his opinion on the matter:

“The ticket you purchase gives you seat space on a flight in the cabin area for which you paid. If the passenger meets the criteria established during the financial exchange for that ticket and the flight departs, they have the right to go on that flight. The entire time on board the aircraft they must comply with the federal regulations governing passengers and crew on air carrier aircraft. The porn viewer does not appear to have been breaking any of those regulations.”

What do you think? What would you do?

Airline Passenger Code of Conduct, Part 1 [PC World]
(Photo: mamamusings)