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GPSr on a plane?


MaverickDave
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So I found my first cache yesterday (a mere 3 hours after actually purchasing my GPSr), and I'm hooked. The problem, though, is that I'm getting on a plane in a few hours for 6 weeks of travel for work. Has anybody tried taking a GPSr on a plane recently? I have a funny feeling security wouldn't appreciate it too much, and I do'nt want to check it. Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!

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Check with your airline. Some allow them, others don't. All will let you on the plane with one. It's not illegal. Some just won't allow their operation while the plane is flying.

 

A quick search of GPS+airline came up with this.

 

In one recent thread someone posted a list of airlines that allowed and didn't allow the operation of a GPS while in flight. If you do a little searching, I'm sure you can find it. I know American is one airline that doesn't allow them. I was using mine to watch the altitude and airspeed and to see what towns and geographic features we were passing over. It was pretty neat, but the attendant saw me and made me put it away.

 

"Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, he'll sit in a boat and drink beer all day" - Dave Barry

 

[This message was edited by BrianSnat on August 17, 2003 at 08:02 AM.]

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I realize that there are several threads/articles around about this subject, but here's my $.02 from personal experience:

 

GPS is not listed as an "approved device" in most airlines' magazines, where they publish that info. So, most flight attendants, particularly the "uninformed" ones who don't know anything about the technology (and thus don't realize that a GPS will NOT affect the aircraft's communication and navigation systems), will disallow their use, and simply cite that as the reason, period paragraph.

 

Previous to 9/11, I would generally ask the flight attendants if I could use them, and often would also ask if they would ask the captain if they had time. In each case when the captain was consulted I got an instant "OK". In another case I had a well-informed flight attendant who knew about GPS, and she told me that GPS *WAS* listed as "OK" in the flight attendant "red book", which is their internal-only ops guide (at least they call it a "red book" on Delta, whom I was flying at the time) (why I HATE Delta and hope never to fly them again is a subject for another time!).

 

Other times, if I had a window seat, I would use a pillow to cover up the suction cup external antenna I used on the window, and had good success using my GPS.

 

In the post-9/11 world, I don't even consider it. I don't want to do anything to even possibly make anyone nervous (whether flight attendants or fellow passengers), and certainly an electronic device that's not yet "mainstream" (a la CD player, cell phone, etc.) would classify as such. I travel every single week for my job as a traveling consultant...it's the most paranoid, stressful world you can imagine whilst flying...I don't even want to go there.

 

For whatever it's worth...

-Dave R., Biloxi, MS, frequent traveler and GPS'er

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I just got back from a trip to the East Coast (which included a stop in Newark on Thursday at the begining of the blackout icon_eek.gif).

 

I carried my GPSr on and security said nothing. They also said nothing about my cell, my palm, my laptop, my digital camera, my camcorder, etc, and they were supposed to be "closely scrutinizing" these devices. icon_rolleyes.gif)

 

Once on board in each flight (four total), I asked the captain if I could use it and in each case he said I could when other devices were allowed. I was flying Continental.

 

You're right, though. Somehow GPSrs have been tagged "suspicious" by the populace. I don't understand why. They don't tell you anything a map and compass couldn't. I think the more of us that are seen using them, the less of a stigma they'll have.

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JUst to beat a dead or dying horse, I flew last week and on both ends of the round trip I had my GPSr in my carryon and nobody batted an eye. I guess in today's security sensitive environment I'm not sure that is such a good thing but I imagine it was carefully reviewed going through the x-ray machine as this was the weekend after the big news about fears of bombs and other explosives being hidden in electronic devices by terrorists. Unfortunately I didn't get a window seat so I couldn't see how the GPSr worked in the plane. I didn't even think of it as a potential problem any more than a CD player or other walkman.

 

My brother, on the other hand, got a pretty intense once-over as he mistakenly left a 3/4 inch trailer hitch receiver pin in his carryon. It was nothing more than a harmless 4 inch piece of steel but its not something you see being carried onto an airplane every day.

 

------------------------------------------------------------

I am Lothar, King of the Hill people. I have many tales to tell....

