Took Long Enough: FAA Lifts Ban Of Mobile Device Use During Takeoff And Landing

November 1, 2013


In news that proves just how timely the US government can be, the FAA has announced a lift on the ban of mobile device use during a plane's takeoff and landing. The ban, which has been in place since the 90's when nobody understood how cell phones worked, has long been the bane of passengers who would rather listen to music than all the kids around them crying during takeoff. Me? I like to drink enough at the airport so that I've already passed out against the window by the time we pull away from the gate. You know how they say you're supposed to arrive at the airport two hours before your flight? I do five.

The FAA's announcement requires airlines to prove that electronic devices are safe to use on their planes from gate to gate, and the agency expects all carriers to get the thumbs-up from the Feds by the end of the year.

E-book devices, handheld gaming systems, tablets, and phones will be allowed during takeoff and landing...However, larger devices like laptops will have to be stowed away because of their potential to become silicon-filled projectiles if there's an emergency -- which was the real reason many airlines preferred the ban to be in effect.

Great -- but here's the deal: don't make any phone calls during takeoff, okay? Nobody around you wants to hear what the hell your significant other is thinking about having for dinner. If they're involved in a car chase, okay, but you better put that shit on speaker.

Thanks to everyone who sent this, at least two of which were really excited to not have their Words With Friends game interrupted during takeoff.

  • They still need to force people to turn off their phones for take-off and landings. Even though they say airplane mode is fine, there are many stupid or annoying people out there who feel rules don't apply to them. Or they will just forget. So, like a movie theatre, phones off below (insert altitude) here.

  • Why is your blog forwarding me to ????

  • just1nw

    I wouldn't worry too much about the loudmouth in the seat beside you talking to their equally loud friend on the phone during flight. FAA guidelines continue to "prohibit the use of cellular services while in flight to protect against interference to systems on the ground" so cell phones still can't be used for calls. Cellular capability needs to be disabled the entire trip but wifi is apparently kosher, though airlines "should address the acceptable times for when the passengers may turn on their PEDs and connect to the wireless services".

    Edit: A nice little graphic explaining the ruling:

  • Brant_Alan

    I was led to believe that the real reason for the ban was at the request of carriers because they didn't know or to bill people when the phones sign was bouncing off hundreds of towers or something like that.

    This is great news though.

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