FareCompare wrote about this topic almost exactly one year ago – that the FAA was considering allowing widespread use of tablets and other electronic devices throughout a flight – but so far, no go.
Now brand new media reports say it could happen by Dec.
Hear Rick Seaney’s adventures with iPads on planes (he’s got some tips, too):
Tablets Go Mainstream
According to The New York Times, late 2013 is the target for an announcement that iPads and similar devices won’t have to be shut down during take-offs and landings. Passengers clearly want their tablets on planes, and to use them as much as possible. The devices are gaining in popularity on planes because their smaller size makes them a better fit on flights, says air travel analyst Rick Seaney: “If the guy in front of you suddenly reclines his seat you can wind up getting a faceful of laptop screen.”
Are Tablets Dangerous? Unlikely.
Are tablets and other electronics dangerous on planes? A truly definitive answer seems unclear based on available data but many experts say no and it should be noted that several international airlines allow cell phone use on flights which the FAA is not even contemplating. But perhaps the biggest ‘stamp of approval’ for tablet safety is – pilots use them.
Pilots and Tablets
For years now, tablets have been replacing old fashioned paper flight manuals in the cockpits of U.S. planes with no discernible ill effect – and plenty of good results including ease-of-use of less weight on planes, an important factor given the high price of oil.