Dear Flight Attendants,
Today the FAA outlined new guidelines regarding the expanded use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) in the cabin. It is important to note that this does not take place immediately and implementation will vary airline to airline. Here are some highlights from today’s announcement by the FAA that are directed towards the traveling public:
1) The FAA will provide guidance that will assist airlines in demonstrating that aircraft won’t be at risk because of potential interference from PEDs. Airlines must also evaluate changes to stowage rules and passenger announcements. Each airline will need to revise manuals, checklists for crewmember training materials, carry-on baggage programs and passenger briefings before expanding use of PEDs. Each airline will determine how and when they will allow passengers broader use of PEDs.
2) Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing. It is important to poperly stow heavier devices under seats or in the overhead bins during takeoff and landing. These items could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident.
3) Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked. During the safety briefing, passenger should put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.
AFA has had a crucial role on the committee that offered the detailed recommendations to the FAA and worked tirelessly to ensure that the Flight Attendant voice was heard throughout this process. We expect the new PED regulations to receive plenty of media attention in the the coming months.
This is also coincidental timing as AFA and Alaska Airlines management have been in talks regarding implementation of Inflight mobile devices. The new devices will eventually replace the current point of sale (POS) devices. Be assured AFA is advocating for a more sensible policy regarding crewmember use of PEDs. AFA strongly believes that the policy in the Flight Attendant Manual must be updated to reflect the realities of modern PED use. Stay tuned for developments on that front in the near future!
Many thanks to the AFA-CWA Communications Department for their assistance in developing this update.
Your MEC – Jeffrey Peterson, Terry Taylor, Yvette Gesch, Melanie Buker, Laura Masserant, Cathy Gwynn and Sandra Morrow
“Five Bases, One Voice”