Increasingly tech-savvy travelers appear to be influencing the Federal Aviation Administration.
The agency may cut passengers some slack when it comes to keeping certain devices turned on during takeoff and landing. This week, an F.A.A. advisory panel will meet to complete its recommendations to relax many of its current restrictions.
The guidelines are expected to allow reading e-books on devices like the Kindle and Nook, listening to iPods, and watching videos. This is according to several of the panel’s members who requested anonymity.
But don't plan on sending or receiving e-mails or text messages or using Wi-Fi during. Those restrictions are expected to remain intact.
The panel will recommend its new policy to the F.A.A. by the end of the month and the changes are expected to take effect in 2014.
Over the years, pilots have reported hundreds of instances where they suspect electronic devices caused some cockpit instruments to malfunction. But regulators have never been able to determine that electronic devices interfered with flight instruments.
Even with the ban, many passengers forget to turn off their electronics, or simply ignore instructions to do so. The policy has even triggered conflict.
Remember when Alec Baldwin was removed from an American Airlines flight in 2011 because he refused to turn off his smartphone? He may be among those who celebrate any changes in the F.A.A.'s policy.