Cell phones could be cleared for takeoff

Cell phones could be cleared for takeoff

CLEARED FOR TAKEOFF: Your cell phone could soon be used on some flights. Photo:

WASHINGTON (AP) — We may be getting closer to the time when we can get on an airline and not have to stow away our cell phones — or put them on “airplane mode.” And if the new head of the Federal Communications Commission gets his way, the idea of “airplane mode” may go away altogether.

Tom Wheeler says rules that bar cell phone use during flights are “outdated.” And he says the agency is proposing that passengers can use their smartphones to send email, text and download data.

The new rules would apply to flights that are more than 10,000 feet in altitude — but not during takeoffs and landings.

While many may see the decision to lift rules on using cell phones as a positive thing, be warned.

There are some who forsee the problem of passengers chatting away non-stop during flights — when others might want to sleep or just enjoy some peace and quiet as their jetliners cruise the skies.

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