American Airlines Boards Tablet Bandwagon

Third airline approved to allow electronic device use 'gate to gate'

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American Airlines joined Delta and JetBlue on Monday in allowing passengers to use portable electronic devices throughout the entire flight, or “gate to gate.” The change applies to handheld devices (e-readers and MP3 players), while larger items such as laptops are still required to be stowed during takeoff and landing. Previously, electronic devices were required to be turned off during takeoff and landing, and only used when the plane was above 10,000 feet, but the Federal Aviation Administration reversed that longstanding policy last week, and airlines have been quickly stepping into the breach to ease their rules on devices.

The change for American will include all main carrier and American Eagle flights, the company said, and the new policy should apply to its smaller regional carriers by the end of the year.