The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has relaxed its decades long restrictions on use of personal electronic devices on board both domestic and international commercial flights.
For over four decades, airline passengers have been restricted from using electronic devices after the plane door closes (even if the plane is on the tarmac), during takeoff and landing and while the plane is flying below 10,000 feet.
Under the new policy, passengers can use their electronic devices during all phases of the flight with very limited exceptions.
Personal electronic devices include e-readers like Kindle and Nook, tablets like iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, smartphones, MP3 players, gaming units and video systems.
However, passengers will still not be allowed to use cellphones for voice communications.
Cellphones can only be used in airplane mode with cellular service disabled.
Don't expect to be able to start using your personal electronic devices on flights immediately.
Airlines will need time to implement the new policy and there could be variations on the devices allowed.
The FAA expects several airlines will let passengers safely use their devices in airplane mode, gate-to-gate, by the end of 2013.