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FAA Allows Electronic Device Use During Flight

 
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PurplePhase View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 5:39pm
 we knew this was coming.



FAA allowing most electronic device use throughout flights



(CNN) -- Airplane travelers will soon be able to watch videos and play games with their electronic devices throughout their entire flight -- and not just above a certain altitude -- the Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday in a long anticipated announcement.

But don't expect to be chatting on your cell phone. A ban on using cell phones for voice communication remains in effect.

The FAA, following months of study by a group of aviation experts, said that airlines can soon allow passengers to use portable electronic devices such as tablets, laptop computers, e-readers and cell phones in airplane mode throughout the flight -- with some circumstantial restrictions.

Until now, passengers in the United States were prohibited from using the devices until their plane rose above 10,000 feet. The timing of the changes will depend on individual airlines, but an FAA statement said it expects "many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of the year."

"Each airline will determine how and when this will happen," FAA administrator Michael Huerta told reporters at Reagan National Airport.

The periods of flight in question are fairly short. The ascent of an aircraft to 10,000 feet usually takes 10 minutes or less, depending on the airport and weather conditions, said Patrick Smith, a commercial airline pilot and Askthepilot blogger.

Delta Air Lines and JetBlue wasted no time announcing Thursday morning that both airlines have filed plans with the FAA to allow for use of approved electronic devices below 10,000 feet on their flights. Both carriers had representatives on the FAA advisory panel.


The FAA also permits the use of in-flight Wi-Fi service if the airline offers and allows it. Delta said its service will continue to be available above 10,000 feet.

The FAA had long claimed that using electronic devices during takeoff and landing posed a safety issue and that radio signals from the devices could interfere with an aircraft's communications, navigation and other systems.

But a panel the FAA established last year to study the issue concluded that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals.

The FAA did outline an exception to the new rule: "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."


Enforcing the policy

Flight attendants' hard jobs just got harder, said travel blogger Johnny "Jet" DiScala. That's because they'll have to ensure that passengers are only using devices in "aircraft safe" mode, not downloading anything from the Internet.

"No one turns their devices off anymore," DiScala says. "I don't say anything (to fellow passengers about turning them off) these days because all the studies have shown that it doesn't cause any problems, and the pilots are now using stuff (iPads and other electronic devices) in the cockpit."

Benefits for travelers, electronics manufacturers

It's no surprise that advocates for the travel and electronics industries cheered the easing of the restrictions on devices during flight.

"We're pleased the FAA recognizes that an enjoyable passenger experience is not incompatible with safety and security," Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president and CEO, said in a prepared statement. "What's good for the traveler is good for travel-related businesses and our economy."

 

"This is exactly what travelers have wanted," said Snyder, the Cranky Flier columnist, via e-mail. "It will, however, mean people have more distracting them from paying attention during the safety briefing, so airlines are going to really have to step up their game to make sure people understand how to be as safe as possible."

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sweet_n_stuff04 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote sweet_n_stuff04 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 6:08pm
I've always wondered what's the purpose of having an airplane mode option on your electronic devices if you can't use it on an airplane.

What would be cool is if they had built in outlets in the seats so I could charge my phone/tablet/kindle.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sweetskul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 6:21pm
i always wondered about it too 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 6:41pm
the flight attendants really have their work cut out for them now though trying to figure out who's doing what on their tablet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Naturalchick30 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 7:09pm
Originally posted by sweet_n_stuff04 sweet_n_stuff04 wrote:

I've always wondered what's the purpose of having an airplane mode option on your electronic devices if you can't use it on an airplane.

What would be cool is if they had built in outlets in the seats so I could charge my phone/tablet/kindle.



Some planes have outlets
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 9:43pm
*posts from iPad via wifi sitting in a380 airbus with just under two hours to land*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote TokyoRose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 9:58pm
Originally posted by sweet_n_stuff04 sweet_n_stuff04 wrote:

I've always wondered what's the purpose of having an airplane mode option on your electronic devices if you can't use it on an airplane.

What would be cool is if they had built in outlets in the seats so I could charge my phone/tablet/kindle.




Well, you can use them, it's just that you can't use them during taxi, takeoff and landing. 

As others have stated, they do have outlets in the seats.  It's so convenient, especially when I am flying to the US from Japan.  The entertainment selections usually suck so bad, so I bring my iPad and watch whatever I want.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 31 2013 at 10:00pm
Originally posted by afrokock afrokock wrote:

*posts from iPad via wifi sitting in a380 airbus with just under two hours to land*


fancy?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote afrokock Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 01 2013 at 2:17am
Lol...

Well......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Sang Froid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 01 2013 at 2:20am
Afro lemme borrow $400.
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