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FAA Changes Electronics Rule; Delta Aims To Be The First Airline To Allow Gate-To-Gate Play

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On Thursday, the FAA announced that it will allow airline passengers to use smartphones, tablets and other personal electronics during almost the entire flight.

The FAA said that planes will have to meet certain criteria for protecting its systems against electronic interference; most new planes are expected to meet criteria, the Associated Press reports, but timing will depend on the airline, not the FAA.

Almost simultaneous to the FAA's news conference, Delta issued a statement saying that they were, essentially, ready to go, with FAA approval, stating that their entire fleet have passed previous testing for "PED tolerance." Delta Connection flights, they said, would be compliant by the end of the year.

When asked for comment, JetBlue spokesperson Tamara Young said in an email to Huffington Post Travel, "We’ve already started the process to get FAA approval to expand PED use during all phases of flight. We hope to be the first airline to do so.”

In a press release, JetBlue's Chief Commercial Officer, Robin Hayes, stated, “The rules have caught up with today’s technology. This new policy vastly improves our customers’ experience, and giving everyone a chance to be more connected is good for business. We intend to be the first commercial airline in the United States to allow gate-to-gate use of personal electronics devices. To support that goal, we began the certification process with the FAA today.”

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