Nov. 7, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- Beginning today US Airways (NYSE: LCC) customers can now use certain portable electronic devices (PEDs), including e-books, tablets and smartphones, during taxi, takeoff and landing while in "airplane mode" – a departure from the previous Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) restriction on use below 10,000 feet. Customers on US Airways domestic mainline flights will now be permitted to use small PEDs during all phases of flight.
"US Airways applauds the FAA's decision to expand the use of personal electronics onboard and thanks the agency and its team of experts for their diligence in examining this issue," said
, senior vice president, Customer Experience. "We are constantly working to enhance our customers' in-flight experience and believe this is an important policy change that will further strengthen travelers' onboard enjoyment while keeping safety at the forefront."
In approving the use of PEDs, the FAA ensured that all US Airways mainline aircraft are equipped to safely handle implementation of the new recommendations. US Airways continues to work with all partner airlines operating as US Airways Express to ensure timely implementation of their individual programs which require separate FAA approval.
Travelers should keep in mind the following details with regard to the new policy:
- The FAA's new recommendations regarding onboard PED use apply only to domestic flights flown by US Airways mainline aircraft.
- Phone calls are not permitted once the main cabin door is closed or before a flight attendant makes an announcement upon arrival.
- Customers should adhere to all crewmember safety instructions and refrain from using PEDs during pre-flight safety announcements.
- During takeoff and landing, customers are now permitted to secure items lighter than two pounds by holding them (with the option of securing them in seatback pockets). PEDs heavier than two pounds must be secured for taxi, takeoff and landing in an overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of them.
- PEDs must be operated in "airplane mode" or with cellular services disabled.
- In-flight Wi-Fi is available on most aircraft once it reaches an altitude of 10,000 feet and an onboard announcement has been made.
US Airways' adoption of the new policy is the latest step in the company's effort to upgrade its customers' in-flight experience. Earlier this year, the airline installed Gogo Wi-Fi In-flight internet on 270 Airbus A319, A320, A321 and Embraer 190 aircraft along with 58 Embraer 170 and 175 US Airways Express aircraft – outfitting 90 percent of the company's domestic aircraft with wireless internet capabilities. US Airways' Airbus A319, A320 and A321 planes are equipped with Gogo's ATG-4 (air-to-ground) technology, which strengthens the wireless internet capacity and increases the available data rate for customers.