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FAA Oks Passengers Using Gadgets On Planes

You still won’t be able to use your cellphone. But depending on which airline you fly, you may soon start getting permission from the flight crew to use other electronic devices throughout your flight.

cell phone
David Martyn Hunt, Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued new guidelines under which passengers will be able to use devices to read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music, from the time they board to the time they leave the plane.

Before they can implement the changes, airlines will have to show the FAA that their planes are protected from electronic interference, and that they’ve updated flight crew training manuals and the rules for stowing devices. Delta says it’s submitting a plan to implement the new policy. The head of the FAA says the vast majority of airliners should qualify.

Passengers will be told to switch their smartphones, tablets and other devices to airplane mode. And heavier devices such as laptops will still have to be stowed because of concern they might injure someone if they go flying around the cabin.

A travel industry group is welcoming the changes. The U.S. Travel Association says it’s a common-sense move to accommodate a traveling public equipped with plenty of technology.

 

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)

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