How long has the FAA told passengers that any kind of technical device must be "shut off and stowed" during takeoff and landing? How long have we been told that we can't use phones, tablets, or e-readers during these vital parts of a flight?
A long time, right? Well, that's all history now.
New FAA Rulings
Today, the FAA has has announced that most airlines will now allow the use of electronic devices during all parts of a flight. That means that you can use your Kindle while you take off or land. It also means that you can stay plugged into your music as you travel - at all times during any flight. Yay!
It was only a matter of time, really. If you think about it, many airlines are now using tablets in place of hefty instruction and emergency manuals. These tablets do use WiFi, are connected at all stages of a flight, and have proven to be very useful. So, it wouldn't make much sense for the FAA to ban tablets and other gadgets for passengers, would it?
But, not so fast there, cowboy!
Almost Ready to Implement
Even though the FAA has given the "go-ahed," the administration has told press that passengers must wait to use any kind of device during all stage of the flight. Why? Because each individual airline has to consider all possible gadgets, test those gadgets, and then determine if those things are safe. So, yeah, it could be a while. Let's hope that airlines get to reviewing these dangerous new toys (insert sarcasm) before the holiday season, but things tend to be slow where airlines are concerned.
Some airlines are still sticking to the notion that tablets and other devices are not safe. Really? Yeah, that's still a concern. Is it one that's based on any real truth? Well, that's what passengers want to know. And, what about the one thing that we all want to use on airplanes?
Nope, Not Yet!
Sorry, folks, you still can't use a phone while in-flight - or while on the runway if you have a particularly cranky flight crew! Phones are still banned during flights or must be in airplane mode. But, at least you can now read a book while you take off and land, and that's one way to make long flights a bit better, right?
Remember, though, each airline has to approve the use of tablets before you actually use one. So, wait for that approval before you tell a flight attendant: no way! I read it on R-TT that I can use this! Yeah, I'm not going to back you up there! One more thing: tablets and e-readers have to be turned off during treacherous conditions because they could interfere with flight technology.
So, what do you think of this news from the FAA? Is it really necessary that we turn off all of our gadgets while flying? Is anyone out there a pilot? I'd love to hear your point of view!