FAA eases its rules on using electronic devices on planes

The Federal Aviation Administration is taking a second look at their policy on electronics usage aboard airplanes.

One of the most despised in-flight rules may be lifted this week. If all goes according to plan, the FAA will allow passengers to use offline electronic devices during take-off and landing -- that means watching a movie on your iPad or reading a book on your Kindle would be fair play.

Where did this rule even come from? Molly Wood, executive editor at CNET and host of CNET’s Always On, says it came from a legitimate place before morphing into something outdated. On older planes with unshielded wiring, it is possible for certain wireless devices to interfere with a pilot’s communication efforts, but that doesn’t apply to an iPhone on airplane mode.

“To be honest, flight attendants and pilots report that at least a third, if not more, of people on every plane just forget to turn off their phones,” she says.  

CNET’s Molly Wood joins Marketplace Tech Host Ben Johnson to discuss. You can watch her latest episode of Always On here

About the author

Molly Wood is a veteran technology broadcaster, podcaster, host and writer. As an executive editor at CNET, she was the creator, host and executive producer of "Always On with Molly Wood."
Log in to post1 Comment

On one hand, black and white is easy: if a device is on, finding out what the person is doing on that device is more challenging than "just turn it off." However, I've also felt that a number of attendants used this as a power device to "be in control." Nonetheless, I strongly welcome this change. Logic and science MUST come before power trips and nonsense.

With Generous Support From...