You are now officially allowed to do what many people have been doing for years — not turning off their mobile devices during take-off and landing on commercial airplanes. The Federal Aviation Administration announced today that airline passengers can listen to music, read, and play games from the minute they get on a flight until the minute they get off. The start date has not been announced yet, but it will be before the end of the year.
This only applies to U.S. carriers. Overseas airlines have to make their own determinations. The FAA in the U.S. finally came to the conclusion that the use of mobile devices does not interfere with pilot controls and communications. This new ruling has nothing to do with making calls or texting. You are absolutely not allowed to do that.
Passengers are only allowed to browse the web and check emails when the Wi-Fi network has been turned on, usually above 10,000 feet. Prior to that moment, the FAA will still requires all mobile devices to be placed in airline mode.
Personally, I am a bit relieved. There hasn’t been a flight I’ve been on where I haven’t been annoyed by a seat mate who is still sending emails or texting while we are charging down the runway. Many flight attendants gave up trying to enforce the rule a long time ago. Passengers are just getting worse and worse. They think they are the exceptions to the rule.
I fear the day the FAA approves cell phone usage during flights. There will not be a minute’s peace.