Virgin America becomes the latest airline to let you use electronics during takeoff and landing

By Sébastien Page on Nov 22, 2013

Virgin America, one of my personal favorite airlines, is now allowing its passengers to use their electronic devices during takeoff and landing.

As of today, Virgin America is allowing travelers unrestricted use of most portable electronic devices (PEDs) from “gate-to-gate” on all phases of flights on all of its aircraft within U.S. airspace.  Although some carriers have already lifted the restriction of PED use on many aircraft and during certain categories of flight, Virgin America’s fleet of 53 new Airbus A320-family aircraft is the first cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for PED usage during all categories of flight – even during CAT II and CAT III precision approaches and landings.

Unlike most other airlines, Virgina America has also been cleared by the FAA to let its passengers use electronic devices during all categories of flight (yes, that means even in low visibility).

Frontier is now the last major airline not allowing PED usage on its flights. It should only be a matter of time.


Southwest becomes first airline to offer gate-to-gate Wi-Fi service

By Sébastien Page on Nov 21, 2013

Since the FAA started allowing usage of personal electronic devices during all phases of flight last month, most airlines have now embraced the new rule, letting people play Words With Friends from takeoff to landing. Often one step ahead of competitions in terms of services, Southwest Airlines takes this a bit further and now allows passengers to stay connected to Wi-Fi from gate to gate. Read More


US Airways and Alaska Airlines now allow gate-to-gate device use

By Cody Lee on Nov 10, 2013

Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration gave airlines the green-light to allow passengers to use devices such as tablets during all phases of flight. So that means no more turning off your iPad during takeoff.

Now it’s just up to each individual airline to change their respective rules, and the good news is most of them seem to be onboard. American Airlines already announced its support, and now US Airways and Alaska Airlines are in… Read More


FAA greenlights use of gadgets during nearly all phases of flight

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 31, 2013

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally relaxed its restrictions on the use of personal electronics devices (PED) such as iPhones and iPads on commercial flights. Going forward, the FAA will allow airlines to expand use of personal electronics during nearly all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance.

Although the FAA has finally determined that smartphones and tablets have a minimal impact on the airplane’s electronic systems, pilots of course are barred from using gadgets for personal reasons at any time during aircraft operations. Read More


Advisory committee asks FAA to relax restrictions on electronic device use

By Cody Lee on Sep 27, 2013

Good news frequent flyers, you may soon not have to worry about turning off your iPhone or iPad in airplanes anymore. The FAA advisory committee has recommended that electronic device restrictions on commercial aircraft be relaxed.

The special council, which was assigned to explore the effects of in-flight device usage, has met with the Federal Aviation Administration and is urging it to allow passengers to to use tablets and other electronics during takeoff and landing… Read More


Boeing rolls out iPad app suite for airplane maintenance crews

By Ed Sutherland on Sep 24, 2013

Up until now, airlines mostly tapped iPads to either shrink the size of flight bags carried by pilots and other flight crews or relax restriction on how passengers can use tablets. Tuesday, aircraft maker Boeing announced a suite of iPad apps designed to help maintenance crews find, fix and get airplanes back in service with the least delays. Yes, there are now iPad apps to service those huge jumbo jets.

How cool is that? Read More


All American Airlines flights now with iPads aboard

By Ed Sutherland on Jun 25, 2013

American Airlines is now using Apple’s iPad in all its flights, the tablet replacing millions of pages and pounds of documents pilots previously had to carry into the cockpit. In a Monday announcement, the airline said switching to the tablet will save the company more than $1 million in fuel costs every year.

American pilots flying the Boeing 777, 767, 757, 737 as well as the MD-80 will use the iPads equipped with the Jeppesen Mobile Terminal Chart app for controlling gate-to-gate flight controls. The announcement follows American becoming in 2012 the first airline to receive FAA approval for tablets in the cockpit… Read More


FAA rules set to change, may allow iPad and other tablet use pre-flight

By Cody Lee on Jun 22, 2013

Good news air travelers, you may soon have to quit pretending to turn your iPads and other electronics devices off before takeoff. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, the FAA is expected to relax the ban on using some types of personal electronic devices at low altitudes.

