The FAA previously did not allow airlines to let passengers use their personal electronic devices during certain phases of the flight, such as takeoff, landing and taxiing. Many passengers, particularly frequent fliers, have been irked by this restriction. After receiving recommendations from a 28 member advisory panel, the FAA finally decided to lift these restrictions last week. American Airlines has now received approval from the FAA to allow its passengers to use their devices such as tablets and e-readers gate-to-gate.
Delta and JetBlue actually became the first airlines to allow gate-to-gate use of personal electronic devices. AA announced today that it has finally obtained the required approval, so starting 5 p.m. CST today, passengers onboard its entire mainline fleet as well as on the regional fleet operated by American Eagle Airlines can use their devices through all phases of the flight, within the U.S. The relaxation in rules doesn’t apply to larger devices such as laptops, they still have to be stowed during taxi, takeoff and landing. Furthermore, when the aircraft’s doors are closed prior to departure, passengers must switch on airplane mode and they can continue to use their e-readers, tablets and other such devices without any issues. American Airlines says that it is working with other regional partners to bring the same level of device access by the end of the year.