New FAA Guidelines Will Give You a New Way to Ignore the Safety Briefings

4984178565_0acd446140_m[1]The FAA has finally joined the rest of us in accepting that your mobile device isn’t going to cause airplanes to fall from the sky. They’ve just issued a new set of guidelines which state that US airlines can safely expand passenger use mobile devices “during all phases of flight”.

Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones.

This is great news for anyone who has been ignoring the existing rules (due to them being nonsense), or at least it will be good news once the guidelines percolate through the various airlines, which will need to rewrite their rules on the matter. This could take 6 months or more.

I’ve been waiting for years for the rules to change; it’s been clear since at least 2011 that mobile devices can’t actually interfere with the safe operation of an airplane. This has in fact been shown any number of times,  but like any government bureaucracy the FAA can take a very long time to make a decision.

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Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Bob W31 October, 2013

    Finally!!! I think that I just heard a Halleluiah chorus… but your tongue in cheek headline isn’t correct according to the new guidelines.

    “7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.”

    1. Nate Hoffelder31 October, 2013

      Funny, I have never been on a flight where that was enforced. Maybe its new?

  2. […] nearly a year now Americans have been able to exercise our god-given right to ignore the safety briefings on airplane […]

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