Grey Area in the New Gate-to-Gate Electronics Rule...?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by gleff, Nov 12, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    You can use tablets gate-to-gate as long as they are in 'airplane mode' below 10,000 feet (and not connecting to a cellular network above that, although it's fine to connect to a cellular network when taxiing to the gate on arrival but not when taxiing from the gate on departure).

    You cannot use a laptop except above 10,000 feet because of fear of it becoming a projectile in an emergency.

    You can use a hardcover book despite the ability for it to become a projectile in an emergency.

    Those quirks I will leave aside for the purpose of this post. What I want to know is, what is a laptop and what is a tablet?

    Put a different way, are the smallest laptops banned because of the way the screen opens relative to the keyboard? And the largest tablets are ok?

    And perhaps more importantly, what about a laptop that converts into a tablet? Can it be used as long as it is in tablet mode?

    The electronics rules have me wanting a tablet, which I haven't cared about before, but I also have no desire to carry more than one device. I've been happy with my 2 year old Lenovo u300s ultrabook as a single device solution.

    I'm tempted though by the new Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro -- i7 processor, 8gb ram, 521gb solid state drive.. Windows 8.1, touch screen, and flips over to become a tablet. Think I could get away with that on takeoff and landing? :)
     
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  2. theBOAT
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    theBOAT Silver Member

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    You already know the answer to this Gary... it's going to be up to the crabbiest flight attendant that checks your row! There will not be any consistent implementation of this for at least a few years on individual airlines, let along between the various mainline & regional carriers.

    theBOAT
     
  3. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    You are no doubt correct (though as far as I know, no regional carrier is certified for this yet, right?)
     
  4. theBOAT
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    theBOAT Silver Member

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    Not that I know of, but it's just a matter of time before it trickles down

    theBOAT
     
  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I had a Yoga and it was nice, if gimmicky... I was always worried about the lifespan of that hinge/swivel thing, and there was certainly some added bulk compared to a regular tablet or a "detachable" tablet as they have now.

    I'm using a "Helix" convertible Thinkpad now and so far I'm ok with it. It certainly has enough power to do whatever I need, it comes with Windows Pro so software is not an issue and it has a real keyboard and the classic Trackpoint (in addition to a trackpad), which is always a plus. I rarely use it without the keyboard though, mostly because it's for work. I suppose that's one of the advantages of the Yoga setup though, where you can always close the lid and it protects the screen. With a detachable you have to worry about protecting the screen if you happen to leave the keyboard behind.

    I also have a Surface 2 that I always lament because some of the software is finicky (especially things like dropbox or RDP clients) and even though it's lighter the keyboard leaves much to be desired (even though the new backlit one is much better than the older one). I find that the pad on the Surface is always a pain in the butt to use so I generally end up carrying a bluetooth or USB mouse.

    Needless to say, it's always fun to see my electronics bag go back and forth through the x-ray machine. They never make me open it, but they always take a second or third look... :)

    "Travel Day" usually looks like this, plus all the chargers and a ton of USB cables... :)

    travel_day.jpg
     
  6. Mark
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    Mark Admin Staff Member

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    I have a Chromebook that I use for travel since 90% of my work is online. I imagine it will be treated as a laptop, but it's definitely lighter than some tablets and hardcover books.

    That said, I can't see myself getting a tablet anytime in the near future.
     
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  7. Dozer

    Dozer Silver Member

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    That's a good point. No doubt it will be up the FA. Maybe the fine line will be any device that has an attached keyboard will be defined as a laptop. As opposed to anything where the keyboard can be detached and stored away will be labeled as a tablet?
     
  8. theBOAT
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    theBOAT Silver Member

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    There is too much logic in your proposal for it to be widely adopted! ;)

    theBOAT
     
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  9. Dozer

    Dozer Silver Member

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    Haha. I'm a nerd. What can I say?
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I thought American Eagle was.

    Also, on my UA flight this morning the FA said four pounds was the threshold they were told, "but they didn't give us scales to check."

    I'd assume that anything which looks like a tablet will be fine and anything which looks like it has a keyboard attached won't.
     
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  11. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    The way I read their PR when they allowed PEDs was that on some American Eagle flights they were allowed. Presumably those are on the planes that AMR owns that are staffed with their own pilots as opposed to their regional partners.
     
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  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yeah, that's what I understood as well.
     
  13. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    Is the grey area any "greyer" than the TSA rules about electronic devices? Generally devices like tablets don't have to be removed for individual TSA examination whereas laptops do. I suspect the same logic is supposed to apply to use of PEDs onboard. The trouble is logic and the TSA don't mesh and sometimes the TSA is inconsistent, so probably carriers also will be inconsistent, just to be consistent with the inconsistency.
     
  14. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I was able to keep my tablet on but had to store my laptop because it's considered a projectile (a tablet at a certain speed could be a projectile too, so faulty logic there). Cell phones vary. I think it's all down to the FAs and how much they police the cabin. Case in point, this afternoon the guy sitting opposite my row was yapping away on his cell phone during taxi and take-off with no sense of urgency to end the call. He ended the call while we were still climbing.
     
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  15. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah I don't subscribe to the projectile theory... some tablets out there outweigh some of the ultra light laptops in the market, which makes them more dangerous. Not to mention you can make the argument that it's easier for a tablet to slip through your fingers as opposed to a laptop.
     

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