Will Airlines Be Smart Enough to Turn This Gift Into Profits?

A new FAA ruling that allows for use of electronic devices throughout flight could be a profit-booster for airlines willing to take advantage, Motley Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

American Airlines (UNKNOWN: AAMRQ.DL  ) , Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL  ) , and JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU  ) are the first three to implement the rule, which says smartphones and tablets that remain in "airplane mode" (i.e., not broadcasting) can remain active throughout flight. Laptops must still be stowed below 10,000 feet, and passengers won't be allowed to make cellular calls. But everything else? Fair game.

Where this gets interesting, Tim says, is in how carriers choose to implement premium services to those who depend on devices for either entertainment or work. Custom-crafted cabin space with Wi-Fi access, and plug-ins for powering gadgets, could boost fares among elite flyers who are already predisposed to paying a bit more.

Do you agree? Would you pay for premium services that make it easier to use your gadgets or work during a flight? Please watch the video to get Tim's full take, and then leave a comment to let us know what you think.

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