Following the recommendations of an advisory panel, the FAA Thursday reversed its long-standing rule about using electronic devices during takeoff and landing.
While talking on your phone--or connecting to cellular networks at all while the plane is in operation--is still strictly prohibited, passengers will be able to operate their phones, tablets, and other assorted personal electronic devices (PEDs) during all stages of the flight.
But don't start whipping out your devices during takeoff quite yet, The standing PED policies will remain in effect for the time being. The new policy outlines procedures by which airlines must prove to the FAA that their fleet can tolerate the radio interference from PEDs, a process the FAA expects to be completed by the end of this year. After this process is completed, airlines may allow passengers gate-to-gate access to their devices.
You should check with your airline to see their PED policy.
A few years back, actor Alec Baldwin was famously booted off an American Airlines flight after refusing to stop playing Words With Friends on his phone while the plane was parked at the gate. It was usual policy for airlines to bar access to all electronic devices once the doors close for fear that they might interfere with the plane's operation--a viewpoint the new FAA ruling rejects.
So, as it turns out, Baldwin may not have been acting stubborn and entitled at all. He was just acting prescient.