There’s big news out of Europe for frequent air travelers who just can’t fly without their iPhones, iPads, and other mobile gadgets. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced that it would allow passengers to use their personal electronic devices (PEDs) such as tablets, e-readers, mp3 players, and even mobile phones during all phases of flight, including take-off and landing. As with the US change we reported last month, there’s still a catch. Fliers will be required to keep their devices in “flight mode” or “airplane mode”, so for the time being at least, we are still safe from an airplane full of telephone or VoIP conversations. You may still have to engage in conversation with your aisle-mate, but at least you won’t have to listen to their chat with someone on the other end of the line.
In Europe, each airline will be responsible for phasing in PED usage on its own flights, meaning changes should be expected within the coming months. Lucky passengers may benefit from the new regulation as soon as this year’s holiday travel season—fingers crossed!
And this just in: British Airways announced that they are the first airline in Europe to allow mobile devices to be used from the moment you step on the plane to final disembarking. They estimate passengers will gain an extra 30 minutes of device time. Their new rules kick off today, so if you’re climbing on board, break out your tablet and celebrate this historic first. If you hear any other reports of European airlines rolling out the new rules, let us know!