It’s official after months of waiting, and a delay caused by the government shutdown, the FAA is giving fliers an early holiday gift: They’ll likely be able to read an e-book or listen to music in their iPod without having to power down before takeoff—probably by the end of the year.
The much anticipated announcement however, comes with some caveats. It’ll depend on the type of plane, type of device, and ultimately, the responsibility falls to the individual airline to make sure they’re in compliance.
Some of the details:
•Airlines can allow ‘gate to gate’ use of handheld, lightweight devices like Kindles, iPads and other tablets, and smartphones in airplane mode
•To prevent injuries passengers must hold onto, or stow, devices during take-off or landing. Heavier ones—including most laptops—will need to be stashed under seats or in overhead bins.
•Check with your airline on what devices they will allow and when: it’s up to the carrier to certify their planes can tolerate interference from devices. Delta and JetBlue are already scrambling to be the first to give you this perk
•Don’t expect to use cell phones for calls or other communications—that one wasn’t even on the table