US Airways to allow small electronics to be used

Tape at PHL gate for US Airways. Oct. 2013. (Reid Kanaley / staff)
Tape at PHL gate for US Airways. Oct. 2013. (Reid Kanaley / staff)
Posted: November 08, 2013

US Airways Group Inc. announced today that its customers can now use their portable electronic devices, such as e-books, tablets and smart phones, during taxi, takeoff and landing on domestic "mainline" flights.

The move by Philadelphia's dominant airline, which transports nearly 70 percent of air travelers at Philadelphia International Airport, coincides with new policies instituted by Delta, JetBlue, American, and United airlines.

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that passengers on U.S. airlines can leave their personal electronic devices on during all phases of flight.

Previously, passengers had to turn off devices if the aircraft was below 10,000 feet. Voice calls from cell phones are still prohibited during flights.

"US Airways applauds the FAA's decision to expand the use of personal electronics onboard," said Kerry Hester, US Airways senior vice president of customer experience. "This is an important policy change that will further strengthen travelers' onboard enjoyment while keeping safety at the forefront."

Larger electronics, such as laptops, still must be shut off and stowed below 10,000 feet - during taxi, takeoff and landing.

The personal electronic devices must be operated in "airplane mode" or with cellular services disabled.

The gate-to-gate use of electronics does not yet apply to US Airways Express regional flights, operated by partner airlines, including Republic Airways and Air Wisconsin.

US Airways operates more than 3,100 flights a day, including 429 daily flights from Philadelphia airport.

lloyd@phillynews.com

215-854-2831

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