You May Soon Be Allowed To Use Devices During Airplane Takeoff
As early as next year, you may not have to suspend your game of Words With Friends just because you are about to hurtle into the air. According to anonymous sources in the New York Times, the FAA may announce the use of devices in “airplane mode” during takeoff and landing by 2014:
According to people who work with an industry working group that the Federal Aviation Administration set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes, the agency hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing. The change would not include cellphones.
The source also states that the governing body has been “under tremendous pressure” to ease the rules, or prove concretely how the devices could interfere with the safe operation of the plane.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has threatened the FAA with legislation. She was apparently particularly upset after learning that some cockpits are now equipped with iPads.
Restrictions on the use electronic devices is just one of the many customer complaints with the modern airline industry. Consumer protection organizations and even legislators have already targeted baggage fees, waiting times on tarmacs, and reimbursement for canceled or overbooked flights, resulting in a “Passenger Bill of Rights” in 2011.
Also, media has covered several high-profile instances of passengers refusing to turn off phones- like actor Alec Baldwin being removed from a flight and waging a minor campaign in the wake of the occurrence. No word yet on if Baldwin has a comment on the FAA’s potential plans.
In my opinion, it’s about time we changed things. Although the science behind the bans indeed seems weak, even if it was true, having to turn off my mobile devices is just too high a price to pay for flying through the air in a giant metal container. Yep, I should not be even slightly inconvenienced to travel farther and faster than thousands of generations of human beings before me.
What do you think?