Solution Providers Applaud FAA's Move To Lift In-Flight Mobile Device Ban


George Bardissi, president of Hatfield, Pa.-based Bardissi Enterprises, said he believes the ban's lift has been long overdue.

"I travel pretty regularly, and this has been a pet-peeve of mine for quite some time," said Bardissi. "It was an archaic rule. I tried to put all my devices in standby mode, so that once that ding went off, I could get the most out of my time. That could be anything from work to a movie."

ITIF's Castro, in a 2010 blog post, called for the end of electronic restrictions and the need to create more technology-friendly rules for flights.

"I wrote that when I was on a plane, irritated at having to wait on a runway for an hour," Castro told CRN. "To me, that was a type of rule that was blocking the option of useful technology in the marketplace for no apparent valid reason."

Although three years have passed since Castro's blog entry, there are more problems to come regarding devices and flight safety, said Castro.

"The interesting thing here, [from a] perspective looking forward, is that these types of problems will continue to come up again, and the FAA is a part of a group of government officials focused on one end," said Castro. "The same type of problem where regulation is propagated can have a negative impact on the overall best interest of consumers."

On the other hand, the lift of the ban could possibly affect passengers' attention span during moments in which flight personnel need to give passengers instructions, said Castro.

"The fact that people aren't engaged in electronic devices is useful because there's nothing else to pay attention to besides instruction," said Castro. "Airlines will have to think about how to ensure their staff can effectively communicate to passengers during the event they need to instruct information. "

The push for mobile devices will remain strong, Bardissi said. In fact, Bardissi believes the different devices will start to blend together to improve portability and convenience when traveling.

"No one really wants to hold eight different devices while they travel," said Bardissi. "As convertible devices continue to become cost effective and more sleek, I believe they will be the choice of the [on-the-go] business community."

With the ban's lift, mobile device sales will continue to do well, as they've already been doing, but don't expect to see a sales spike as a result, said Biztex's Steele.

"Until Internet access is universal and included on planes," Steele said, "I don't think there will be a major uptick in our sales for our frequent fliers."

PUBLISHED NOV. 8, 2013