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FAA allows cellphones and tablets to be used "gate to gate"

Posted: , by Alan F.

FAA allows cellphones and tablets to be used
The FAA has announced on Thursday that it will now allow airline passengers to use their electronic devices throughout an entire flight or "gate to gate" as it is called. Passengers will be able to work, read, watch movies or listen to music, but will not be allowed to make phone calls from their handsets. The ruling will go into affect for certain aircraft that meet the FAA criteria for protecting a plane's navigational equipment from interference.

Most new aircraft will be able to meet the FAA's criteria, but it will depend on how quickly the airlines spend the money to fix up older planes that will determine how wide the new regulation reaches. And those bringing a connected device on a plane will have to remain on Airplane Mode under 10,000 feet which means no internet connections, texting, email or anything data related can be done on a device at that level. Those toting a laptop will have to stow it until the plane starts cruising at 10,000 feet.

Members of the traveling public appear to be satisfied by the FAA ruling. Over the last few years, it had become apparent that worries about electronic interference causing planes to plummet to earth were overblown. Many cellphone and tablet users reported that they "accidentally" left their device on during an entire flight and lived to tell the tale.

The issue of whether or not interference could down a jetliner became fodder for the media in 2011 when actor Alec Baldwin was kicked off a plane for refusing to turn off his iPhone in the middle of a Words With Friends game.

"We're pleased the FAA recognizes that an enjoyable passenger experience is not incompatible with safety and security."-Roger Dow, CEO, U.S. Travel Association

source: AP

15 Comments
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posted on 31 Oct 2013, 10:49

1. ArtSim98 (Posts: 1156; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Finally. Hope that this becomes true on international flights too.

posted on 15 Nov 2013, 12:28

15. Augustine (Posts: 441; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


This has been true, as well as cell phone calls during the flight, in Europe for years.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 10:58 1

2. theoak (Posts: 318; Member since: 16 Nov 2011)


I find it interesting too that bluetooth devices ARE allowed also.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 10:59

4. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


Well, logically, if someone is using bluetooth headphones... but I had that same thought.

posted on 01 Nov 2013, 01:09

12. andynaija (Posts: 353; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)


I think they're allowed because it releases low power compared to cellular radio or Wi-Fi

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 10:58 1

3. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


The government got something right for once? Weird.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 11:19

5. Caralho (Posts: 119; Member since: 18 Jun 2012)


At last. A decision years overdue!!!

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 11:40

7. msa1988 (Posts: 411; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)


They should have made this decision over 30 years ago!

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 11:37

6. MrsPotatoHead (banned) (Posts: 48; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


That picher sure is misleading because you can do everything else but make a call. Are they lettin people check email and other stuff to?

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 11:42 1

8. ibap (Posts: 675; Member since: 09 Sep 2009)


Call me skeptical - once you've got the devices on, how are they going to stop you from making calls? And above 10,000 feet, data connections are OK but not calls? Say what?

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 14:43

14. Augustine (Posts: 441; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


It seems that the cell towers in the US cannot handover a phone in an airplane quickly enough, so the phone can't keep the link with the tower for long enough to be able to make a call.

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 11:47

9. LindaC (Posts: 10; Member since: 31 Oct 2013)


I wonder if I have to switch my phone to airplane mode all the time?

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 13:41 2

10. donfem (Posts: 480; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


Irritatingly idiotic persons with no phone etiquette will misuse the opportunity with their annoyingly loud conversations which no one is interested in. :(

posted on 31 Oct 2013, 19:45

11. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 5649; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


I always turn it on or off until the pilot says its safe to use your phone or computer. think its a bad desicion

posted on 04 Nov 2013, 14:39

13. Augustine (Posts: 441; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Finally! Europe has allowed not only using electronic devices in flight, but also cell phones for years. The airplanes are the same and so are the electronic devices there as stateside. The only difference is the governmental busybodies in charge.

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