Flight Attendant Union Sues Federal Aviation Administration To Reinstate Ban On Electronics

If flight attendants get their wish, you'll once again be prohibited from using electronic gadgets like your smartphone or handheld gaming system during takeoffs and landings. Why? For one, flight attendants are concerned that many passengers are no longer paying attention to emergency instructions, and secondly, they're worried that mobile devices will turn into projectiles during turbulence, as has happened at least once since the ban was lifted.

"Essentially we want to set the reset button to the way personal electronic devices were handled prior to October 2013," Amanda Duré, attorney who is representing the flight attendants, told The Wall Street Journal. She added that takeoffs and landings "are the two most critical phases of flight with the most chance of turbulence and accidents."

Airplane Cabin
Image Source: Flickr (Christopher Doyle)

The Associated of Flight Attendants-CWA filed a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration back in late December, though it's only now becoming public. According to the suit, the agency notice that made it acceptable for passengers to use electronic devices throughout entire flights violated federal regulations that require passengers to show all items during takeoffs and landings.

Lawyers representing the FAA disagree with that assessment of the stowage rule, noting that small devices aren't governed by it. Both sides pitched their case to a three-judge panel with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.Circuit on Friday, WSJ reports.