American Airlines now allows passengers on its airplanes to use portable electronic devices throughout their entire flight. The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the use of electronics on the company's fleet "gate to gate," meaning fliers can leave laptops, phones, and tablets powered on when they enter the plane, and keep them on through landing and disembarkation.
The FAA expects other airlines to allow the use of electronics later this year
American Airlines is the third major airline to allow electronics gate to gate after Delta and JetBlue made the switch earlier this month. Before airlines can allow passengers to use electronics during all phases of a flight, they have to prove to the FAA that their planes can operate safely with devices turned on. The FAA expects passengers on all US airlines to be able to use devices gate to gate by the end of this year.
The new American Airlines policy came into effect on Monday and is fleet-wide, barring a few American Eagle flights. Although passengers on the company's flights will be able to leave cellphones on, they'll still have to switch them to airplane mode: phonecalls from the sky remain prohibited.