The rule that your phone, game system, laptop, whatever has to be off during takeoff and landing is a stupid one. We’ve been over this turf before, but thankfully, now, we can play Monsters Ate My Condo while the plane is landing.
The FAA has ruled that, yeah, maybe this idea that a Game Boy could screw up a professional, shielded avionics system is kind of stupid, especially since pilots have started using iPads in the cockpit. But it’s not unfettered freedom:
Electronic items, books, and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled — i.e., no signal bars displayed — and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.
In other words, all those expensive phone systems on airplanes will be protected from competition, which is actually something of a relief. The only thing worse than a total stranger talking to you relentless in coach is a total stranger talking to their girlfriend practically in your ear.
Yeah, it’s a first world problem and a relatively minor annoyance, but realistically, it was a dumb rule based on pseudoscience, and watching one of those go down the tubes is always welcome. Now we wait for people to complain about the good old days, when you had to read a book on the plane.