You might be super happy to play away on your phone or tablet the entire time you are on a plane, as it makes the long trips a little less taxing on your boredom or helps time pass a little faster. But it seems as though not everyone on the plane is pleased to see your face buried in your device during takeoff and landing.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s new, more relaxed rules on gadget use aren’t sitting well with one group. That group is those instructing passengers on safety precautions before the plane takes off; flight attendants. Currently, the nation’s largest flight attendant union is now suing the FAA to have the ban on gadget use during takeoff and landing reinstated.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA has argued that the change has caused many passengers to ignore flight attendants’ emergency announcements, and that the new rules violate federal regulations requiring passengers to stow all items during takeoff and landing.
The suit comes after the FAA last October found that personal electronic devices like your smartphone or tablet will not interfere with a plane’s functionality and can be used during all phases of flight. Praised by airlines and passengers, these new rules mean that you can continue reading an e-book, playing Candy Crush, or watching a movie as the plane taxis, takes off, starts its initial descent, and arrives at your destination.
But the attendants union is concerned about the safety implications of the move. They claim that in at least one instance, a tablet “became a projectile during turbulence.” They also worry that the devices could delay passengers’ exit from an aircraft during an emergency.
Using Wi-Fi is not the organization’s only concern. Last month, it backed a letter from 77 House members that called for a thorough review of the FCC’s plan to update rules regarding the use of cell phones on planes.
According to the FCC proposal, those flying on planes with new onboard access systems could use a device’s cellular capabilities in addition to Wi-Fi. But “airlines would be in total control of what types of mobile services to permit onboard, including whether to permit Web surfing, emailing, and texting, but not voice calls,” the FCC said.
What are your thoughts concerning the Flight Attendant’s complaint? Do you believe that the concerns are valid and a safety concern? Or do you believe that due to the FCC’s findings, safety is not affected, and that we should be able to use our personal devices according to the new rule during the entire flight from takeoff to landing?