No longer 'turn off all devices' on planes; FAA changes safety rules for electronic gadgets

  • Article by: JOAN LOWY , Associated Press
  • Updated: October 31, 2013 - 5:28 PM

WASHINGTON — Airline passengers won't have to "turn off all electronic devices" anymore — they'll be able to read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music from gate to gate under new guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration. But they still can't talk on their cellphones through the flight.

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jaytee1Oct. 31, 13 9:21 AM

If use of electronic devices is still prohibited below 10000 feet, what exactly is the difference from current rules?

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waltherppkzOct. 31, 1310:33 AM

Crazy generous!

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zekim09Oct. 31, 1311:57 AM

Many folks forget that airplanes are a capital investment. Planes last for 20 to 40 years before being replaced. This means that the technology on an airframe can span a 50 year period. (My day job is writing software for airplanes). Older technology is more prone to interference from consumer electronics. That is why the FAA's recommendation states that each individual airframe has to be certified for consumer electronics usage. For all of its faults, the FAA is very good at keeping an eye on safety.

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swmnguyOct. 31, 1312:27 PM

The best reason for banning use of this stuff below 10,000 feet never had anything to do with interference anyway. The best reason is that plan crashes you can survive happen on takeoff and landing. That's when you need to be alert and paying attention to what's going on around you. From what I see driving around town, it looks like nobody can pay attention to what's going on around them if they've got a smartphone on.

I tell you what. I fly a fair amount, and I usually get into an Exit Row. Regardless of the FAA rules, I'll leave my gadgets off and stowed when we're going up or down. At least I'll be alert enough to get out of the emergency exit. If you insist on playing with your toys at least I'll call to you as I'm heading out the door.

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msfb99Oct. 31, 1312:36 PM

Awesome! Now I can finish my movie! Love that people still can't call. Great move!

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blueyeballOct. 31, 1312:37 PM

This is a very good start. Now can we bring back smoking, champagne breakfasts with real food and silverware? Not to mention seats that actally reclined with plenty of leg room. I'm not talking about first class, I'm writing about coach. I used to opt for Western and then Northwest for the great breakfasts and excuisite coffee. Flight attendants were courteous and attractive. All this made flying fun. It's not fun any more.

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dkinnspOct. 31, 13 2:03 PM

What a joke. The flight attendant is supposed to monitor whether you are texting, calling or playing a game on your IPhone while taking off. We all know there are plenty of callers ignoring the restrictions now - this will only make it worse.

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dhenkelsOct. 31, 13 2:32 PM

jaytee1 - If you would read the article this would mean you can listen to music, read your ebook, play games on your iPad or phone etc...while take off is happening. You just won't have access to Wi-fi till you get above 10,000 feet. I'm happy with them keeping the cell phone ban but the rest of it has always been dumb. My Kindle, when not attached to wi-fi or 3G is doing nothing that is any different from any half the electronics on the plane itself that have nothing to do with the navigation. Heck, don't they use microwaves to heat up the food?

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bracystakeOct. 31, 13 2:33 PM

My kindle's personal worth just increased in value. Now I don't to pack an extra book for the take off and landing. Finally an improvement that doesn't come with an airline fee.

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richnpoorOct. 31, 13 2:41 PM

Glad to hear this, and to know that phone calls are still banned in-flight. Yeay!

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