Today, the FAA announced that airline passengers can now use electronic devices on flights as long as the airline determines that the aircraft can handle the interference. No more flight attendants interrupting your Angry Birds game as you’re about to take off!
Currently, you are required to turn off all electronic devices until you reach a certain altitude and the captain gives you the go-ahead. This means that putting your cell-phone in airplane mode will not suffice — although everyone does it anyway (don’t lie!). This change will definitely make the current rules more flexible and is said to be in effect before the end of the year.
Here is the fine print, as provided in a FAA press release:
Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
After hearing this news, this College Humor video comes to mind: