Southwest dropped the ball widened in-flight use of portable electronic devices. It's ironic that the airline's new tagline in TV spots is, "If it matters to you, it matters to us." Well, Southwest, this matters.
With a flurry of announcements over the last few days, United, US Airways and American Airlines began allowing gate-to-gate usage of portable electronic devices.
And this means that all of the the largest U.S. airlines, with the exception of the largest domestic carrier, Southwest Airlines, have joined the party.
Southwest states it will implement gate to gate device use as soon as possible, pending FAA approval.
US Airways announced today that passengers on its mainline domestic fleet can use portable electronic devices in airline mode gate to gate. US Airways says it still needs to get FAA approval for US Airways Express.
On takeoff and landings, passengers still need to stow laptops and other devices that weigh two pounds or more, US Airways says.
United Airlines announced yesterday that passengers on its mainline aircraft arriving or departing within the 50 states can use portable electronic devices gate to gate. United states it hopes to get approval for similar use on United Express before the end of the year and is working with other regional partners, as well.
American Airlines began its new policy on portable electronic devices on November 4. American permits gate to gate usage of portable electronic devices on its entire mainline fleet and some American Eagle aircraft.
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Photo credit: JetBlue had the first flight in the U.S. to enable passengers to turn on their mobile and portable devices at the gate on November 1, but in the last week Delta, American, United and US Airways have done likewise. JetBlue