Forgetting To Turn Your Phone Off While Flying Is Pretty Common

Have you ever reached for your phone at the end of a flight to switch it back on and check your messages only to realize you never turned it off in the first place? If so, you’re in good company. Accidentally leaving your digital devices turned on while flying is quite common, according to a new study.

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the Consumer Electronics Association released a survey showing that close to 30 percent of travelers have forgotten to turn off their phone, ipad, laptop or other device before taking off.When they do actually remember to power down, many passengers don’t actually turn their electronics all the way off. Around 21 percent of fliers put their phones and tablets into “airplane mode” and five percent sometimes shut down their devices, while 59 percent of travelers did as the airlines asked and turned their electronics completely off.

APEX says that 99 percent of adult fliers travel with some sort of portable electronic device and many want to be able to use it during the whole flying process, including takeoff and landing. The group hopes the results of the survey will help persuade the Federal Aviation Administration to loosen the rules regarding use of electronics while flying.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Global X]

FAA To Relax Rules On In-Flight Electronic Use

Here’s some good news for air travelers: The New York Times is reporting the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may soon loosen its rules around the use of electronics during takeoff and landing.

The change, however, will not affect cellphone use. Instead, it applies to reading devices such as iPads and Kindles.

Anonymous employees at an industry group the FAA set up last year told the news outlet the governmental agency is under tremendous pressure to either allow use of these types of devices, or provide significant evidence why they cannot be used. According to multiple sources, there is no proof these types of devices affect a plane’s avionics.

According to the report, the group has been meeting with key companies, including Amazon and the Consumer Electronics Association, since January. It’s likely the FAA could make an announcement about the relaxed rules by the end of the year.

The group also told The New York Times that the FAA hopes to replace multiple regulations with a single, concise set.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said she planned to hold the agency accountable by introducing legislation surrounding the new rules.

“So it’s OK to have iPads in the cockpit; it’s OK for flight attendants – and they are not in a panic – yet it’s not OK for the traveling public,” Senator McCaskill told The New York Times in a phone interview. “A flying copy of ‘War and Peace’ is more dangerous than a Kindle.”

[Via: Mashable]

[Photo credit: Flickr user Don Fulano]

Gadling visits the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show – so you don’t have to

If you ever need proof of how much we love our readers, you’d only need to take a look at my feet. For the past couple of days, I made up the entire Gadling 2010 CES team, on a mission to find the neatest travel friendly gadgets, gizmos and services.

With over 2700 exhibitors, the CES is one of the largest shows in the world. The show is split between three halls, and several hotels. Of course, we leave the hardcore coverage of CES to our friends over at Engadget, who are the official blog of the event, and need their own double wide trailer to house their team.

Because I am writing for travelers, I’ll spare you the stories of how 3D TV “will change the way we watch TV”, or how the new Android operating system will power your washing machine, and will focus on the kind of technology that can make travel more entertaining or productive.

The trends that matter to travelers

  • Green technology
  • Ebook readers
  • More powerful netbook computers
  • Cool new cases

That’s it – unlike previous years, there was no really impressive new technology heading our way, and the general direction most companies took was to improve on their existing line of products. Still, during my three day tour of duty, I did come across some impressive new items, so stay tuned later this week to read all about them.

CES itself is something everyone should experience at least once. I’ve been doing trade shows for many years, including larger shows like CeBit in Germany. There is one thing they all have in common – trade shows are hell. CES is special, because they don’t allow the general public to visit. Everyone must wear a badge, and visitors are either exhibitors, manufacturers, engineers, CES guests, industry affiliates, press or bloggers.

Green Technology

In case you didn’t know – “green is in”. In fact, anything eco-friendly is really hot right now. Green technology has been added to chargers, battery packs, and even online travel guides. Later this week, I’ll show off some of the best new green gear.

Ebook readers

Every company has at least one ebook reader in their assortment. In fact, entire sections of the CES floor are devoted entirely to ebook readers and companies that develop ebook technology. Apparently, there are plenty of others who want a piece of the Sony and Amazon ebook market. This is obviously great for us, as it’ll bring prices down.

More powerful netbook computers

Several years ago, the first netbook computers appeared. In those few short years, the netbook has greatly evolved into a true replacement for the “normal” laptop. Of course, when people get rid of their bulky machine and switch to the netbook, they discover the shortcomings. First generation machines were slow, had poor screen resolutions, bad battery life and useless keyboards.

Companies apparently learned from their mistakes, because the newest generation shown off at CES is very impressive. More machines with 3G, 12 hour battery life and processor power for watching HD movies on the road. Prices are also coming down. More on the newest developments later this week.

Impressive new machines were announced by most major manufacturers, with some of the coolest coming from HP, who added faster processors, touch screen options and a neat airport friendly carrying handle to their latest.

Cool new cases

Every year, hundreds of companies announce new cases and bags at CES. Sadly, only a handful of them are actually innovative. Thankfully I’ve seen enough cases in my life to know who has something cool to announce, and who is just making more of the same. The best of the best will soon pass through Gadling.

Other interesting sights from the show

It won’t come as much of a surprise, but people love free crap. I sat on a sofa in the “press lounge” watching blogger after blogger try and grab as much free crap as possible. I witnessed people grab every single catalog, pen, sticker and bag they could, obviously not caring one bit about having to drag all that junk around all day. I left Vegas with less than I arrived with. I like my press materials in email, and I don’t care for freebies (unless they are worth more than $1000).

The only thing cooler than seeing new gadgets, is meeting the PR people behind them. In my “line of work”, I do a lot of communication with PR people in email, and finally being able to meet them in person is just fantastic. PR people don’t get the respect they deserve, and I for one admire their ability to stand on the show floor for four days trying to explain how awesome the product is that they represent (even if it isn’t).

Distances between halls and events are a problem at CES – and if you can’t schedule (like me), you’ll end up with an appointment in one hall, followed by an appointment 2 halls down, followed by one back at the first one. At the end of three days, I was ready for a replacement set of feet.

CES is held at the same time as the Adult Entertainment Expo (which is at the Sands halls), and several CES events are also at the Venetian (the unofficial hotel of the adult show). The difference in crowds is fantastic. Sitting down at the Venetian, watching people walk around heading to the two different shows is a show on its own. Suit – suit – porn star – suit – suit – porn star. You get the picture. Our very own Tom Johansmeyer used to cover the adult industry, and has a very insightful article on the current state of affairs over at Daily Finance.

And finally – if you are ever in Las Vegas, you’ll want to avoid the Las Vegas Hilton. It isn’t necessarily a bad hotel, it just isn’t up to the same standards as the newer Vegas properties. Note to hotel owners: a 40 year old hotel is not considered “renovated” when all you do is clean up the lobby and put a flat panel TV in the room. Oh, and the $13.99 Internet charge is just plain insulting, especially when so many cheaper hotels in Vegas offer it for free.

Still, the location of the Hilton can’t be beat and the staff were all mighty friendly, despite the insane crowds. Of course, come Monday, Vegas will return to its normal self, and will once again be a bit of a ghost town.