“The boarding door is now closed…” That announcement usually brings a few sighs from around the cabin as passengers turn off the electronic toy they were using. If you are like me and use an iPad, iPhone or other personal electronic devices, this phrase meant that you had to wait until the jet cleared 10,000′ on climb-out to resume reading. The taxi-out was spent looking out the window, reading the in-flight magazine and trying to avoid conversation with the nervous passenger next to you.
That all changed last week when the FAA issued new guidelines for the use of personal electronic devices during flight. The first two airlines to allow the use of personal electronic devices from “Gate-to-Gate” are JetBlue and Delta Air Lines. Other airlines will follow upon completion of the required testing. These rules apply to domestic flights only, or the domestic portion of International flights, and in certain weather conditions. As of November 1, the new policy did not apply to Delta Connection carriers, only mainline Delta flights. Delta stated that the Connection carriers should have policies in place by the end of the year to allow use of devices during all phases of flight. As in the past, the devices must be in the Airplane mode, so not talking or texting once the door is closed – but you really don’t want to sit next to that all-important person talking on their cell-phone anyway, did you.
For more information about the new Personal Electronic Devices rule, visit the airline website:
And if you missed last weeks story about the new Holiday Themed Safety Video, here is a pointer.