Flying with a smartphone or tablet is always a confusing affair. In some parts of the world you can use gadgets during certain parts of the flight, but in others you can’t. It’s a slightly confusing mish-mash of rules, but now US aviation regulator – the FAA – have ruled that US passengers can use tablets, smartphones and other gadgets during the entire flight.
There’s still a couple of gotchas, including attempting to make a mobile call, although I’ve witnessed people making and receiving calls whilst the plane moves across the airport. There’s still a ban on using an internet connection below 10,000 feet too, so we’re guessing that any in-flight WiFi will cut off at that point.
US operators will start to use the new rules very quickly, and he Civil Aviation Authority here in the UK may follow suit soon.
Effectively it means that a device which isn’t browsing the web or making a call can be used throughout a flight.