Attention ladies and gentlemen: please keep your seats in the upright position, fasten your seat belts and keep electronic devices turned on.
Last week, the FAA reversed its long-standing rule to shut down all electronic devices during take off and landing, giving gadgets a green light, in-flight and beyond. With the change to FAA regulations, passengers will now be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos during takeoff, taxi and landing on most U.S. flights, with limited exceptions. That leads to more productivity and connectivity for the airlines’ most frequent fliers – business travelers.
A boon to the business travel experience
“The freedom to use mobile devices from take-off to landing marks a significant benefit for business travelers – most of whom believe the experience can and should be better,” said Mike Hilton, co-founder and executive vice president of Concur. “In fact, Concur found nearly 90 percent of business travelers agree access to mobile devices improves the overall travel experience. It allows them to use their time onboard more productively and ultimately makes Perfect Trip possible.”
Signal safety during all phases of flight
The regulation changed after the FAA’s fears that gadget signals might interfere with an aircraft’s communication or navigation systems were unfounded. Passengers were formerly forbidden from using their devices until the plane had ascended above 10,000 feet. But the FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight. Of course, don’t expect to be making calls to the office from your mobile at cruising altitude – a cell phone ban is still in effect.
A refreshing reversal
The decision is a welcome change for road warriors everywhere, including the millions of frequent fliers based in the U.S. and those flying in on business from different countries. The FAA has charged carriers with implementing the new rule at their own pace. Many carriers plan to allow passengers to use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the year’s end.
For business travelers, the skies just got friendlier. Now, it’s time to sit back, with relaxed FAA regulations, and enjoy the flight.