Now You Can Use Your Phone During Takeoff

Now you don't have to take a break from your new iPhone or Apple Watch during a flight.

The airlines have been notoriously criticized for making airline passengers turning off phones during takeoff. So when I boarded a flight last week and United told me I could keep my phone and iPad powered on, albeit on airplane mode, I was surprised.

Apparently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allowed this starting in October 2013, but I have only experienced it in the last month.

The FAA is thinking about allowing in-flight calls in the near future, according to CNN. The plane would have to be equipped with a device called a “picocell” which would extend cell phone tower signals to the plane from the ground. 

We all still have to keep our MacBooks stowed and turned off during takeoff and can only use them at a certain elevation, but maybe that will change soon.

So next time you travel, you enjoy your new iPhone 6, 6+ and Apple Watch right from takeoff. 


Top image credit: Maridav/

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Abbey Dufoe's picture

Abbey Dufoe is a freelance writer and a web producer at a nonprofit based in Princeton, NJ. She's always itching for the newest iOS gadget (current favorite - the Apple Watch). She tweets and blogs about the earth and the Internet on Twitter at @abbeydufoe and at