Frequent (an not-so-frequent) travelers rejoice!
The FAA has now now approved the use of many of our beloved portable electronic devices during take off. The new FAA rules regarding PEDs would allow flyers to use certain items like kindles,smartphones and games to be used while the plane is taxiing, taking off and landing (as long as they are in airplane mode). So if you’re like me and always break out the Kindle while you are waiting for everyone else to get settled into their seats, you’re doing the happy dance right now.
Evidently the changes are being rolled out by airline, so this won’t be rolled out across the board instantly. Some airlines are starting to allow PEDs at all times starting tomorrow (Nov 1st) so if you are flying out soon check with your airline to see if the new rules apply.
I do wonder how airlines will make sure that devices are in airplane mode? I know that I’ve totally forgotten about this from time to time and my phone has been on in my bag without me remembering to turn it off. So we’ll see how this goes. Remember that you are unable to use regular cell service during takeoffs and landings, so you’ll still have to end the phone call when you are getting off the ground.
Here are some of the key rules that the FAA is passing on to passengers:
Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes
- Make safety your first priority.
- 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.
- Current PED policies remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment, gets FAA approval, and changes its PED policy.
- Cell phones may not be used for voice communications.
- 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, like wireless keyboards.
- 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.
- During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.
- It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew’s instructions during takeoff and landing.
- In some instances of low visibility – about one percent of flights – some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
- Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.
It’s anticipated that all airlines will allow the new rules by the end of the year! Whoo hoo!!