Cell phones and laptops on the tarmac

PHONE calls could land you in court

Travelinfo.ca: REFUSING to turn off a cell phone or laptop during takeoff from a New York area airport could soon land airline passengers a one-way ticket to court. According to report the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said on Tuesday that it is exploring suing the worst offenders who fail to comply with guidelines for turning off electronic devices on the runway and sometimes causing costly and annoying delays. The issue got national attention last year after actor Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight for repeatedly refusing to stop playing a game on his phone as his plane prepared to depart from Los Angeles. The Port Authority oversees LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark airports, where in 2011 police responded to more than 400 cases of passengers who would not turn off their cell phones or laptops or caused “some other kind of disruption,” said spokesman Steve Coleman. New York has some of the busiest airports in the country and delays often have ripple effects at other U.S. airports. Currently there are no civil penalties for flaunting the guidelines. Unruly behaviour is punishable under criminal law if it rises to the level of an offense such as disorderly conduct.