November 4, 2013

Gate-to-gate electronics

We see you. We see you sneaking that last minute text message on your phone, hiding your e-reader in a magazine, or pretending to just look out the window on landing while you’re actually recording a video with your camera. But as of last Friday, we’ll now be able to leave you to our own devices.

That’s right, personal electronic devices are now able to be used through all phases of any JetBlue flight, gate-to-gate.

In fact, the first US airline flight allowing gate-to-gate use of electronic devices occurred on Friday when our own JetBlue flight 2302 pushed back from our gate at JFK T5 gate shortly after 4:30 in the afternoon to head out to Buffalo, NY.

We’re really excited by the chance to give our customers more freedom in the cabin to use their devices – and we’ll be excited to see you and smile as you grab that great photo of your destination even as we descend below 10,000 feet. If you have a chance to grab that great photo from the window below 10,000 feet, be sure to post it to SoFly. We’d love to see them!

Flight 2302


Of course, we know this change in policy also raises a lot more questions than the ol’ “turn them off” era, so we’ve put together a few of the more frequently asked questions:


Will cell phone calls be allowed?

Cellular calls will be permitted while the aircraft is on the ground. However, the FCC requires consumers to disable the cellular functionality of their devices before takeoff until the aircraft lands. Putting your device in “airplane mode” is an easy way to do this, but if you wish to use Bluetooth and other functions you may wish to disable the cellular capability manually.

Are there operational situations when PEDs can’t be used?

Yes. During certain low-visibility landings, all devices will still need to be completely powered down when our Inflight crewmembers are preparing the cabin for landing. In these cases, which represent less than 1% of our flights, the pilots will make an announcement to customers from the flight deck to explain the situation.

What about laptops?

Large electronic devices like laptops must be properly stowed before pushback and prior to landing. This is necessary to ensure safe egress of the aircraft in an emergency and is unrelated to the changes in FAA policy.

Will customers be required to turn off devices during the inflight safety briefing?

During the safety briefing, customers are encouraged to put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to crewmembers’ instructions, but turning off electronic devices is not required.

For more information about using personal electronic devices onboard, please visit

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67 Comments on “Gate-to-gate electronics”

  • Posted by Gloria Larson on November 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

    Very cool but then I’ve come to expect the unexpected from JetBlue… Great job – always…

  • Posted by Noelle Murphy on November 6, 2013 at 10:07 am

    This confuses me, “cellular calls-cellular functionality-text messages-using the phone as a camera to are all the same “electronic devices.
    How can I “use bluetooth while phone is in airplane mode”
    Yes I am over 65 but all this is not straight forward, or clear and is
    misleading confusing and leading to misbehaving.

  • Posted by Kathy Terwilliger on November 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Are you saying we can or can’t use laptops powered by wireless devices while cruising? Aren’t tablets computers, only smaller? Thanks. KT

  • Posted by Tim Canavan on November 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Will I be able to use my iPad?

  • Posted by Edee Berg on November 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Kuddos to you for allowing me to be able to use my e-reader and my iPad during your flights..BUT please please do not allow cell phones to be used during the flights ..I can understand prior to take off and at landing BUT I do not want to hear people’s personal stories nor learn about their is enough to hear them speak when I am on line at a bank in a store at an airport at a doctors office in a restaurant or even while strolling in the mall or on the streets..enough is enough..other than in an emergency we have to be silenced….
    Thank you
    Edee berg

  • Posted by Sharon Smith on November 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Great news! Will wi-fi be available?

  • Posted by ilene peiser on November 6, 2013 at 10:15 am

    So it sounds like laptops CAN be used while the plane is in the air? Also, is there a charge for internet if one uses their laptop.

  • Posted by Frank Merritt on November 6, 2013 at 10:18 am

    Great !

    Important P.S.

    I still do not want to be subjected to others’ cell phone conversations during flight!
    Thank you

  • Posted by Cheryl Ramsay on November 6, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Is there a charge for WiFi?

  • Posted by Deb Ankeny on November 6, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Just don’t ever allow cell phone calls on a flight. Can you imagine the noise?

  • Posted by Walter Cotting on November 6, 2013 at 10:48 am

    How can the crew enforce use or airplane mode? I would think that would be difficult.

  • Posted by Wilberto Rodriguez on November 6, 2013 at 10:54 am

    Thats awesome
    its great to know as there have been numours times you want to get an aerial shot of your Island from above, the city lights landing into Boston or NY or any destination for that matter.

  • Posted by Don Carmody on November 6, 2013 at 10:58 am

    There’s a typo in the second sentence of the answer to the second question about PED use in certain situations – The word “prepare” should be “preparing”

  • Posted by Nancy senuick on November 6, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Please never let cell phone calls be available. Can you imagine the foolish chatter on board for any amount of time.

