Skip to main content

You may soon be able to use your gadgets during takeoff and landing

you will soon be able to use your gadgets during takeoff airplane flight ipad tablet gadget
Image used with permission by copyright holder
We’ve heard it before, but now it might actually come true: Using your gadgets during takeoff and landing on commercial flights may soon be allowed.

On Thursday, an FAA advisory panel officially voted to recommend that the agency lift restrictions on the use of smartphones, tablets, ebook readers, and other gadgets when a flight is below 10,000 feet, reports the Associated Press. Users would still have to keep their devices in airplane mode – meaning no phone calls, texts, or Web browsing during the start and end of flights – but basically any activity that doesn’t involve transmitting information wirelessly would be permitted, if the FAA follows the panel’s recommendations.

The advisory panel’s hearing was closed to the public, and the AP’s report on its recommendations are based on unnamed sources. This follows a similar report from The New York Times earlier this week, which was also based on anonymous sources. But we should have public confirmation soon, with the panel expected to deliver its findings to FAA leadership on Monday.

The panel’s vote to lift the ban on gadget use follows months of testing, with help from companies like Amazon. Company spokesman Drew Herdener told the AP that the panel’s findings are “a big win for customers, and frankly, it’s about time.”

The findings also have the support of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who has long fought for a change to the FAA’s policy on gadget usage. “These devices are not dangerous. Your Kindle isn’t dangerous. Your iPad that is on airplane mode is perfectly safe,” she told the AP.

Others are not as pleased with the potential change in policy. Some pilots have warned that they noticed interference with their airplane flight systems due to onboard gadgets – a potentially dangerous situation, if confirmed, especially during the crucial takeoff and landing phases of flights. Delta Airlines, however, told the FAA in a letter last year that out of 2.3 million flights, the airline received just 27 reports of “possible device interference,” according to the AP. But none of those instances were confirmed.

The gadget ban is not yet over, however. And it is possible that the FAA will choose not to follow the panel’s recommendations. To help ensure that the agency moves forward, McCaskill has warned FAA officials to “ask swiftly,” or she will introduce legislation that requires them to allow fliers to play Angry Birds anytime they like.

(Image courtesy Australian Business Traveller)

Andrew Couts
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
This odd phone is for anyone who hates the Galaxy S24 Ultra
A person holding the Unihertz Jelly Max phone.

A new phone has hit crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, and it may be the one for you if you don’t want a big-screen device anymore. It’s the Unihertz Jelly Max, and it has a 5.05-inch screen, making it positively small next to phones like the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra and the Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max. However, where the Jelly Max keeps the screen small, one of its other dimensions is far from diminutive.

Unihertz is a well-established phone maker better known for its rugged phones and unusual phones like the Titan, which has a physical keyboard below the screen. The Jelly Max is the latest in Unihertz’s Jelly range of small phones, and its claim to fame is that it has 5G connectivity, making it one of the smallest phones available with the feature. However, just because the screen is small, doesn't mean the rest of the phone is similarly tiny.

Read more
A new Google Pixel 9 Pro XL leak has revealed lots of important specs
Leaked render of Google Pixel 9 Pro XL by OnLeaks and MySmartPrice.

We are about three weeks away from Google announcing its new smartphone lineup — the Google Pixel 9 series. As a result, numerous rumors are circulating about these new handsets. Recently, someone posted photos on the XDA Forums that are claimed to be of the Pixel 9 Pro XL. 

According to the leaked photos from user Pourelle, the Pixel 9 Pro XL will have at least 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Until now, no Pixel phone has been shipped with more than 12GB of RAM.

Read more
The Oura Ring 4 just leaked. Here’s what it looks like
A person holding the Oura Ring 3rd generation Heritage model.

It’s been nearly three years since the Oura Ring 3 was released. Now, new certification suggests the Oura Ring 4 could be released very soon.

As Android Authority reports, an Oura Ring with the model number “OA11” has been uncovered. The purported images of the next Oura Ring are for a size 10 model. As you can see, the Oura Ring 4 looks to be sticking with a flat design like its predecessor. This contrasts with the recently announced Samsung Galaxy Ring, which has a concave structure.

Read more