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Read During Take Off and Landing!


Former Moderator
Maybe it says something about our society that a major, pressing issue for people is whether they have to shut off their cellphones for two ten-minute periods, a few times per year. Pressure has been mounting of the Federal Aviation Administration to change rules requiring that all electronic devices be turned off during takeoff and landing — the periods during which even slight anomalies in instrumentation could cause potentially disastrous results. The problem is that the evidence that a cell phone or GameBoy could cause such anomalies has long been questioned. This week, the FAA is expected to finalize its recommendation to heed this fact and relax the restrictions on the use of cell phones at any point in a flight.

Some uses, anyway. Though reading e-books, watching movies, and listening to music or podcasts are deemed safe enough to continue during takeoff and landing, the prohibition on any transmission of signals is expected to stay in place. This means that texting, phone calls, and even the use of WiFi will remain taboo. With almost 30% of passengers admitting to accidentally leaving their electronic devices on in a bag, this switch to banning only the more active mobile tasks could be viewed as a simple nod to realism.

One glaring issue with this idea is that the blanket ban on smartphone use was partly justified based on the correct assumption that flight attendants do not have time to look in on every passenger’s tablet activities. By requiring airlines to banish any visible device to a bag or overhead compartment, the FAA took this responsibility away from busy employees. Now, tasked with separating the texters from the music fans, the ones using Facebook Messenger from the ones reading an e-book, they will likely let a lot of offenders off the hook.

For this and other reasons, it’s important to note that a change in FAA rules might not trickle down to the policies of every airline. Flyers should not be surprised if many carriers continue to require a full shutdown at the beginning and end of a trip, erring on the side of caution and surpassing the new FAA requirements. A ban on texting is unlikely to make many people switch to a more expensive airline, but a downed plane sure could. Even the suggestion that an airline’s relaxed standards led to a crash could be financially disastrous — so while everyone from academics to the Mythbusters question the dangers of mobile phone use, airlines may well keep up their bans.

No matter what, there will be those who insist that . . .

Too true ... and I honestly don't see what the issue is any way. Neither take off or landing take that long and you are either settling or getting ready to get off so why you so desperately want your phone /reader during that time I don't know.
To be honest I would be happy to leave said devices off and in a bag to have a safe take off/ landing. Because your options are simple, a safe landing/take off or a cell phone...is it really that hard a decision??
To be honest I would be happy to leave said devices off and in a bag to have a safe take off/ landing. Because your options are simple, a safe landing/take off or a cell phone...is it really that hard a decision??

apparently it is.
Brains too I think. If one can't see the benefit of just leaving ones devices in a bag or off in order to have a safe landing/take off then maybe their mental health needs to be checked? :)
I travel quite a lot, and I think there's a lot to be said about getting this completely right. Take off, especially, can take longer than normal especially if traffic on the runway is heavy, and it's especially irritating when you're in the middle of an exciting scene on your ebook. I cannot do without reading materials of any kind for any extended period of idle time (maybe that says something about me), so there's only so much the inflight-mag can do for me.

So I have two books with me, one ebook and another physical book. I switch between the two during the course of the flight.

I just realized typing this how anal I sound. :)

Emirates, for example, has been offering passengers the ability to use their mobile inflight for a while now. http://www.emirates.com/bh/English/...bile-phone-service-onboard-a380-aircraft.aspx

Why not others?
I suppose its a safety issue. And yeah if you dont take off quickly it could get tedious fast. But I also know it takes me ages to get comfortable and ready to want to read.
And as you do, people can be organised and bring another book along or something else that they can do.
Probably also in recognition of it having no impact on the plane or communications at all. If there was a danger to the plane from them, they would be banned from being turned on at all during the flight and would have been forced to be packed away during the entire flight.