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JetBlue First to Get the FAA's OK for Expanded Mobile Use

By Tim Brugger - Nov 2, 2013 at 11:15AM

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The upstart airline's customers can now use their mobile devices from gate-to-gate.

Following the announcement on Oct. 31 from the Federal Aviation Administration that it will begin allowing airline customers "expanded passenger use of Portable Electronic Devices during all phases of flight," JetBlue Airways (JBLU -3.68%) issued a statement today that it has become the first U.S. airline to allow, "gate-to-gate" PED use.

After gaining the FAA's approval, JetBlue wasted little time implementing the ruling, allowing its passengers flying from New York to Buffalo yesterday afternoon to use mobile devices throughout the flight, without restrictions, JetBlue said.

According to the FAA's statement, it solicited input from "experts that included representatives from the airlines, aviation manufacturers, passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and the mobile technology industry," in recommending the easing of PED usage. Despite fewer restrictions, the FAA said there are still some limitations, primarily involving the use of cell phones. Airline passengers must still refrain from making airborne calls, the FAA said.

Commenting on the FAA's decision, JetBlue chief commercial officer Robin Hayes said, "We have worked very closely with the FAA to achieve this new policy, which will be a significant improvement in customers' onboard experience."

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