For quite a few months now, various airlines have adopted iPads in exchange for cumbersome manuals. But, for reasons relatively unknown, passengers are still not allowed to use tablets and a number of other devices during liftoff and landing. Even though consumers often complain about the FAA’s stringent rules, the FAA hasn’t budget on its stance to prohibit the use of most devices. Now, the FAA might be revising that list.
Reportedly, the FAA is considering adding new devices to the “approved for flying” list. It has been determined that cell phones will still be nixed, but other devices (like tablets, presumably) might just be okayed by the FAA in months to come. Needless to say, changing a rigid list of prohibited devices (originally devised some years ago) in order to keep up with modern technology and current times is a must.
Apparently, the FAA isn’t opposed to non-cell devices, it’s just that the FAA hasn’t tested most modern devices. Testing tablets and other electronics takes a fair bit of money, time, and proper testers, so it’s understandable that the FAA simply hasn’t gotten around to these tests quite yet. Now that the FAA is taking a closer look at the list of approved devices, testing will likely ensue. This could mean that a number of the devices you own and love will soon be in commission during that long flight – for those who fly coach, knowing that you can use your iPad or other gadget during a six hour flight is a great relief.
If you happen to be a nervous flyer, however, there’s no need to fret. The FAA won’t approve any electronic device until that device has been rigorously tested. The main concern here is safety, since some electronics can interfere with flight equipment. The other main concern that airlines have is that passengers are far less likely to pay attention to flight safety rules if they are playing games, reading a book, or doing something else and it’s tough for stewardesses to argue with passengers who just want their Kindle, iPad, or other device in order to avoid boredom during a long flight.
‘’’Will the Rules Change?’’’
The FAA is notorious for not changing rules that often, and there’s a good possibility that the rules might not change at all. Even if the FAA okays certain devices, various airlines may have different opinions. In short, if there are any changes to be made, you’ll certainly hear about them. But, for the time being, you’ll have to leave all of your beloved electronics turned off while you fly across the sky. For safety’s sake (and to avoid being air marshaled off a plane) make sure to check with the airline that you have booked your tickets with before you step onto any airplane – you don’t’ want to make the mistake of playing a puzzle game or thinking that “airplane mode” is sufficient!
If you’re really curious about the electronics that the FAA is considering allowing in-flight, you can follow this story closer by scanning the FAA website for details, though, I warn you, testing out each device available these days will certainly take a lot of time.