The US Federal Aviation Commission says it’s safe for passengers to use more types of electronic devices during any phase of a flight.
It’ll be up to individual airlines to make policy changes, but basically the FAA is saying it’s cool if you want to use your phone, tablet, Kindle, or other device in airplane mode at any time while you’re in the air. Within the next few months the FAA expects passengers will be able to use devices “gate-to-gate.”
According to the FAA, you’ll still have to disable cellular capabilities on your electronic devices, but WiFi and Bluetooth is fine. You’ll also be expected to hold your devices or put them in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing — but you no longer have to wait until the airplane has reached a certain height to power up electronic devices.
That means you can connect to in-flight WiFi at any point it’s offered during your flight, and you can use Bluetooth keyboards, headphones, or other accessories.
The FAA still advises passengers to put down devices (or old-school books, magazines, and newspapers) during the safety briefing so you’re actually paying attention when someone points out the exits, oxygen masks, and other things that could potentially save your life. And if flight crew tells you to turn off your device, you’re still supposed to do it.
In some low visibility conditions, for instance, some electronic devices can cause problems with landing systems, so it’s probably best not to try to argue with the flight attendant when they tell you to close your laptop.
via The Verge