 

24 hours in a day, 24 beers in a case. Coincidence? I think not. - Stephen Wright

------------------------------------------------------------

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quote:
Originally posted by drat19:

 

Other times, if I had a window seat, I would use a pillow to cover up the suction cup external antenna I used on the window, and had good success using my GPS.

 

-Dave R., Biloxi, MS, frequent traveler and GPS'er


Just wondering where I can get one of these suction cup external antennas for a garmin e-trex legend?

 

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

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I guess they mistake my Vista for a cellphone, esp when I have it in the carrying case. Never seen a cellphone with a lanyard, though icon_smile.gif

 

I usually put my Vista on the handreset between me and the window and kind of put my arm out so that its obscured from view. I figure I don't need the extra attention from an ignorant stewardess if its seen - esp since they might think its a cellphone.

 

I've successfully used my GPSr about twice on a trip from Kansas City to Houston. It was pretty cool seeing exactly where we went. It was definately not where the maps in the back of the flight magazines say they go.

 

Unfortunately on several trips from Houston to Newark I couldn't seem to get enough satellites to do anything but waste batteries. I tried putting it in all different angles, "aiming" it at satellites, etc. Maybe if I were on the other side of the airplane.

 

All flights were on Continental airlines, FWIW.

 

Opinions based on experiences with eTrex Vista...

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quote:
Originally posted by Turtle3863:

quote:
Originally posted by drat19:

 

Other times, if I had a window seat, I would use a pillow to cover up the suction cup external antenna I used on the window, and had good success using my GPS.

 

-Dave R., Biloxi, MS, frequent traveler and GPS'er


Just wondering where I can get one of these suction cup external antennas for a garmin e-trex legend?

 

Slow and Steady Wins the Race


 

My preferred vendors are tvnav.com and gpscity.com ...both have good service/prices/selection from my experience. Not sure if the eTrex line has a compatible suction cup antenna like the GPS III/V line does.

 

-Dave R. in Biloxi

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I was hoping to use my GPS on some flights this weekend and last. The GPS was listed in Air Tran's magazine as something never to be used. I decided to ask the attendant who curtly answered "absolutely not". It wasn't worth the hassle to me so I didn't push the issue even though GPS's prohibition is ridiculous to me. I'm with Drat19 on this: If there is a place to not make waves these days it's in the Airpline Industry's swimming pool.

 

"Now may every living thing, young or old, weak or strong, living near or far, known or unknown, living or departed or yet unborn, may every living thing know happiness!"

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I flew on Continental from Denver to Houston to Honolulu then from Maui to Houston to Denver.

 

The only flight that I could not get much of a signal on was from Houston to Honolulu. But I did get a signal from Maui to Houston about 80% of the way. I created a track and when I got home, put it on my computer. It was pretty neat! I could see almost the entire route.

 

Speaking of which,

 

Does any software transfer the altitude data that was created in a track to the computer? I'd like to take my gps skiing and then come home and see an elevation chart of what my altitude was every 5 seconds. If anyone knows of a Garmin software that will do this, pleeeeeeease let me know! And CC it to clock98 at juno.com.

 

Thanks!!!

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I recently flew Horizon Air from Seattle to Fresno and back. Before boarding the plane, I asked the person behind the gate desk about using a GPSr on the plane and they flat said "NO".

 

After boarding the plane and taking off, when it came time to let people know it was OK to use their electronic devices, they included the following line (or something like it) "except for those that SEND or RECEIVE a signal".

 

I was kinda miffed, especially since I knew that the pilot sitting up front was probably using his GPS to help pilot the plane. :)

 

I guess that is why I try to fly Horizon as infrequently as possible.

 

Hideaway Hunter

 

By the way, I was able to find six out of seven caches during one of the days. Went looking with sister-in-law, her kids and my parents. The kids thought it was great. They found most of them. Sis-in-law used it as a field trip, since they home-school their kids. :D

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I just completed a quick trip from Seattle to San Francisco and back. I was flying United which has a policy allowing for the use of a GPSr. I had a window seat on the left side of the airplane and once I got a signal, and as long as there were enough birds on my side of the plane, I actually was able to keep a lock on the signal with the 60c in my shirt pocket.

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