APFA Special Hotline
APFA Hotline - Electronic Device Policy Change Effective Immediately

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Following the FAA’s announcement last week, APFA's Safety Department has worked with AA to develop the following guidelines for implementation of the new personal electronic device policy.

Effective immediately, passengers are allowed to use handheld electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, e-readers, MP3 players, etc… during taxi, take-off and landing in the U.S. Certain instrument approach landings, known as CAT 2 or CAT 3 require that all electronic devices be turned off. The cockpit will notify flight attendants when this is necessary.

The onboard videos will not be updated until programming is uploaded for December. Also, the new procedures won’t be included in the safety demo until January.

AA issued a message to email addresses today containing the following information:

"Larger electronic devices, such as laptop computers, are NOT considered handheld PEDs and must be stowed in an approved stowage location during taxi, take-off and landing.
Approved handheld PEDs must be secured for taxi, take-off, and landing.  Secured is defined as being kept controlled by the customer, e.g. held in the hand, seatback pocket or personal pocket rather than laying on the seat.

We have received FAA approval to allow customers to stow lightweight items in seatback pockets during all phases of flight, including taxi, take-off, and landing.
Items restrained in the seatback pocket must:

  • Not exceed a total of 3 pounds
  • Not block or hinder passenger egress
  • Be properly restrained to prevent being dislodged

The following are examples of some items that are acceptable and not acceptable for seat back pocket stowage:
        Safety Instruction Cards, Magazines, Airsick bags, MP3 players, Eyeglasses, Cell Phones, Tablets, Beverages less than 32 oz and small food items.
        Laptop computers, Purses, handbags or pocketbooks, DVD players, Camera bags.
What is not changing?

  • Cellular functions are still not permitted for taxi out, take-off or landing.  All electronic devices must be placed in airplane mode.  Cell phone calls are permitted after landing on arrivals into the U.S. and U.S. territories as they are today.
  • Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) calls remain prohibited. Our current Wi-Fi providers block all known VOIP calls.

IMPORTANT: F/As may only perform duties related to safety during taxi, take-off and landing. All flight attendant PEDs, including cell phones and tablets must be switched into airplane mode and stowed.  The FA Tablet may be referenced for safety related functions during taxi, such as delivering the manual safety demo PA, but must be kept secure and must be stowed when not in use for safety related functions.  F/As should never have the FA Tablet or personal electronic devices in hand during take-off or landing."

Check your email for more information including the PA that should be delivered following the safety demo as well as prior to landing.

AmericanAirlines US Airways 

Leslie Mayo
APFA National Communications Coordinator

ABOUT APFA: The Association of Professional Flight Attendants, founded in 1977, represents the more than 16,000 active flight attendants at American Airlines. In November 2011, American’s parent company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Throughout the bankruptcy trial, APFA President Laura Glading has served on the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee where she continues to advocate for American Flight Attendants. In February 2013, American and US Airways announced their intention to combine the carriers. Achieving a merger inside of bankruptcy is unprecedented in the industry and would not have occurred without the efforts of American’s labor unions, particularly APFA.
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