Great news today for parents who fly!
We limit screen time for the kids at home, but when we travel, all bets are off. TV shows, movies, apps, and games are all fair game to pass the time on long flights, especially with cranky, over-tired kids. I think it’s because we limit screen time at home that using it as a distraction on the plane is so effective.
The downside has been that use of electronic devices has been prohibited from the closing of the boarding door until the aircraft reaches 10,000 feet of altitude at the beginning of a flight, and then again from 10,000 feet of altitude until landing. At the beginning of the flight, this means you can’t bust out the screens as soon as you board, because you’ll have to explain why they need to get put away again in 20 minutes. And after just getting to the good part in their movie, they have to randomly turn it off upon descent. If you’ve ever tried rationally explaining something like this to a 2-year-old, you know that it’s a non-starter. Screen use has had to be strictly monitored so that we can spirit it away without causing a meltdown at the critical times.
However, all that is about to change.
The FAA just announced that they will allow electronic device use (in airplane mode, of course) throughout the flight (CNN Story). It will be up to each airline to apply for clearance to do this and they have to prove that it is safe for their planes. But once they do, it will be a major load off this mamas shoulders. The tool in my in-flight toolbox that is the screen won’t be limited to certain times.