JetBlue, Delta move quickly to allow extended use of electronic devices

Delta Airlines plane

(CNN) — Just one day after the Federal Aviation Administration announced that airline travelers would soon be able to keep their personal electronic devices on throughout their flights, two airlines made changes.

On Friday, a JetBlue flight from New York to Buffalo became the first commercial flight to allow “gate-to-gate” use of such devices, the airline said.

Delta Air Lines also announced that it modified its rules regarding electronic devices as soon as it could.

Until now, passengers in the United States were prohibited from using the devices until their plane rose above 10,000 feet. A ban on using cell phones for voice communication remains in effect.

The FAA announcement came Thursday, and that same day, JetBlue asked to be allowed to implement the new rules. The FAA gave its approval Friday, and the airline implemented the rules immediately.

Delta confirmed through its Twitter account that the FAA approved its plans, too.

The FAA refused to say which airlines had applied for permission and which were granted permission, saying the agency prefers that the airlines release that information.

When it announced the changes, the FAA predicted that airlines would apply the new rules by the end of the year.

The FAA, following months of study by a group of aviation experts, said that airlines can allow passengers to use portable electronic devices such as tablets, laptop computers, e-readers and cell phones in airplane mode throughout the flight, with some circumstantial restrictions.

The FAA had long said that using electronic devices during takeoff and landing posed a safety issue and that radio signals from the devices could interfere with an aircraft’s communications, navigation and other systems.

But a panel the FAA established last year to study the issue concluded that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference signals.



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