The FAA announced this morning it will allow passenger use of electronic devices during all phases of flight, so passengers can keep their phones and tablets on for takeoff and landing.
Airlines are now racing to jump through a few hoops before they can change their policies — and that will likely happen within 24 hours.
The carriers must complete a safety assessment, get FAA approval, and officially change their portable electronic device policy for the rule to take effect.
That's a minor price to pay to move past a rule that's hated by many passengers.
United Airlines said in a statement that it has "already started work to implement this as safely and quickly as possible, and are excited to offer this new benefit because our customers tell us they want to use their portable electronic devices."
Southwest told us: "We know this is something Customers have wanted for some time now, and we’re excited to soon give them the freedom to use personal devices throughout their flight. While specifics of our amended PED policy have yet to be finalized, we’ll work diligently and quickly to implement a process that allows Customers this added convenience."
"As we work to develop an expanded PED policy, all new procedures will go through our Safety Risk Management process to ensure a safe and efficient implementation," Southwest said.
American Airlines said it "has been working with the FAA for some time on this," and will submit its approval plan tomorrow.
Delta is ahead of the game. All of its planes have already finished the required testing, and it says it was the first carrier to submit its plan to the FAA. Depending on when approval comes, it could be ready to allow PED use during takeoff and landing as soon as tomorrow.
Jetblue is also waiting for FAA approval — but a spokesperson said that could come "as early as this afternoon."
A few airlines are taking their time. US Airways says it plans to release a statement later today. American Airlines did not reply to a request for comment, but it did post on Twitter:
@samshankman We're reviewing the FAA announcement and we'll post when we've more info.— American Airlines (@AmericanAir) October 31, 2013
See Also:FAA: Airplane Passengers Can Now Use Electronic Devices During All Phases Of FlightJetBlue Is Worried About Losing Pilots To Better-Paying AirlinesThis Sword-Like Attachment Will Save Alaska Airlines $20 Million Per Year