If you’re a frequent flyer like I am then you know the drill when it comes to your mobile devices. Usually in the US you could use them while at the gate with the plane door open. However, once that door closes it was time to “power off and stow all electronic devices with an on/off switch.” Use of such devices during flight could interfere with the plane’s navigation system. Quite frankly I never bought this. The reason I never really believed that this was a real issue is because if there was some real way for this to happen believe me portable electronic devices would be banned from planes! If 4 oz of tooth paste constitutes a potential threat and is siezed by TSA,then what chance do you think your iPad would have? Also there was never any real policing of this. Sure the flight attendants would do their best to visually look for gadgets, but I’ve accidentally left things on in my bag in the overhead bin. Well it looks like we can finally stop second guessing this weird rule as the FAA has now started allowing some airlines (i’m sure more will follow) to allow use of these devices pretty much during the whole flight. They still want you to have the device in airplane mode, but now it’s no longer required that you shut if off and put it away.
Currently Delta, United, American Airlines, US Airways and Jet Blue have been cleared to allow the use of personal (small) electronics during take off and landing. Even the Delta flight attendants on my last flight were so used to telling everyone to turn things off they had to catch themselves a few times.
Air travel is definitely not “fun”. It’s actually a pain in the ass at times. However, as a frequent flyer the little liberties (like TSA Pre-Check) we’re starting to get back are helping make air travel suck less. Now can we get the seats redesigned on these planes?