Bid adieu to 'Airplane Mode' on European airlines

Settings: Airplane Mode Activated

Want to continue that scintillating game of Words with Friends throughout the entire flight? Well, that might soon be a possibility if you're flying in European airspace. Late last year, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had decided to permit personal electronics like smartphones and tablets to remain on during takeoff and landing as long as it was in "Airplane Mode." Now, even that restriction has been lifted. Yep, the EASA has deemed "Airplane Mode" no longer necessary, thus allowing for true "gate-to-gate" electronics use. Of course, even if the EASA permits it, each airline will still have to take an assessment test to make sure it won't negatively affect aircraft communications. Turning off Airplane Mode is still a no-no for US flights, though most airlines do let you use your gadgets during takeoff and landing thanks to last year's FAA ruling. Maybe if Airplane Mode becomes unnecessary some day, we'll rename it to something that makes more sense, like "The Mode that Doesn't Suck Up All Your Battery."

[Image credit: pouwerkerk/Flickr]