Last week the FAA finally unleashed new rules for travelers, allowing electronics to remain powered-on and in-hand during taxi, take off, and landing. This, of course, is a change that is hugely welcome to frequent travelers and really something that should have happened long ago. The majority of travelers already knew that electronic devices caused no major disruptions for the onboard computers because few ever really turned them off. I am one of those. In a way, I did my part to help turn the FAA around on mobile device usage. Thank me later.
As I noted this week, Delta was the first to catch the wave, announcing on October 30, 2013 that all of their US flights would allow powered-on devices just two days after the FAA announcement. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to take advantage of the new rules yet, as my last trip ended on Thursday, a day before Delta's new policies took effect. I have another trip next week and will be able to now legally keep my devices powered on then.
This week, United Airlines and American Airlines have followed suit and provided their own announcements. American Airlines made their announcement on November 4, 2013, and United Airlines on November 6, 2013.
Each announcement includes a couple differences in expectations. If you will be traveling either of these airlines, make sure to check out the airline specific rules before you go.
- American Airlines Customers Will Have Gate-to-Gate Use of Handheld Portable Electronic Devices Beginning this Afternoon
- United Airlines Begins Offering Electronics-Friendly Cabins
Ultimately, the rules are all very similar, and if you want a quick breakdown, see: New Airline Rules for Electronic Devices