FAQs - Portable Electronic Devices

Delta passengers will now be able to use their portable electronic devices below 10,000 feet on all U.S. domestic flights. Keep those e-readers, tablets, and smartphones in airplane mode from gate to gate and continue enjoying Wi-Fi above 10,000 feet.

What is a portable electronic device?

A portable electronic device (PED) is a lightweight, electrically or battery-powered piece of equipment. These devices are typically consumer electronic devices capable of communications and data processing, such as a tablet, e-reader or handheld computer games. Please note that mobile phones are not considered PEDs in this context and thus may be used only when the boarding door is open and during taxi to the gate after landing.

When can I use my PED on Delta and Delta Connection aircraft?

Approved PEDs now may be used from gate to gate on mainline Delta flights operating within the U.S.  On flights operating outside of the U.S., all PEDs must be turned off and stowed prior to pushback and while the aircraft is below 10,000 feet.

By the end of 2013, you will be able to use PEDs on Delta Connection® flights.

Will I be able to use portable electronic devices on all Delta flights?

U.S. airlines have been approved to expand passenger use of PEDs on domestic and international flights while within U.S. Airspace (including District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the possessions, including territorial waters and the airspace of those areas).

PED use on certain portions of international flights is not allowed outside U.S. Airspace. Please see the below chart for details.

 

Approved PED Use Overview

* DVD players, laptop computers and other devices that exceed the size/weight restrictions must be stowed for taxi, takeoff and landing.

PED use on the ground and during takeoff and landing should be limited to small, lightweight devices less than 2 lbs. These devices should be of a size that could easily be secured in a seat pocket without exceeding the designed weight capacity of 3 lbs. including all contents of seat pocket (safety card, Sky magazine, airsickness bag) and not impede emergency egress to the aisle.

 

PHASE OF FLIGHT (Take Off/Landing)

U.S. / U.S.

U.S. / INT'L

INT'L / U.S.

INT'L / INT'L

At gate/Boarding door open

YES

YES

YES

YES

Boarding door closed/Taxi out from gate

YES*

YES*

NO

NO

Take-off: Climb until 10,000 ft.

YES

YES

NO

NO

Cruise

YES

YES

YES

YES

Descent: 10,000 ft. until landing

YES*

NO

YES*

NO

Taxi to gate

YES

YES

YES

YES

When can I begin to use portable electronic devices during taxi, takeoff and landing?

Beginning Nov. 1, 2013, all customers traveling on Delta-operated domestic aircraft within the United States may use certain portable electronic devices. Laptops and devices larger than a tablet must be stowed during taxi, takeoff and landing. Customers traveling on Delta Connection-operated flights will be able to do the same by the end of the year, pending each carrier’s completion carrier-defined PED tolerance testing to ensure the safe operation of passenger portable electronic devices during all phases of flight.

Which devices can I use during all phases of flight?

You may use the following devices from gate to gate on Delta and Delta Connection flights within the U.S.

• AM/FM or satellite radios
• digital and video cameras
• calculators
• Delta-installed equipment such as in-flight entertainment systems
• DVD players*
• e-readers
• electric shavers
• electronic/digital watches
• global positioning system (GPS) receivers
• handheld computer games
• headphones
• laptop computers*
• medical devices**
• noise reduction headphones
• portable media players*
• pagers
• smartphones and any device with cellular network service must be turned off or in airplane mode
• tablets and wireless keyboards or mouse

PED use on the ground and during takeoff and landing should be limited to small, lightweight devices less than 2 lbs. These devices should be of a size that could easily be secured in a seat pocket without exceeding the designed weight capacity of 3 lbs. including all contents of seat pocket (safety card, Sky magazine, airsickness bag) and not impede emergency egress to the aisle.

* DVD players, laptop computers, and other devices that exceed the size/weight restrictions must be stowed for taxi, takeoff and landing.

** Medical devices including the following items may be used during all phases of flight: hearing aids; heart monitors; heart pacemakers and other implanted medical devices; insulin pumps; nebulizers/vaporizers; approved portable oxygen concentrators; approved respirators/ventilators; approved sleep apnea machines.

Which devices cannot be operated at any time on a Delta or Delta Connection aircraft?

