US Airways and Alaska Airlines have announced that passengers can now use personal electronic devices during all phases of flight.
Beginning today US Airways customers can now use certain portable electronic devices (PEDs), including e-books, tablets and smartphones, during taxi, takeoff and landing while in “airplane mode” – a departure from the previous Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restriction on use below 10,000 feet. Customers on US Airways domestic mainline flights will now be permitted to use small PEDs during all phases of flight.
● The FAA’s new recommendations regarding onboard PED use apply only to domestic flights flown by US Airways mainline aircraft.
● Phone calls are not permitted once the main cabin door is closed or before a flight attendant makes an announcement upon arrival.
● Customers should adhere to all crewmember safety instructions and refrain from using PEDs during pre-flight safety announcements.
● During takeoff and landing, customers are now permitted to secure items lighter than two pounds by holding them (with the option of securing them in seatback pockets). PEDs heavier than two pounds must be secured for taxi, takeoff and landing in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of them.
● PEDs must be operated in “airplane mode” or with cellular services disabled.
● In-flight Wi-Fi is available on most aircraft once it reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet and an onboard announcement has been made.
Passengers on Alaska Airlines flights can begin enjoying the use of their tablets, book readers, games and other personal electronic devices from gate to gate starting Saturday morning. Passengers on Alaska Airlines flights operated by Horizon Air are expected to be able to use their electronic devices during all phases of their flight next week and on flights operated by SkyWest Airlines soon after, pending FAA approval. Under FAA rules, passengers need to place their electronic devices in airplane mode. Cell phones may not be used for calls and all devices must be turned off in rare cases when instructed by crew members. Laptops and other larger devices must be stowed during takeoff and landing so they do not pose a safety hazard. Customers will be able to connect to Wi-Fi once the aircraft reaches 10,000 feet.
More details on the FAA’s decision.
Delta received approval to allow customer use of portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet on November 1st. American Airlines announced gate-to-gate use of handheld portable electronic devices on November 4th and United Airlines followed two days later with an announcement of electronics-friendly cabins on November 6th.