American Airlines passengers can begin using their personal electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight after the carrier received FAA approval for the expanded use Tuesday. The expansion was granted to American's entire mainline fleet as well as regional aircraft operated by their subsidiary American Eagle Airlines. Last week, the FAA announced its new rules, requiring airlines to submit plans proving that signals emitted from PEDs do not interfere with critical onboard avionics systems.
"We know that our customers have wanted additional access to their personal devices on their flights and we've been working with the FAA for some time to make this a reality. We're excited to be able to deliver this to our customers because of the FAA's expeditious approval," said Jon Snook, senior vice president of customer service at American Airlines.
According to a statement, American is still requiring passengers to have their devices in airplane mode after the "aircraft doors are closed for departure," with Wi-Fi access becoming available shortly after takeoff. About 99 percent of American's domestic fleet is equipped with Wi-Fi.
The FAA expects more airlines to become approved by the end of the year after submitting plans proving their connected aircraft are able to withstand interference from PEDs.