Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another note to JetBlue

I confess: Even after my previous righteous indignation at JetBlue, when I saw them unjustly eject the only African American passenger from a flight for talking too loudly, I've been flying with them because, well, their flights are affordable and practically deliver me to the door of my parents' home.


On my flights earlier this week, I ran across another problem--not as big as the earlier one, but still troubling. My note to them is below.

On both of the JetBlue flights my 3-year-old and I took this week, I was incredibly disappointed to see that it was impossible to tune away from the early in-flight commercials for Dark Blue--especially since the commercials are violent, with one man clearly aiming a gun at another person, then firing the gun and (presumably) killing the person. The first time the commercial was on, I was dismayed that my 3-year-old was exposed to this mandatory programming; after all, I monitor all his interactions with media. However, on the return flight, things were worse, as when I saw the same commercial start, I immediately went to dim his screen--but the brightness controls on the arm of his seat wouldn't let me dim the screen at all. That's appalling.

There were many other small children on both flights. Families appreciate JetBlue's affordability, but we don't need to have our children exposed to such violence. Please consider asking sponsors of this mandatory viewing time to tone down violence for the youngest audience members. At the very least, have the flight attendants provide a warning to parents that the mandatory viewing contains violence, and they should dim their screens (which should be possible at *any* time during the flight, by the way).

Many thanks for your consideration. I'd appreciate a response.

Has anyone else had problems with this kind of forced viewing, when you can't change the channel or dim the screen? When we're on JetBlue flights, I monitor Lucas's channels; when he was younger, I dimmed his screen altogether, but now he knows how to turn it back on.

If I get a response from JetBlue, I'll post it here.


Breena said...

That's too bad. I have flown Jet Blue a couple of times and found their flights comfortable and convenient. They strike me as catering to business travelers. Maybe they haven't thought through accommodating kids? I hope they respond.

We should chat soon!

fatedplace said...

In most theaters there are restrictions about what rating previews can be shown. I imagine that there are actually similar restrictions on airline programming and that Jetblue is violating them. I just recently saw District 9 and was somewhat amused when one of the R previews encouraged the audience to see an even more graphic version online. Apparently the restrictions for previews are actually tighter than for the films themselves...

Phantom Scribbler said...

Oh, I have one. I flew JetBlue with my kids last summer, and the person in the row in front of us was watching a movie that blurred out the genitals from an explicit sex scene. Lucky for me, both kids were looking out the window at that moment. I don't know what I would have done if I'd had to explain *that* one to them. I was furious, though. And would think twice before flying Jet Blue again.

grumpyABDadjunct said...

I actually wondered about the issue Phantom brings up this summer when travelling with my 3-year-old, namely how do you account for the things other passengers are watching? I don't want to censor what other people view in private, but an airplane isn't private and there was some viewing going on around us that I wasn't exactly comfortable with. And what about what people do/watch on their laptops? Complicated issues.

We weren't flying Jet Blue, btw.

susan m. said...

Gimme a call next time you're down. Would love to see you.