Virgin America is the latest airline to allow passengers to use electronic devices during all phases of flight in U.S. airspace, the company announced yesterday.
Three weeks ago the Federal Aviation Administration announced relaxed restrictions on the use of personal electronic devices even during takeoff and landing. But agency officials noted that individual air carriers would have to certify their fleets as being able to safely handle the radio signals sent out by devices such as e-readers, video game handhelds and smartphones.
Many U.S. airlines have already changed their policies to fit the new regulations. One day after the FAA's announcement, Delta and JetBlue became the first airlines to allow so-called gate-to-gate use of electronic devices on their planes. Other carriers to follow since then include American Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines and now Virgin America. Some of the carriers don't yet offer full compliance across their entire suite of airlines — for example, United Express and US Airways Express flights don't support the new regulations at this time.