For the longest time, we have been asking this particular question – will turning on and using our portable electronic devices actually be detrimental to the flight of an aircraft? Would it result in the plane nosediving because its electronics have been scrambled by someone sitting right at the tail end of the plane with his CD player rolling (yes, I am retro is asking this question)? So far, we have not heard of any official stories that the use of portable electronic devices in mid-flight has caused any crashes, and let us hope that the clean record does not get broken, ever. Perhaps the folks over at Delta Air Lines want to change the way the commercial aviation industry works, by being the first US airline to allow its passengers to use their portable electronic devices as long as the plane remains below 10,000 feet in the sky.
When will this happen? Well, it could already have as early as the beginning of this month, pending Federal Aviation Administration approval. After all, the entire fleet of Delta aircraft have already completed carrier-defined PED tolerance testing in order to make sure of the safe operation of passenger portable electronic devices regardless of which flight phase it is in, and Delta’s plan has already been submitted to the FAA for approval.
Over 570 of the mainline domestic aircraft remain ready to allow customer use of e-readers, tablets, and smartphones, all in airplane mode, during taxi, takeoff and landing on domestic flights. That ought to be a boon to all travelers if approved, especially when you consider how most of us these days already have an unlimited data account, making it possible to tweet right there and then as to what you are going to have as your meal. OF course, should you happen to be in a flight that is above 10,000 feet, then there will always be the option of in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity to help you remain connected. Would in-flight connectivity at your own expense below 10,000 feet be enough to help you switch airlines the next time you want to fly?