  • Posted by Ruth on November 6, 2013 at 11:17 am

    NOT THRILLED!!! The fact that we cannot put our devices down such short periods is sad enough. Some people are so loud and annoying to others it is going to create another problem. Now you will need a “No Cell Phone” section.
    Thanks for your honesty. Hoping humanity is as considerate.

  • Posted by Dan Thomas on November 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

    See You on 11-28-13 From RSW To EWR. Smooth Skies And Tailwinds.

  • Posted by Elizabeth sanchez on November 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

    My name is Elizabeth Sanchez. I am wondering in I can use my ipad and the internet during the fly and if there is an additional cost?

    Please let me know.



  • Posted by louise scott on November 6, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Will we be subjected to second hand radiation being emitted by all these electronic devices. Has the FAA properly researched this or is this a fly by night gimmick to pacify our entitled society.

  • Posted by Ena Chang on November 6, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Texting is okay but please – NO TALKING!

  • Posted by Silvia Aynat on November 6, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Great news & posting. Loved the photo!!

  • Posted by Gazy Kattan on November 6, 2013 at 11:35 am


  • Posted by Dorrie Greeley on November 6, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Leave it to JetBlue to be the first! However, my only concern is cellular calls made by those who speak loudly and can interrupt the rest of us…

  • Posted by julio on November 6, 2013 at 11:39 am

    This is so cool!!!!

  • Posted by Ronnie on November 6, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Will texting be allowed?

  • Posted by Elen Lauper on November 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Does this mean I have access to the internet on my iPad during the flight?
    Or only stuff that is already downloaded on my iPad, such as games, articles, podcasts?

  • Posted by Valerie Borden on November 6, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Does that mean I have to listen to everyone talking loudly on cell phones all around me on a plane. Hopefully u mean just for texting. Many of us like it quiet.

  • Posted by JetBlue on November 6, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Cellular calls will be permitted while the aircraft is on the ground. However, the FCC requires consumers to disable the cellular functionality of their devices before takeoff until the aircraft lands.

  • Posted by JetBlue on November 6, 2013 at 11:48 am

    We’ll be rolling out our Fly-Fi broadband wi-fi product throughout 2014, so connectivity will be available as well, but this new policy change really applies to those periods between pushing back from the gate, until the plane reaches 10,000 feet when any electronic devices on the plane traditionally needed to be powered off.

  • Posted by JetBlue on November 6, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Our Fly-Fi product will start rolling out soon, and we’ve committed to providing free service for the initial roll-out of the first 30 aircraft. Pricing models after that have yet to be announced.

  • Posted by JetBlue on November 6, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Large electronic devices like laptops must be properly stowed before pushback and prior to landing. This is necessary to ensure safe egress of the aircraft in an emergency and is unrelated to the changes in FAA policy. Above 10,000 feet, you will be able to use your laptops as you normally would during a flight.

  • Posted by JetBlue on November 6, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Most modern smart phones have a few different transmitters in them, cellular, wi-fi, and bluetooth being the primary ones. The FCC has asked that cellular transmitters remain off for the duration of the flight, but wi-fi and bluetooth can be used during the flight.

    If your phone has a “airplane mode” function, it will generally turn off all wireless transmitters, including the ones that are allowed for use during the flight.

  • Posted by Lila Nyein on November 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    It’s a nice idea. But I can’t see how Jetblue would be able to enforce “airplane mode” for every passenger.

  • Posted by Candi on November 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm

    Seriously you people need to read ….

    “However, the FCC requires consumers to disable the cellular functionality of their devices before takeoff UNTIL the aircraft lands.”

  • Posted by Irene Davis on November 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    I think you are naive to think people are going to observe the safety demonstration, They were hard pressed to do it when they could
    not use their electronic devices. If I am in seat A or F, I want them
    to be aware of which way to go if there is an emergency.
    Cell phone usage should be addressed as soon as there is a violation.-
    the flight attendants must be empowered to insist it be turned off.
    Maybe a printed card – in very large letters – should be presented to them.

    Love Jet Blue – hope I continue to after this change!!!

  • Posted by Sara on November 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Thank God Jet Blue isn’t allowing cell phone calls during the flight. Can’t think of anything more annoying than sitting beside somebody yacking away about nothing the whole flight long. And does Jet Blue really think people are going to turn off their devices mid-flight when the captain says to? There’s nothing ensuring that people do it and if they don’t turn them off, that creates more risk to safety.

