Saturday, November 9, 2013

Electronic allowed on flights - wait the rules differ by airline and plane type

We have recently see the good news that  use from gate to gate as published: FAA to Allow Airlines to Expand Use of Personal Electronics 

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Michael Huerta today announced that the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance. 
In general this means
The new rules generally add the ability for passengers to use their smartphones, e-readers, electronic games and tablets during taxi, takeoff and landing as long as they have the device in airplane mode with cellular service disabled. Voice calls will still be prohibited and laptops will still need to be stowed for taxi, takeoff and landing.

But, as an article on Yahoo FAA ruling on personal devices in flight leaves troubling safety questions points out:
Each airline will have to consult the FAA on tolerance testing, so eventually, regulations may vary not only by airline but by airplane type. Some devices will be allowed, but cell phones and other PEDs will not; some at certain phases of flight, but not at others; some modes may not be acceptable at all. Confused yet?
Trying to make this easier, NBC published this article Which airlines now allow electronic devices? showing the current status on American based airlines. But a quick look shows that the Yahoo article is correct it is still a bit confusing. Takeing a selection from the NBC article shows

  • will now be permitted to use small PEDs during all phases of flight
  • new rules on all domestic mainline flights arriving or departing within the 50 states
  • portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet on mainline U.S. domestic flights
But in all cases regional airlines that provide branded service to the major ones are still on a case by case bases. So do not presume that because you could use your device on one segment of your trip that you will be able to on other segments.