FAA reverses rule of using electronics during take-off, landing - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

FAA reverses rule of using electronics during take-off, landing

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(11/01/13) - Flying the friendly skies may soon be even friendlier for tech-savvy travelers.

The Federal Aviation Administration has relaxed it's rules on when things like tablets, e-readers and cell phones can be used.

Until now, the FAA didn't allow travelers to use electronics during take-off and landing. It feared the devices would interfere with important plane functions.

New safety testing has reversed that rule.

"I think it's great news, especially for business people," said Dianne Smale, who was flying to Atlanta, GA on Friday.

Lynn Gillespie and her husband are flying to California to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. This wired couple considers the change of heart by the FAA to be quite the gift.

"It's about time," Lynn said. "I guess we can't do it today, but very soon for our next trip."

Before you can use your favorite gadget during the entire flight, each individual airline has to go through a safety check with the FAA.

Already, Delta Air Lines and Jet Blue have filed the paperwork to get permission.

Alena Schmit is in no rush. She says it's never bothered her to unplug while flying, but can see the benefits of staying connected.

"I've actually got three other kids and we flew last year and they all had their little Leap Pads and it would have been nice to, you know have it on, but it's also cool for them to be able to watch the plane take off," she said.

Laptops will still have to be put away during take-off and landing because their size could hurt someone if there's turbulence or an emergency.

You also can't make phone calls. That's a relief to Lynn, who hopes people will remember to be courteous.

"If people would just keep the volume down, that'll be helpful," she said.

The FAA expects most airlines to be ready to go with this gate-to-gate rule change by year's end.

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