Holiday flyers plugged in, with relaxed rules on electronic devices

Nov. 30, 2013 at 8:32 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 30 (UPI) -- A rise in airline passengers during the Thanksgiving weekend coincided with relaxed rules on the use of personal electronic devices onboard, officials said.

Earlier this week the Federal Aviation Administration predicted a 15 percent increase in airline traffic, over last year, during the holiday period. It followed an AAA forecast of 3.14 million passengers flying to their destinations.

The jump in traffic comes as airlines change rules permitting passengers to use personal electronics like e-readers, tablets and computers during most phases of flights, the Washington newspaper The Hill reported. Southwest and AirTran Airways joined Delta, United, US Air, American and JetBlue airlines this week in allowing use of the devices.

When the FAA announced the rule change last month it specified each carrier needed to apply for a clearance and prove its aircraft could be operated safely with passengers' gadgets in use. The FAA said it expected the electronic use clearance to be extended to all airlines by the end of the year.

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