Devices like iPads, e-readers and other tablets may see the rules relaxed to the point where they are usable throughout your entire flight—from takeoff to landing. However, cell phones, and more specifically cell phone calls, are expected to remain off limits due to the scope of the changes… Read More


Airlines split on whether iPhones pose in-flight danger

By Ed Sutherland on May 15, 2013

If you thought the question over in-flight electronics was settled, think again. Although the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce in July whether to relax current rules governing in-flight use of iPhones, iPads and other devices, questions remain about their safety.

Wednesday, Bloomberg recounted testimony from pilots and others calling into question whether some devices – particularly those using cellular connections – may interfere with newer GPS-based navigation. In one instance, pilots believe an iPhone caused their airliner to fly miles off course… Read More


Apple’s iPad seen preventing pilot injuries

By Ed Sutherland on May 1, 2013

Lugging around all the charts and papers required by commercial pilots can be a pain – literally. Now comes word Apple’s iPad is taking a load off pilots of one airline, replacing 40-pound flight bags with a 1.5-pound tablet. By the end of May, 8,600 American Airlines pilots will swap the heavy bags of charts, maps and manuals for the iPad, easing one of the industry’s largest sources of injuries… Read More


FAA: iPad can fly, but iPhone remains grounded

By Ed Sutherland on Mar 25, 2013

It took some arm-twisting and a bit of public mockery, but it appears the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is preparing to allow flying consumers to use some electronics on planes.

However, it may take longer for your iPhone to gain acceptance. The rule-change allowing use of electronic devices such as the iPad or Kindle during takeoffs and landings is expected to be announced by the end of this year.

In July, an industry group which hard worked with the FAA on guidelines for electronic devices, is expected to unveil its findings, according to a weekend report… Read More


Proposed bill would finally allow the use of iPads during takeoff

By Cody Lee on Mar 8, 2013

In 2011, the FAA green-lighted several commercial and charter airlines to replace their bulky, 50-page paper flight manuals with iPads. And last year, they expanded the rule to allow pilots to use their new tablets during all stages of flight.

So why in the world are passengers still required to power down their electronics before takeoff? No one really knows. And that’s why Senator Claire McCaskill says she’s putting together a bill that would, by law, remove this silly restriction… Read More


FCC asks FAA to allow greater use of electronic devices in-flight

By Cody Lee on Dec 7, 2012

Back in August, the Federal Aviation Administration started calling for public input on whether or not airline passengers should be able to use portable electronic devices during any phase of flight.

The general consensus is that there’s no reason why passengers should have to power down their tablets and other devices during takeoffs and landings. And yesterday, the FCC offered its 2 cents… Read More


Let the FAA know you want to use your iPad during takeoff

By Cody Lee on Aug 28, 2012

Earlier this year, we heard reports that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was looking to relax its policies regarding the use of electronic devices on airplanes.

At the time, the Administration had started allowing pilots to use their iPads in the cockpit. And now it looks like it’s ready to start making changes for the passengers as well… Read More


FAA could finally let passengers use iPads during takeoff and landing

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 19, 2012

Last December, The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave American Airlines’ pilot approval to use iPads in-cockpit as a cost-effective replacement for heavy pilot bags. But what’s good for pilots and US Air Force is off limit to passengers who are still prohibited from using their wireless gadgets during taxi, take-off, landing or while the aircraft is under 10,000 feet.

Why? Well, as any avid fan of National Geographic’s Air Crash Investigation could tell you, this policy exists over fear of consumer electronics interfering with aircraft avionics and cockpit electronics. Good news for all you globetrotters out there with a penchant for playing Angry Birds in the skies, catching up with your email or just browsing the web while airborne.

According to the New York Times, the agency is considering relaxing its policies governing the use of gadgets such as e-readers, iPads and other wireless devices in commercial planes… Read More