Have We Heard the Last of "Turn Off Your Electronic Devices"?

Grab those smartphones, everybody, or pull out the tablet. A new media report says we may soon be able to leave such devices on even during take-offs and landings – but remember, that’s soon, not immediately. And don’t even think about using those phones to make calls.

So how wired is your plane? Find out

Travel expert and gizmo user Rick Seaney is very pleased. Listen:

Internet but No Calls

Bloomberg cites a member of an FAA advisory panel who says later this month the panel will recommend the agency “tell airlines how to permit the use of e-mail, text and Web surfing as well as allowing e-readers and MP3 players”.

Flight attendant famous for her video

Good News for Beleaguered Flight Attendants

They might as well allow it. As FareCompare reported earlier this year, as many as a third of all passengers say they forget to turn their devices off. For flight attendants, this has become the subject of endless angst: Passengers refuse to obey orders to turn devices off (including celebrities like actor Alec Baldwin) while others mock airline representatives in YouTube parodies (warning: watch out for falling F-bombs in this popular video).

Warning – Don’t Jump the Gun

Fortunately, it appears as if such snark will soon be just a memory – if, as expected, passengers are allowed to surf and email and do whatever on planes without interruption. The only thing not up for discussion is cell phone calls and thanks to texting and email, few passengers seem all that interested. But until changes are made, don’t get arrogant: If an airline employee tells you to shut off your device, do so. Failure to comply can get you kicked off the plane.

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Published: September 24, 2013