FAA: You Can Use Your Tablet, Phone Gate-to-Gate
Change will apply to planes that meet certain criteria
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2013 9:30 AM CDT
A Southwest Airlines plane takes off Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – After story upon story about the FAA's declining resistance to passengers' use of electronic devices, the definitive headline has finally arrived: The FAA says airlines can allow passengers to use devices from gate to gate. The AP reports that the change will apply to planes that meet certain criteria for protecting aircraft systems from electronic interference. Most new airliners are expected to meet the criteria, but changes won't happen immediately. Timing will depend upon the airline.

What this news doesn't mean: That Internet connections will be available below 10,000 feet (they won't); that bulky laptops can be used during takeoff and landing (they still have to be stowed), and that cellphone calls will be allowed (still a no). Somewhere, Alec Baldwin must be smugly pleased.