Government safety rules are changing to let airline passengers use most electronic devices from gate-to-gate.
Airline passengers will be able to use their electronic devices to read, work, play games, watch movies and listen to music ?? but not talk on their cell phones ?? under much-anticipated new guidelines issued Thursday morning by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA says airlines can allow passengers to use the devices during takeoffs and landings on planes that meet certain criteria for protecting aircraft systems from electronic interference. But, passengers shouldn't expect changes to happen immediately.
FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says timing will depend on the airline.
Connections to the Internet to surf, exchange emails, text or download data will still be prohibited below 10,000 feet. Heavier devices such as laptops will have to be stowed. Passengers will be told to switch their smartphones, tablets and other devices to airplane mode.
However, cell phone calls will still be prohibited.