I am writing this Technology Tuesday piece at 35,000 feet above ground. My thoughts started as I sat at the gate, though. As of recent, a handful of electronic devices are approved for flights from takeoff to landing.
Southwest actually approved wifi use from gate to gate on my Friday flight! While I wasn’t going to pay the $8 to access the Internet, I had my heart set on zoning to some TV. Dish Network actually is providing free tv on Southwest flights, so that is a great bonus.
The only trouble is that my iPad had other plans and I didn’t get to watch TV. (It gave me an error or trying to log in to their free tv area.) As an IT professional, I felt silly asking the flight attendant for help, because golly, now they have to feed me, wet my whistle, and be my IT guru? Sure, I probably should have asked, but they had enough to do and I made do typing out blog posts and rearranging the iPad to give back to the kids.
If your phone is in airplane or wifi only mode or if you are using a tablet, you’ve been approved for takeoff. Laptops are not approved at this time, but I really am glad. My laptop, a work device, is a brick and I wouldn’t want that out and flying into someone while we ascended into the air. (As you’ve been able, you can still take it out and access wifi at the cruising altitude.)
This is pretty cool news, and I am glad the FAA and airlines are working hard to test the safety and functionality of this. Not going to lie, I am definitely a device addict, and appreciate having my devices for plane use, even if I couldn’t make it work this trip.
What do you think of the new rules?