FAA Maybe, Possibly Getting Ready to Allow iPad Use During Takeoff

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The Washington Post passes along some rare good news for travelers:

An industry working group assigned by the Federal Aviation Administration to research the use of electronics on airplanes is expected to recommend relaxing the ban on portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing.

One member of the group, who asked for anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about internal discussions, said the panel is drafting a document that will recommend a wider use of devices, including tablets and smartphones used only for data (like e-mail) but not talking, during takeoff and landing.

Will this really happen? After TSA pulled the football away after promising to allow small pocket knives on planes, I have my doubts. I think these guys just like playing mind games with us. Besides, the third paragraph of the story says something about allowing devices to be on “in a limited ‘airplane mode,'” which, as the reporter oddly fails to point out, is the current rule and is essentially the same as devices being in the state technically known as “off.” So the whole thing is a little confusing.

But who knows? Maybe common sense will prevail. Cross your fingers.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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