Can You Use Electronic Devices On Airplanes During Takeoff and Landing? Soon, Yes!
October 31, 2013 | 3:00 pm
By Juli Monroe
Sanity has finally prevailed in the hallowed halls of the FAA. Today they announced the loosening of restrictions. So, by the end of the year, the answer to the question, “can you use electronic devices on airplanes” will be “Yes!”
Can you tell I’m pretty happy about this?
Of course, this is the FAA, which is a government agency, so there are caveats. Changes to the policies are by airline, and some airlines will be slower to adopt the new guidelines than others. I suspect some loud, but respectful, complaining will speed on the laggards. Phone calls remain banned (which is fine by me), and devices will need to be in Airplane mode.
I do wonder about that last one. Will attendants inspect devices for the little airplane icon? I hope not. That could get cumbersome. My Nook, for example, doesn’t have a little “airplane” on the home screen, so I’d have to pull down the settings to prove it.
Small details, however. I’m just delighted that I’ll be able to keep on reading my book during taxi, takeoff and landing. Oh, and I’m also happy to thumb my nose at all the people on forums who’ve derided (supposedly for safety reasons) those of us who have wanted this for years.
Here’s the FAA’s “top 10″ list of things you need to know:
1. Make safety your first priority.
2. Changes to PED policies will not happen immediately and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED.
3. Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval and changes its PED policy.
4. Cellphones may not be used for voice communications.
5. Devices must be used in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, such as wireless keyboards.
6. Properly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.
7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crew member’s instructions.
8. It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew’s instructions during takeoff and landing.
9. In some instances of low visibility — about 1 percent of flights — some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
10. Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.