  • Posted by jam on November 6, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    I don’t get these comments. You CANNOT text or make calls in airplane mode, so hearing the chatter of others is not even an issue. About how FAs can regulate this…the same way they do now! When someone is listening to music or whatever on their device in the air, it is in airplane mode! The difference is that u will no longer be asked to power down on landing.

  • Posted by DrM on November 6, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    I’m glad to hear that cell phone calls will not be allowed during flight – the last thing I want is to sit next to someone for a couple hours as they natter away on the phone with their unlimited talk plan.

    JetBlue, please make sure that your flight attendants make it clear to your passengers that even though they can use their devices, they need to shut down cellular transmitters. The crew made no mention of it on the flight I took on Sunday, even with the repeated announcements that passengers are free to use their devices.

  • Posted by JS on November 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    I”m thrilled for this option… would love to have free-wifi!! (hint hint)

    But for all of you hoping for quiet flights – prepare to breakout the noise-cancelling headphones. Sorry to tell you, but there are apps which work over wi-fi that allow calls…. and do not require you to use the cellular network.

    See you soon JB!!

  • Posted by NG on November 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    This is good news. However, won’t this encourage bad behavior from those inevitable, incorrigible passengers? Certain caveats have to be added and made very clear to passengers.

  • Posted by LightswitchRaves on November 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Thanks for being ahead of the curve, jetBlue! Almost everyone else, on the other hand… the FAQs are in the article for a reason. Your questions were almost all answered before you even asked them!

  • Posted by Karen Samhouri on November 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Great news!! Thank you!! I’m looking forward to reading my kindle during take off & landing :)

  • Posted by Katy on November 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Someone on my flight put his call on speaker. I asked him to change it from speaker and he did. But then he and his buddy both put their music on speaker. I hope you will instruct your flight crews to make sure that customers are not allowed to be so rude.

  • Posted by Einstein on November 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    I may be mistaken, but I never get a cellular signal while I’m in the air anyway. I’ve never had to listen someone’s phone conversation while in the air also. I think people just love to complain. “No Talking”?? What the hell? You bought a ticket for an air bus. If you don’t want to hear other people talking, charter your own private flight. I realize people can be annoying on their phone, talking loud and what not…but tough! Put your headphones on and shut up. God forbid you don’t engage them in a polite manner and ask them to maybe keep it down. Nah…it’s easier to just complain in a blog or comment section online and push the airline for stupid rules.

  • Posted by Diane on November 6, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I fly quite a bit, and I have concerns. I suppose the most alarming thing to me is how so many Americans appear to be more concerned about their ability to text and post on ‘Twitter’ than the REAL LIFE safety of Americans.

    Yes, I have a ‘smart phone’, ‘tablet’, and ‘lap top’. Aside from knowing how wonderfully educational they can be — I also am aware of the fact that if THAT form of communication was available to the terrorists on 9/11 that thousands more would have perished. How could so many – be so blind? IF the terrorists could have communicated their personal locations, times, airline locations, and other clues to coordinate their ‘terror in the air’, how many more innocent lives would have been lost? How many other highrise’s would have been flown into? We will never really know, because our government has preferred to not engage the American public in the facts surrounding the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

    I feel that, unfortunately, Americans are feeling too secure in the air. Taking off our shoes, carrying only 3oz’s of liquids in our carry-on luggage – those factors have helped to created a false sense of security. I firmly believe that this false sense of security has made us a more vulnerable target in the future. Example: This current decision.

    We need to understand how the mind of an irrational, hate-filled, blood thirsty, terrorist thinks. With individuals who are trained, from birth, to serve nothing but evil, their ability to achieve what they precive to be the perfect level of evil is predicated through opportunity. With the changes being allowed by the FAA, I feel that it’s creating the ‘perfect storm’ of opportunity. Think, for just one moment, what would have happened on 9/11 had the terrorists been abled to communicate, in real time, with each other. They accomplished their horror by NEVER communicating during the commission of their ‘war against America’.

    My heart breaks to think of what this ‘easing’ of electronic communications on airlines will mean to those with evil in their hearts….

    This new mandate is dangerous, and I hope that the FAA understands that they will need to take full responsibility for what will eventually be the result of this decision. Certainly the public must ALSO understand that pressuring the airlines into allowing them to use their ‘toys’ while flying will result in pain for thousands….As a country that has suffered through a horrendous terrorist attacks on our soil, and a country who is still at war in the Middle-East, I find this decision by the FAA disturbing and senseless.

    Perhaps those who fly need to stop feeling so entitled. Flying is a form of transportation, nothing more. It’s unfortunate that after 9/11 we, in America, have to change how we think – but, we need to. Now IS NOT the time to become complacent.

