You may have heard that the FAA has finalized rules allowing broader use of personal electronics devices on flights, but we’ve had quite a few questions about the specifics. While each airline is free to implement greater restrictions that the FAA is allowing, you can probably expect most to have similar rules.
- Wi-fi and cell phones will still be a no-no during critical phases of flight. That’s typically going to be takeoff and landing.
- And cell phones will always be a no-no in flight. Turning off the cell signal or putting them into ‘Airplane Mode’ will be OK, however.
- Tablets & computers. If you can turn off the wi-fi function, you should be able to use these devices from the moment you sit down until you exit the plane.
- Kindles, Nooks, hand-held game consoles. As long as they have a way to turn off the wi-fi function, you should be good to use them for the entire flight.
Expect there to always be a clause in the rules so that the flight crew can ask everyone to turn stuff off if they feel it necessary.
As to roll-out by specific airlines, it will vary as there is some testing of each aircraft that will need to be done first. Some airlines like Jet Blue are already all set. Check at your favorite airline’s website for updates.
And please – spare your fellow travelers and bring some headphones for your portable devices!