With announcements from United Airlines yesterday and American Airlines the day before, we now have a large amount of planes certified by the FAA to allow certain personal electronic devices in all facets of flight, including taxi, take-off and landing.
I was discussing the FAA announcement with a friend just a few days ago while we were both sitting on a United Airlines flight. I said I wasn’t surprised Delta was the first to certify their mainline fleet. Delta may have a pitiful loyalty program but they do run a good airline and offer a solid in-flight product, including being the first carrier to have wifi on all their planes.
I thought that the merger angst at American would delay their efforts on certification and United’s general ineptitude would do the same. I’m certainly happy to be wrong in both cases.
American went a step further and managed to certify pretty much all of their regional jets as well.
So, what do you need to know about using your iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Nexus in flight?
1. Devices need to be in airplane mode and/or have any cellular functionality disabled once the airplane door is closed.
2. Laptops still need to be stored during takeoff and landing. This is due to their danger as a projectile, not an electronics issue.
3. In-flight wi-fi still won’t be available until after take-off. American is now saying “shortly after takeoff” but I’m not sure the Gogo system will allow usage below 10,000 feet. We’ll see.
And, as posted in most of the announcements, it’s still a good idea for most flyers to still listen to the safety briefing. I’ve got it memorized, but it never hurts to take a quick peek at the safety card or listen to a short video if you don’t fly frequently.