US Airways: No need to turn off that smartphone

elyportillo@charlotteobserver.comNovember 8, 2013 

US Airways passengers will no longer have to turn off their iPads, smartphones, Kindles and other electronics at the beginning and end of domestic US Airways flights.

The airline joined other carriers Thursday with new rules allowing passengers to use personal electronic devices throughout their flight, doing away with requirements that electronics be turned off below 10,000 feet.

The Federal Aviation Administration revised its rules last month to let airlines allow travelers to keep their electronics on for the duration of a flight. Other carriers, including American Airlines, have already updated their policies.

For now, the change applies only to US Airways mainline domestic flights. US Airways Express flights are operated by subsidiary carriers, which are still working to get approval for their passengers to use electronic devices.

US Airways is the main carrier at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, operating almost 90 percent of daily flights.

Here are the new rules for personal electronics on US Airways flights:

• All devices must be in “airplane mode,” which means cellular signals are disabled.

• Phone calls aren’t allowed after the cabin doors are closed at the beginning of the flight, or before the flight attendant makes an announcement at the end of the flight.

• Travelers can now hold electronic devices lighter than 2 pounds during taxi, takeoff and landing. Electronic devices heavier than 2 pounds must still be stowed with carry-on bags.

• Travelers are asked not to use their personal electronic devices during the crew safety briefing.

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