Soon, you will be able to stick it to the flight attendant and show that your device is “airplane mode,” while you listen to music during takeoff, now that a recent report conducted by a 28-member advisory committee has concluded that the use of PED’s (Personal Electronic Devices) like smartphones, tablets, mp3 players, and eReaders can be safely used during any phase of your flight.
Even though there have been zero incidents of PED interfering with flight electronics in the past, the study finally prompted the FAA to make an official announcement saying that it is now changing its rules in regards to the use of PED’s during takeoff and landing. Here is a breakdown of the basics:
- PED’s will still be required to be turned off during safety briefings
- Larger devices like laptops that could potentially be projectiles may still be required to to turned off
- No phone calls will be allowed, and devices must be in “airplane mode” stopping all radio signals from interfering with flight electronics.
- During low-visibility situations, flight crews can still request that all devices be shut off on flights where landing gear may not be PED tolerant.
Currently, there is no timeline from the FAA for individual airlines to do their own testing to ensure their planes are PED tolerant, or to announce when passengers will be able to use PED’s during takeoff and landing. My guess is that most airlines will make this a top priority to entice travelers this holiday travel season.
Sure, it may be harder for flight attendants to enforce whether or not a device truly is in airplane mode. But the old saying goes — “The customer is always right” — as passengers have been complaining about this age-old rule for quite some time.
So if passengers want to squeeze in more “Candy Crush” before or after their plane hits 10,000 feet, especially since they paid so much for a two-hour flight, not including ALL THE FEES, that should be our right to do so.
Let me know what you think – Have you been dying for this rule to change, or will you continue to take the “you can never be too safe” position and still keep your device off?