They will soon be a thing of the past.
On Thursday, the FAA announced its easing up on it’s policy on electronics like Kindles, which use in-flight Wi-Fi, and cellphones, that are now allowing them to be on in flight. “I think it’s a good idea. I think they tended to go a little bit overboard, without really having evidence that some of these devices actually caused the problem,” Michael Margolis said.
As it stands now, the FAA doesn’t allow using personal electronics whenever a plane is below 10,000 feet, except for devices like hearing aids and pacemakers.
After conducting a study last year, the FAA found most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals.
However, your phone has to remain in airplane mode, which means calls and texts are prohibited over concerns they could interfere with ground signals. “We can’t rely on people to actually follow the rules. There’s no way for stewardesses and stewards to know if anyone’s actually adhering to the rules, so the restrictions are kind of weird. How do you know if someone’s actually following it or not?” asked Keith Clithero.
It will be up to each individual airline to determine when they want to implement the policy. The policy is supposed to take effect by the end of the year.