With the US’s air travel regulator the FAA last week easing rules to allow the use of personal electronic equipment during take-off and landing, there’s been a flurry of airlines rushing to get approval. Delta and JetBlue were the first to get it and as of yesterday American Airlines joined the club.
Here’s some additional helpful information about PED use on American and American Eagle Airlines:
- When the aircraft doors are closed for departure, devices will need to be in airplane mode.
- Wi-Fi access on equipped aircraft will be available shortly after takeoff.
- Customers need to secure their handheld devices by holding them or placing them in a seatback pocket. Previously, these devices needed to be stowed under a seat or in an overhead bin during taxi, takeoff and landing.
- Because the safety of our customers and people is always our top priority, customers should listen to all safety briefings and comply with crewmember instructions. Our crewmembers don’t like to interrupt our customers’ productivity, but always want them to be safe.
- This change doesn’t apply to larger items such as laptops. These items will still need to be stowed during taxi, takeoff and landing.
- Some American Eagle flights won’t allow the expanded use of PEDs until later this year.
It’s important to note that even though PEDs can be operated during takeoff and landing units that have wifi, cellular or Bluetooth capability are required to be switched into flight mode during take-off and landing/below 10,000 feet and calls are not allowed at all during the flight.
The full FAA media release is here: American Obtains FAA Approval to Allow Extended Use of Handheld Portable Electronic Devices
So what does it mean for us here in Australia?
Australia’s regulator CASA is closely watching developments however David Flynn from Australian Business Traveller recently reported here in Australia there is no specific rule in regards to the use of PEDs inflight rather as reported by ABT “The issue is covered by rules which require aircraft operators to ensure safety is maintained at all times”
“If the airlines wish to change the current restrictions they would have to show there was no risk to safety.”