It was about a year ago when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) adjusted its guidance regarding the use of portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing in commercial flights. Passengers were, for the first time in years, allowed to listen to music or play mobile games without needing to fear reprimand from flight attendants.
Unfortunately, it appears as though the largest flight attendants union in the United States isn’t enjoying the change. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) argued in court last week that the FAA didn’t follow the proper protocol when it altered the guidelines around use of portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing.
According to the AFA, portable electronic devices, such as smartphones or handheld gaming devices, are distracting during essential safety announcements and can become dangerous projectiles. In response to this, a lawyer for the FAA argued that personal electronic devices are no more dangerous than books that passengers have been able to use for years.
Beyond the safety concerns, however, the AFA argued that the FAA didn’t properly handle the process of changing its guidance. According to the union’s lawyer, the FAA didn’t properly follow the guidelines of the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires government agencies to give public notice and allow time for commenting when a rule is changed.
Read more about the story at Fast Company.