United Airlines becomes latest carrier to ease rules on electronics
By Hugo Martin
United Airlines on Wednesday joined three other major carriers in lifting the restrictions on the use of portable electronic devices during takeoffs and landings.
Passengers on mainline United flights can now keep their electronic gadgets turned on throughout the flight as long as they are switched to “airplane mode” and are not emitting a signal.
Cellphone calls are still prohibited on commercial planes in the U.S.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced a new policy on portable electronic devices on Friday, and already JetBlue Airways and Delta and American airlines have received approval from the FAA to lift the restrictions.
Under the previous FAA policy, passengers were required to shut off and stow away all portable electronic devices while planes were below 10,000 feet.
Under the new rules, passengers can use tablets, e-readers, music players and other hand-held devices at all times. Heavier devices, such as laptops, must be stowed away during takeoffs and landings because they can become a hazard if they get tossed around the cabin by turbulence.