The FAA has determined that airlines can safely expand passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight, and is immediately providing the airlines with implementation guidance. Expanded use will not happen overnight. The process will vary among airlines, but the agency expects many carriers will prove to the FAA that their planes allow passengers to safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of 2013.

Top Things Passengers Should Know about Expanded Use of PEDs on Airplanes

  • Changes to PED policies will not happen overnight and will vary by airline. Check with your airline to see if and when you can use your PED. Airlines may allow passengers to use handheld PEDs such as tablets, e-readers, and smartphones.
  • Current FAA rules remain in effect until an airline completes a safety assessment and changes its PED policy.
  • Cell phones may not be used for voice communications or for cellular connections.
  • Use electronic devices in airplane mode or with the cellular connection disabled. You may use the WiFi connection on your device if the plane has an installed WiFi system and the airline allows its use.
  • Properly stow heavier devices like standard laptops under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.
  • Put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the safety briefing.
  • It only takes a few minutes to secure items according to the crew's instructions during takeoff and landing.
  • In some instances of low visibility — about one percent of flights — some landing systems may not be proved PED tolerant, so you may be asked to turn off your device.
  • Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked.
  • Make safety your first priority.

For more information, read our PED FAQ.