Acela Unplugged -- Appropriate Caution or Calculated Affront?

Amtrak decided to turn off the passenger AC plugs on the high-speed Acela service in the Northeast Corridor this week, citing the potential for riders to accidentally short circuit the outlets. No known injuries, they said, just a precaution.

Amtrak spokesman Cliff Black said he was unaware of any injuries caused by the electrical troubles but that the outlets would remain out of service indefinitely "for safety reasons" until the maker of its trains, Montreal-based Bombardier Inc., fixes the problem. [AP story, via Google]

No injuries. Just a precaution. How convenient that the decision strips a key competitive benefit of Acela just as record fuel prices put further pressure on the airline industry.

Next: Food and beverage service suspended "for safety reasons" to prevent passenger choking. And, you don't want to think about what can go horribly wrong in a toilet.