It’s been just under a week since the Federal Airline Administration (FAA) changed its policy on personal electronics use in flight and the implementation has been swift, but not as widespread as it may seem.
Once an airline has demonstrated to the FAA that its fleet can handle the radio interference from personal electronics, the rule change can go into effect. The major airlines have acted fast to get aircraft certified, but regional carriers are the main exception.
It’s good to remember rule change allows for the gate to gate use of tablets, smartphones, and e-readers in airplane mode. It does not allow for larger electronics like laptops.
Here is a full breakdown of the airlines–as well as their partners–that will and won’t allow personal electronics use on planes.
On November 1, JetBlue and Delta Air Lines were the first to allow personal electronics use from gate to gate. With JetBlue, the rule change is effective for the entire fleet.
Delta flights are a bit more complicated. There are nine carriers under the Delta Connect banner. While you might book on expected to be plugged in, Delta affiliates such as Endeavor Air have yet to receive clearance. Currently the 550 planes that operate as regional Delta flights still await clearance. A Delta spokesperson noted that he expects the clearance to be in by the end of the year.
American Airlines, which implemented the new rule on November 4, has a similar situation. The new rules will apply on American’s main fleet and the American Eagle Airlines fleet. However, the new rules will not yet apply to American Eagle flights that are being operated by regional carriers such as SkyWest Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines, Republic Airline and Chautauqua Airlines.
The two most recent airlines to adopt this change–US Airways and United Airlines–are also facing a similar lag for regional carriers. United adopted the FAA rule change on November 6. However it noted that the rule change will not take effect for United Express flights.
Yesterday, US Airways adopted the rule change, noting that its US Airways Express flights are waiting on approval.
The good news is that you can expect all the regional carriers to have the rule change in place by the end of 2013. Until then, it’s best to double check your ticket to determine if you are on a flight operated by a regional affiliate.
If you’re lucky enough to have the gadgets out during take off and landing you might just have a little fun. Last week, Delta and JetBlue launched the #Below10KFeet hashtag encouraging travelers to share their best picture shot during takeoff and landing. Delta has even upped the ante with its contest, where you stand to win two first class tickets. (Contest details here)
For more information on personal electronic devices, check out:
- What You Can & Can’t Do with Personal Electronics
- At Last, FAA Expands Use of Personal Electronics on Planes
- Should Personal Electronics Be Banned in the Cockpit?
By Lily J. Kosner for PeterGreenberg.com