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Travel Tip: Cell Phones On Planes

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You’ve seen it: The moment your plane touches the ground, everyone takes out their cell phones.

So is it fact or fiction that a cell phone can interfere with a plane’s navigation system?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the FAA, but the FCC that banned the use of cell phones on domestic flights.

With cell phones, the real concern is about potential interference to wireless networks on the ground, but it’s not a direct safety issue.

Tests conducted by NASA and other expert organizations have failed to come up with any conclusive evidence that links mobile phones with instrument problems.

But even if the FCC lifts its ban, the FAA still doesn’t allow the use of all wireless devices, like iPods and portable DVD players.

So that regulation would require that each air carrier to prove that a specific phone model won’t interfere on each type of aircraft. And that’s no easy task.

But the real bottom line: Even if it’s not a direct safety issue, that cell-phone ban is in place which means travelers have to follow the rules.

Overcome technical difficulties with help from our Gadgets & Gear section.

And check out the rest of our Daily Travel Tips here.