The fear and mythology surrounding using electronic devices on airplanes has been under increased scrutiny in recent months, prompting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to review its guidelines regarding gadget use on U.S. airplane flights. Now, in a move that could hint at sweeping changes throughout the airline industry, British Airways is announcing plans to change its on-board cellphone use.
According to a report in the U.K. Telegraph, starting in July the airline company will begin allowing passengers to use their cellphones and other wireless data devices as soon as the plane lands, rather than making passengers wait until the plane taxis to the arrival gate. Before rolling out the new policy, British Airways reportedly ran tests to show Civil Aviation Authority, the U.K.'s version of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), that the practice is indeed safe.
Of course, many passengers are already in the habit of firing up their devices the second the plane hits the ground, usually with few repercussions. But this new shift in the rules at British Airways paves the way for what could be a comprehensive reworking of airplane gadget use rules at many airlines.
This latest news comes just as the Wall Street Journal reported this week that the FAA is preparing to introduce its own set of relaxed guidelines regarding gadget use on airplanes.