Airlines have more power on planes because as private parties they are not bound by the First Amendment.
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Without the shocking video, it's unlikely that the world would have learned or cared about the violent manhandling of a 69-year-old man on a plane last month.The passengers who shot those videos on a United Express plane in Chicago violated United's policy on photography. By the letter of the airline's law, they too could have been ordered off the plane.Airline rules on photography are sporadically enforced, but passengers should read them in the in-flight magazines because there can be consequences.Lawyers who specialize in First Amendment or travel law say airlines generally cannot limit photography or video recording in an airport because it is a public space. But airlines have more power on planes because as private parties they are not bound by the First Amendment."They are within their rights to establish these rules, they are within their rights to throw you off the aircraft if you continue filming," says Joseph Larsen, a media-law attorney in Houston.However, there is no law against taking photos or video on a plane, and it is unlikely that anyone would face legal jeopardy for taking pictures of an altercation on a plane or their own peaceful dispute with an airline employee, Larsen says.
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