ARLINGTON, VA – Hey, frequent flyers, the Federal Aviation Administration just enabled your non-stop “Candy Crush” addiction.
FAA administrator Michael P. Huerta addressed the media Thursday in Arlington, Virginia: “I am pleased to announce that airlines can safely expand passenger use of portable electronic devices during all phases of flight.”
That means– most likely before the end of the year — you won’t have to turn off games, songs or downloaded movies on your iPhone, laptop or tablet when your airplane is taking off or landing.
But it “doesn’t” mean you text-heads can get your electronic fix. Phone calls, texting, web-surfing — all still no-no’s on U.S. flights. Switch your device to “airplane mode,” though, and you can read your e-book or listen to tinny-sounding mp3’s all-flight long!
With a few exceptions. Why are there always exceptions?
“The committee found that in some instances of low visibility — about 1% of all flights,” explained Huerta, “some landing systems may not be proven to tolerate the interference. In those cases, passengers may be asked to turn off devices.”
Hopefully, passengers will listen, but folks we talked to at Hobby Airport say that’s not always the case. “They’ll use it until we’re about ready to really lift up even if they tell them to cut it off before we even start down the runway,” said frequent flyer Yulonda James.
So these new rules will really just make it legal to do what so many of us already do. But please, folks, be respectful and use your ear buds. You can “Fruit Ninja” on the flight ’til your thumbs hurt, but know that some folks don’t want to hear it– they just want to chill.