    So to sum up my thoughts – this decision is a HUGE mistake.

  • Posted by Al on November 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I’ve looked at many of the questions left by many fellow jetBlue customers and many have asked questions that are either just basic common sense and questions that were answered throughly by jetBlue prior to the question being asked. Such as, how can you enforce “Airplane Mode” while on an Airplane? This is just common sense. Of course it would be impossible to make every customer put his/her cell phone in airplane mode, just as it’s impossible to make sure every passenger turns off their electronic devices when asked to so. However, with the way technology has evolved, cell phone calls will not be available once the aircraft reaches a certain altitude anyway. This occurs at 10,000+. In order for one to make a cell phone call above this altitude” it would require the aircraft to be equipped with an high powered cellular antenna. Of course no airline would pay for this, as it would only bring unwanted attention, terrible flight experiences , and bad customer service. Allowing people to carry on a cell phone call in such crammed quarters is a recipe for disaster. It’s annoying enough to listen to people talking on the phone while walking through the mall, standing in line, at an airport waiting at the gate. Especially when the flight has been delayed. This is all common sense folks, it wouldn’t happen. Nor is jetBlue saying that you will have full functionality with your wireless devices from gate to gate. Basically what jetBlue is saying is, all the things passenger once had to sneak and do, some of those things are now permitted. It’s not common that a passenger sneaks a phone call at 32,000 feet in the air. But it’s more likely they would pushing back from the gate or as the aircraft is moments from touching down. Or sending that quick text message to a love one or to the person picking you up at the airport, letting them know you’ve made the flight and you’re now leaving. These are the typical things passengers do with there cellphones. As for “Airplane Mode”, this shuts down any wireless transmission your phone sets off, allowing you to use your device without sending signals my accident or when you shouldn’t be. It’s impossible to enforce it, but it’s expected that everyone comply with this rule. Just like remaining seated with your seat belt on, even when the seat belt light isn’t on. How many people unbuckled their seat belt moments after the light went off? The instructions were to keep it on and remain seated even if the light is off. This is also another example of common sense. Another person asked about wifi and what difference would it make if you can’t use your device. Wifi Isn’t only restricted to just a cell phone. There’s Ipads, e-readers, tablets, laptops, and the list goes on. The mentioned devices are wifi equipped as well. But you don’t need wifi to read a book already downloaded, or you’re working on a project that doesn’t need the Internet for the moment. Come on folks, how many airlines that you know of that will even allow you to have any electronic device powered on after the main cabin door is closed?

  • Posted by Sharon on November 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE – No cell phones!!! We are already subjected to unwanted information from cell phone users in public places – please don’t make us have to listen to others while we’re on the plane and have no chance of getting away – PLEASE!!

  • Posted by Joscelyn A. Chambers on November 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Jet Blue are leaders, the others will follow. Hooray for the trend setter.

  • Posted by Gil Curtin on November 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Jet~blue your are the most innovative airline today. You are the best

  • Posted by Mary Ann on November 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Not happy…Concerned about breaches in security.

  • Posted by Uday Deshpande on November 6, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    That’s a great news.I always loved to click pictures and take videos inflight.very much delighted.

  • Posted by Bettie Umland on November 6, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Curious why there has to be a charge for the wi-fi service ever. Kudos to Jet Blue for rolling out these new regs first, but it won’t matter a lot to me if I must pay extra for the service. It gets tiresome to be nickel and dimed to death with all the extra charges airlines are now imposing. Free Wi Fi keeps you way ahead of the competition.

  • Posted by Lynn Mansfield on November 6, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    I think this is Pandora’s Box being opened. A wonderful idea in practice, but not in theory. There will be so many abusers and more air rage from this. More delays, etc.
    I agree with many others leaving comments, that it is nice to have quiet on a flight. Most Jet Blue flights are not in regular business hours (at least the ones I have to take) and at 3 am I will not be interested, not happy, to hear some idiot chatting it up on their phone. It will happen and be very annoying and disruptive. Can’t we just ‘unplug’ from devices for a few hours and get some privacy?

  • Posted by Robin on November 6, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Did ANY of the first few commentors read the article. It CLEARLY states “Cellular calls will be permitted while the aircraft is on the ground. However, the FCC requires consumers to disable the cellular functionality of their devices before takeoff until the aircraft lands.” So that means NO CELL PHONE service or use during the flight.

    Nothing was said about the aircraft providing wireless service so those that want to use their laptops, tablets, phones, etc will have to use only what’s available off the net.

