Five for Friday: Things We Plan To Do With Our Mobile Devices On Plane Takeoffs And Landings

Road warriors rejoice! A key Federal Aviation Administration committee has decided that using our iPhones and Galaxy Notes on a plane is safe during takeoffs and landings – even with most kinds of on-board Wi-Fi Internet today.

Nearly all airline fleets “already have been so dramatically improved and aircraft are so resilient” to electronic interference, Paul Misener, Amazon’s vice president of global public policy and a member of the committee, told the Wall Street Journal, that the committee concluded they would be safe for “gate to gate use” of such devices.

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Don’t worry, you’ll soon be cleared for takeoffs and landings.

Of course, there are some cavaets: 1) There’s no timetable for when these recommendations would go into effect; 2) There are some exceptions.

First, the FAA still plans to prohibit mobile devices and on-board Wi-Fi systems from accessing cellular networks (i.e. 3G and 4G/LTE networks) for voice and data at altitudes under 10,000 feet, i.e. the takeoff and landing phase.

That’s a problem because the market leader in on-board Wi-Fi Internet, Gogo Inc., uses cellular towers at low altitudes. Gogo has three-quarters of the market. The other major providers connect with satellites for Internet access, which are ok.

Finally, the FAA would still ban the use of laptops during takeoffs and landings, because their bulk could be a problem in case of an emergency.

I asked the Avaya social media team what they plan to do the first time they get to use their mobile device on takeoff. I got back darker (snarkier?) responses than I expected:

1) Jaime the Aerophobe: “Film myself experiencing turbulence so my doctor will give me Xanax #ihateflying”

2) Luke the Aerophobe Tormenter: “Use my iPad to look up and read aloud takeoff/landing aircraft disaster statistics.”

3) Ashlie the Artiste: “Draw a picture of Superman saving the plane from plummeting out of the sky in Photoshop.”

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Note: this is not Ashlie.

For my part, I plan to do two things: 

4) Video chat with my kids using the Wi-Fi-enabled Scopia Mobile or Flare Communicator on my Android smartphone. DADDY’S COMING HOME.

5) Using one-X Mobile on my iPhone, call ahead for takeout from my favorite Thai restaurant around SFO. CUZ IT’S FLAVOR TIME.

What do you plan to do when you’re able to start using your mobile devices on takeoffs and landings?