Good news? Bad news? Depends.
The FAA (according to Fox News) is going to relax the restrictions on using some personal electronic devices on runways and at low altitudes. Examples given were eReaders, cell phones (in airplane mode), and tablets. Frequent fliers get very frustrated with the ridiculous rules and varying degrees of strictness, so I assume a lot of people will be glad to hear this. We’ve known for a long time that the use of these devices has no inherent risk, and yet the FAA has continued the ban.
The article quotes George Hobica of AirfareWatchdog.com as thinking this will lead to the FAA allowing phone calls, but I don’t think this is the case. The phone call ban is completely different from the electronics ban IMO, and should be continued.
My own experience has been that most people don’t even turn off their electronics. I turn off my phone (mostly because it really drains the battery to be on in the air) but not my Kindle, and I’ve noticed most of my neighbors doing the same. I do occasionally get asked to turn my Kindle off, but almost never in first class.
Readers, what has your experience been? Do you think the FAA relaxing its ban is a good thing?