    RE: Noelle Murphy’s questions…bluetooth is different then cell service and will work while in airplane mode. Noelle, it really is straightforward. If you’re unfamiliar with the terminology you can familiarize yourself by Googling the terms.

    Kathy how is a laptop powered by a wireless device?

  • Posted by Robin on November 6, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    CORRECTION: I meant to just say no cell phone usage interns of making calls, you’ll be allowed to use your cell phone for other purposes…games, reading books, etc

  • Posted by judith on November 6, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    Looking forward to my next flight, phone in hand.

  • Posted by ELIZABETH on November 6, 2013 at 10:27 pm


  • Posted by Anthony J. Finocchio on November 7, 2013 at 12:30 am

    One can’t send text messages if device is in Airplane Mode as it works off the cellular connection.

    If you have the use of Fly Fi /WiFi there are applications that allow you to instant message to someone’s cellular device AIM and YAHOO MESSENGER that I’m aware of.

    If I’m incorrect do correct me, but nicely, LOL

  • Posted by Beth on November 7, 2013 at 1:01 am

    I flew on a JetBlue Flight from JFK to Aruba on Tuesday, Nov. 5th and we were still told to turn off all devices before takeoff. Do u have any explanation for this? It really doesn’t matter to me whether or not we can use devices during takeoff and landing but I am just curious why we were told not to when the FAA policy went into effect last week? Thanks!

  • Posted by Darlene on November 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

    PEOPLE!! Look at the rules. You CANNOT talk on the phone during flight, which is stated as “Cellular calls will be permitted while the aircraft is on the ground. However, the FCC requires consumers to disable the cellular functionality of their devices before takeoff until the aircraft lands.” I think it’s going to be pretty obvious who is talking on their phones. And, to be honest, I’ve refused to shut my phone off on numerous flights-once you’ve reached cruising altitude, you have no signal anyway. I suppose you could use a web based system, like Skype, to make a call, which isn’t against the rules, but that would just be annoying for everyone else. Also, you’ve been able to use a laptop/iPad during the flight all this time. All they’re saying now is that the laptop is cumbersome, so you still have to put it away. However, iPads/tablets are easily stowed in case of emergency, so you can keep those out. Geez…..

  • Posted by Brenda Soley (Heath) on November 7, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Jetblue you the best.I am flying with JetBlue from they took away Air Jamaica plane from us and it was great.Flights always on time no delayed.If the take off from Jamaica and they say the flight will be 3 hour it is 3 hours on the spot.Jetblue I love flying with you.Even yesterday I flew Jetblue from Jamaica to New York…And I will always continue to fly Jetblue.

    Brenda Soley ( Heath)

  • Posted by Shay on November 7, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Great job JetBlue!! It says cell phone calls will be allowed while on the ground. It doesn’t say you can use the phone the whole plane ride! There is no change to that rule. Every flight I’ve been on, there is someone on their cell phone before we close the cabin. Text messages allowed?! I love that though.

  • Posted by Eliezer Maldonado on November 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

    The right that others may be entitle to allowing the use of cellular on the airplane, violate the right of people who would prefer to keep the cellular talk out of the airplane. We have more than enough on doctors offices, reception offices, even when paying the food at food stores you get some one ahead of you talking on the cellular while at times delaying others, because they cannot live disconnected from the cellular phones. The flight should be a quite and restful one, even to allow you to relax or dose a litter, not to have some one next to you, especially those addicted to the cellular phone to be talking the flight through. There is enough noise in the world. We do not need it also at the airplanes. thank you.

  • Posted by Father Rosado on November 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Now Jetblue needs to get some free wifi on board. That way we can make voip calls from 10k feet in the air.

  • Posted by Karen on November 8, 2013 at 3:06 am

    When I was traveling in mid-October, our phones automatically went to Airplane Mode when it was time, and back to service when they allowed. I agree with everyone else, NO TALKING! Text or surfing would be great, though! Thanks, JetBlue, I wouldn’t fly with anyone else!

  • Posted by Roberta Resnick on November 8, 2013 at 8:26 am

    It’s a little confusing, but there’s one thing that should be stated in no uncertain terms by the crew when the doors are shut. and that is that no cellular phone calls are allowed until the plane has landed. period. please.

  • Posted by Par on November 8, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Listening to others phone calls are annoying and invades my privacy. Even when on the ground. One cannot move away from the annoyance. This could cause conflict between passengers or security problems.

  • Posted by Ken on November 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

    When I am on Wi-Fi, I use the two apps Skype and Line to make calls. If I am on JetBlue’s Wi-Fi, I assume I will be able to make calls even while in flight, and stay within the rules.

    Personally, I can live without speaking on my cell phone while on an airplane, but I know others won’t.

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