Take a Look at the First Flight with FAA-Approved Personal Gadget Use
Happy Friday indeed, as today marks the first time air travelers may use personal electronic devices (PEDs) from gate-to-gate, without the wait for the airplane to reach 10,000 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) passed down the new directive yesterday, but held off on issuing airlines final approval until this afternoon when JetBlue and Delta got the sign-off on required testing to keep devices switched on.
According to ABC News:
Delta said on Thursday that all of its aircrafts had completed the "carrier-defined PED tolerance testing" needed to ensure that the electronic device frequencies didn't interfere with the aircraft. JetBlue said the same today, noting that all of its 191 planes had passed inspection.
These preparations have paid off for the airlines, as JetBlue and Delta came into a photo finish to the be the first airline approved under the new FAA directive. Other domestic airlines have either submitted for approval or are in the process of it, with the goal of Thanksgiving. Of course, flight attendants may just look the other way.
What this all means is air travelers may now use iPods, iPads/tablets, e-readers, handheld game consoles and other small digital devices at all stages of flight, provided that cellular transmitters are turned off ("airplane mode") and passengers pay attention during the security briefing. Just be sure to travel with fully charged gadgets to enjoy the new freedom.
Larger electronics (mainly laptops) will however need to be off and stowed until the plane reaches the magic level of 10,000 feet, at which in-flight WiFi will also be switched on (if your aircraft is equipped with it).
Seeing as how travelers have been waiting for this for, oh, years and years (like ever since personal electronic devices came to be), JetBlue treated the occasion with some necessary pomp, recording the start of the first approved flight (#2302 from JFK to Buffalo, NY):
Celebrating our First PED-Approved Flight from JetBlue on Vimeo.
[Photo & video: JetBlue]