Checking in, photographing our lunch and explaining our actions in 140 characters have become a way of life in our ever-connected society.
Over the years our mobile phones have simply become an extension of not only our social lives, but our bodies. Being without it for a mere 20 minutes can feel like a whole lifetime.
So when it comes to disconnecting, understandably it’s a struggle, making flying a real inconvenience to our digitally enhanced lives. You may be allowed to use aeroplane mode, but it denies you the ability to be social.
Recent security rules require travellers to fully charge their electrical devices before flying.
It’s important to note that if mobile devices, which can be anything from a phone to an eBook reader, can’t be switched on, they could be confiscated. While you know your phone won’t cause a security risk, if it’s “dead” security won’t be able to verify this. Make sure it’s charged as losing it before or after your holiday is no fun.
TIP – If you’re flying long haul you might want to have it turned off for the entire flight to save your battery for security when you land.
However as the laws of the airport tighten, the rules during the flight are becoming more accommodating to us and our trusty handsets.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently announced that passengers would be able to use personal electronic devices (PEDs), to a much greater extent when flying in the USA. Therefore passengers can now use their phones, tablets and eBooks at all times, and not just before, during and after the flight.
However phone calls can’t be made, and the devices have to be in aeroplane mode. But if the plane has Wi-Fi you can connect to use it – so we can now document our flights live in the air.
Staying up to date with the rules
The rules on domestic flights within the USA allow you to use your PEDs at all times; as long as the airline allows it, regardless of the height of the plane (it’s now even allowed below 10,000 feet). However there are slightly different rules when flying internationally.
When leaving the U.S. you can use your devices at all times, apart from when landing at your destination. Whilst returning, you cannot use them upon door closure or take-off. Everything else is fine.
For flights outside the U.S., all the former rules still apply. Therefore you can only use your devices when boarding, flying (in aeroplane mode) and upon arrival. During take-off and landing is still prohibited.
With all this new freedom from airlines, we can now stay connected whilst travelling in the sky; providing there’s Wi-Fi. But most importantly we can capture our holidays and excursions from a whole new angle. Many of the US airlines are now encouraging us to share our pictures with them socially in-flight.
So go on, be creative.