The Friendly Skies Return: FAA Clears Path For Longer Device Use on Flights
Of course, that really never proved to be true. Still, change in the airline industry happens at a comically slow pace, so it's no real surprise to see that it has taken until now for the FAA to give the green light to the proposal. The entity will require airline carriers to "demonstrate that aircraft won't be at risk because of potential interference from portable electronic device," but it's expected that most airlines will comply quickly. In fact, many airlines may be able to let passengers use their Kindles and iPhones during take-off and landing as they head home for the holidays this year.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta had this to say: "We found that we could protect aviation safety and at the same time address the passenger desire for use of their portable devices. The committee determined that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference from portable electronic devices."
Sadly, connections to the Internet (via Gogo and the like) will still terminate below 10,000 feet, but at least offline use will be permitted going forward. It may seem like a minor victory, but for consumers who fly often, they'll understand just how big of a relief this really is.