Wi-Fi when you fly is totally fly now. I learned of this awesome new rule during my recent flight to Cartagena, Columbia. While flying I was allowed to keep my Kindle running. How nice it was to continue reading my book. Apparently, The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined that it is all fine and dandy for we passengers of the skies to use portable electronic devices during flight. There are a few caveats to this new “connected flights” turn of events, however.
Here’s the scoop:
No chatty chatty sessions via phone. Cellphones will remain off or in airplane mode, with cellular service disabled, throughout the flight, due to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.
Wait it out, you can do it! Large items like laptops and tablet computers will have to be stowed during the actual takeoff and landing phases.
Yay! Music players, smartphones, and other small electronic devices with Wi-Fi Internet capability will not have to be turned off for takeoff and landing.
The FAA says that they have “determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with guidance. Expanded use will not happen overnight. The process will vary among airlines, but the agency expects airlines to allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of 2013.”
Of course, most of us are totally for this. We love to be preoccupied and entertained while sitting tight in our airline seats. The flight attendants, well, this may put some extra pressure on them. In the case that the devices would need to be turned off, they now must police this, along with tray tables, making sure you have a refreshment, etc. As well, since the devices need to be in “airline safe mode,” you may not busy yourself with downloading anything from the Internet. They will need to be keeping an eye on this as well. Be kind to the flight attendants, they have plenty to do on each flight as it is, this may add to their “cabin pressure.”
By the way, if anyone out there knows Alec Baldwin, tell him its safe to play Words W Friends on the airplane now : )
*Thanks to The Verge for the image!