WSJ: FAA will soon ease in-flight restrictions for some electronic devices

We've been hearing rumblings that the FAA wants to start letting you use certain gadgets on airplanes through the "terrible 10,000 feet," and according to the WSJ, it's about to do just that. A 28-member industry and government panel's draft report strongly recommended relaxing blanket rules against electronics that have been in place since 1966 due to massive changes in technology since then. The committee also cited reports showing that passengers often forget to turn off gadgets without any consequences and that airlines, left to enact their own rules, are much too conservative. If it goes along with the document, the FAA will likely allow the use of certain devices, like e-readers and music players, during all phases of flight -- though the ban on cellphones is expected to continue since the panel wasn't authorized to broach that controversial issue. As for other devices, the details are still being bandied about, and the FAA is unlikely to announce a formal decision until the end of September. Still, now might be a good time to start fortifying that music and book collection ahead of your next big trip.