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In-flight electronics remain divisive

By McClatchy News Services


If you are itching to switch on your iPad or Kindle reader while your plane taxis for takeoff, you are going to have to wait at least a little longer.

A panel assembled by the Federal Aviation Administration to consider relaxing the rules on using portable electronic devices on airplanes has asked for more time to come up with its recommendations.

The panel — made up of representatives from airlines, aircraft builders and electronics firms, as well as pilots, flight attendants and others — was scheduled to produce a recommendation by Wednesday. Instead, it has asked to continue deliberations until Sept. 30.

If the panel is having trouble reaching a consensus, that wouldn't be surprising. The comments submitted to the group show that Americans overall are split on the subject.

Rich Santoriello of Raleigh, N.C., commented in favor of easing the rules that prohibit using electronic devices during takeoffs and landings.

"I would like to use my iPad during takeoff and landing while it is in airplane mode and not emitting any signals," he wrote. "I'm sorry, I just do not see the harm in these devices, especially with the sophisticated electronics we have in aircraft today."

Travelers who want to keep the restrictions in place pointed to issues of safety and courtesy.

"Allowing portable electronic devices to be used on the plane will make passengers less likely to listen to safety instructions, and rather than helping out in case of an emergency, there will be someone updating their Facebook status as ‘losing cabin pressure,'" wrote Molly Major of Minot, N.D.

Hotel scores get an upgrade

The investments that many hotels made to upgrade their properties after the Great Recession are starting to pay off.

Overall hotel guest satisfaction, measured on a 1,000-point scale, jumped 20 points since 2012 to an average of 777, according to the latest J.D. Power & Associates study of guests' satisfaction with North American hotels.

Experts say the latest scores, the highest marks in seven years, are a response to upgrades and remodeling projects done by hotels to entice guests back after the financial crisis.

--Hugo Martin / Los Angeles Times

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hilopango wrote:
Just make sure that you're not using any electronic devices on a US Airways flight. Their flight attendants are scary and will threaten you!
on August 5,2013 | 10:29AM
onevoice82 wrote:
It's next to impossible to monitor or insure every cell phone, kindle or what ever else that has wifi capability, has the wifi disabled. Let me give you an example......there is not one instance where there is a gathering of 100 or more people that have already been asked to silence or turn off their cell phones, that inevitably someone in the group will get a phone call and disturb the rest of us. What makes you think we will be able to switch to "airplane mode" with any certainty! I do not want my flight attendants wasting time checking 200 peoples devices when they should be preparing for take off and landings. Sorry.....a better way is for engineers who build planes to come up with some kind of foolproof system that does not allow interference of these wifi and cell phone wavelengths!
on August 10,2013 | 05:48AM
nitpikker wrote:
well, until then, turn it off or pay a fine. they should fine people, i don't want to be on a plane with a mishap because some knothead can't wait to send an email!
on August 10,2013 | 12:10PM
noheawilli wrote:
The phones and Ipads pose zero threat to the planes nav. The whole topic is a joke and I have never turned any electronics off for take off or landing. but this will never get posted as all of my posts get sent elsewhere
on August 10,2013 | 01:25PM
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