Getting ready to book a flight for Thanksgiving or Christmas? We have good news for frequent flyers! Travelers annoyed by the FAA’s strict ban on mobile devices on planes can rejoice because the rules are about to change. Soon, airline travelers won’t be so restricted when they want to use their laptop, smartphone or iPad on a plane.
A recently convened panel is suggesting that the FAA unbutton its proverbial top button, pour itself a drink, and relax just a little bit. In fact, this panel is even suggesting that the FAA should let passengers use their tablets or phones when the plane’s on the runway or cruising below 10,000 feet.
Change to FAA Rules on Electronic Devices
For a good long time now, the FAA rules about electronics have been very strict when a plane is in the air, or is sitting on the runway. From the moment you get on your flight, you’re reminded that you can’t use your smartphone, laptop, tablet or other mobile electronics.
Believe it or not, flight attendants are even sick of this rule, as enforcing it wastes a considerable amount of their time.
Last year, the FAA put together a panel that would basically tell them how to stop being such a stuffy old dad and maybe even teach them how to be cool. That’s right. This panel is basically Love Don’t Cost a Thing-ing the FAA. And if it works (it probably will), you, the passenger, will reap all the benefits.
Hopefully the FAA Gets 28 Times More Relaxed
The 28-member panel was set up to review current policies and propose changes that better reflect today’s plugged-in world, as more consumers use electronic devices today than every before. The panel is outlining steps that the FAA can take to pull back on the restrictions that are currently in place, because frankly, everyone is sick of them.
So now what happens? Well, the FAA’s top administrator will take a look at the suggested changes and basically decide how much he likes them. According to the Los Angeles Times:
“[The review] provides a road map to changing the policy, but it is now up to the F.A.A.’s current administrator, Michael P. Huerta, to decide whether and when to do so.”
Some Restrictions May (and Probably Will) Still Apply
While the FAA is going to ease up on some of the regulations they’ve got in place, they’re still not going to let passengers do things like connect to the Internet or make voice calls when on a plane.
Voice calls and internet connectivity mess with important systems on the airplane so it’s unlikely that rule will be changing any time soon.
But anything already downloaded onto a device, such as an app or videos, can be enjoyed by just about any passenger with a screen in his or her pocket.
What do you think about these rule changes? Are they a long time coming?
Let us know in the comments!
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