United Airlines Joins Delta and American in Allowing Gate-to-Gate Use of Electronic Devices

By Paul Riegler on 6 November 2013
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A United jet at LaGuardia

A United jet at LaGuardia

All 4 legacy airlines now support the FAA rule change. For the latest news, click here.

United Airlines, the world’s largest airline by passenger traffic, became the last of the three largest legacy carriers to offer its passengers the ability to use their personal electronic devices from the moment they get on the plane, and through taxi, takeoff, and landing.

The Chicago-based airline received approval from the FAA on Wednesday to implement this policy, which it did immediately.

The policy follows a major change in FAA rules announced last week.  Passengers can use small, hand-held devices such as smartphones and tablets, at any point during the flight unless instructed otherwise by a crewmember.  Larger devices such as laptops must be stowed during takeoff and landing.

The change currently covers mainline united flights and the airline said it is working with its regional partners that operate United Express flights to gain FAA approval for those flights as well.

American Airlines announced it had gained FAA approval on Monday and had implemented the policy change  by late afternoon.  The announcement covered both American’s mainline flights as well as regional flights operated by American Eagle.

Delta received approval and implemented the change in procedures on November 1, the same day that the FAA announced the new rules.

Passengers need to put their devices into airplane mode (i.e. radio off mode) when the aircraft doors are closed for departure.  The devices need to be held or secured in a seatback pocket during takeoff and landing.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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