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Below 10,000 feet, no need to touch the off button

Published Nov. 1, 2013

The FAA changes its rules to allow passengers to use electronic devices in all phases of a flight.

What can you do?

Passengers will be able to connect to the Internet to surf, exchange emails or download data below 10,000 feet if the plane has an installed Wi-Fi system. Cellphone calls aboard a jet will still be prohibited.

On the runway?

Kindles, iPads and other tablets must be placed in the seatback pocket for the brief amount of time that the plane is rolling down the runway. The concern is projectiles and passengers being distracted. How soon?

The FAA expects all carriers to prove they can safely allow the gate-to-gate use of personal devices by the end of the year. Delta Air Lines and JetBlue Airways said they could allow electronic use starting today.

Why now?

New airliners are designed to be resistant to electronic interference. Today's electronic devices generally emit much lower power radio transmissions than previous generations of devices.