The following devices cannot be used: e-cigarettes; personal air purifiers; remote control toys; televisions; transmitters (amateur, citizens band (CB), two-way radios or walkie-talkies); VHF scanner receivers and any device with cellular network service enabled. PLEASE NOTE: Mobile phones may be used only when the boarding door is open and during taxi in to the gate after landing.

Why am I not able to use a laptop or large portable devices like DVD players on taxi, takeoff and landing?

Laptops and devices larger than a tablet must be stowed until the aircraft is airborne. Generally speaking, any device that is larger than a tablet may pose a hazard due to the physical size and weight of the device.

PED use on the ground and during takeoff and landing should be limited to small, lightweight devices less than 2 lbs. These devices should be of a size that could easily be secured in a seat pocket without exceeding the designed weight capacity of 3 lbs. including all contents of seat pocket (safety card, Sky magazine, airsickness bag) and not impede emergency egress to the aisle.

Why can I use cell service upon landing, but not during taxi between the gate and takeoff?

All cellular functions must be turned off using the device’s airplane mode setting after the boarding door has been closed until the aircraft has landed. The use of cellular network services (voice or data) during the flight is not permitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Use of cellular devices prior to takeoff is not allowed per Delta policy so that flight attendants may properly prepare the cabin for departure and conduct safety demonstrations without interupption. Cellular devices may be used upon landing as instructed by the cabin crew.

How will flight attendants know my device is in airplane mode?

Prior to departure, flight attendants will make several announcements before closing the boarding door. If you are observed using cellular services, it may impact the ability to safely depart the gate All flight attendant instructions should be followed to ensure the safety of other passengers.

If I am using my device, am I required to wear headsets?

Passengers using devices that make sound will be encouraged to use a headset so that others around them are not disturbed.

What does this policy mean for devices such as professional cameras and recording devices?

Cameras (digital, film and video) may be used during all phases of flight if they do not exceed the size/weight restrictions. Devices that exceed size/weight must be stowed for taxi, takeoff and landing.

PED use on the ground and during takeoff and landing should be limited to small, lightweight devices less than 2 lbs. These devices should be of a size that could easily be secured in a seat pocket without exceeding the designed weight capacity of 3 lbs. including all contents of seat pocket (safety card, Sky magazine, airsickness bag) and not impede emergency egress to the aisle.

Will I be able to use satellite-based Wi-Fi on Delta’s international flights below 10,000 feet?

No. The FAA allows Wi-Fi use only upon reaching an altitude of 10,000 feet. Plus, current air-to-ground Wi-Fi systems through Gogo are not optimized for service below 10,000 feet, in part because the system uses cellular towers on the ground.

Why is Delta able to make this change now?

FAA regulations regarding the use of PEDs during flight have essentially remained unchanged since the 1960s. This has increasingly become more challenging due to changes in technology and passenger expectations. Today, the FAA allows carriers to expand PED use as long as the proper testing and analysis is conducted.

We have completed testing to ensure the safe operation of passenger portable electronic devices during all phases of flight. Plus, by the end of 2013, you will be able to use PEDs on Delta Connection flights, pending completion of testing.

What testing has Delta done to ensure that the use of portable electronic devices is safe?

Between January 1, 2010 and October 30, 2012, Delta compiled information on more than 2.3 million individual flights spanning every model of Delta aircraft. During that time, we did not find one incident that was caused by a passenger's portable electronic device.

Can I make phone calls or send or receive text messages and emails on the ground prior to takeoff?

All cellular functions must be turned off using the device’s airplane mode setting after the boarding door has been closed and until the aircraft has landed. The use of cellular network services (voice or data) during the flight is not permitted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The use of any voice application, such as a Web-based Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service, in connection with our in-flight Wi-Fi service is prohibited by the Gogo Terms of Service.

What types of things will I be able to do that I could not do in the past?

With this new policy, you may now read an e-book, watch or listen to pre-loaded portable entertainment or play pre-loaded games during all phases of flight. We listened to customer feedback about the use of data, information and built-in applications that do not rely on cellular networks. Also, you’ll find Wi-Fi available above 10,000 feet on more than 800 Delta and Delta Connection aircraft.

Why did Delta make this change?

We listened to customer feedback about the use of data, information and built-in applications that do not rely on cellular networks. Also, you’ll find Wi-Fi available above 10,000 feet on more than 800 Delta and Delta Connection aircraft.

If the FCC changes its policy, will Delta allow me to make calls on flights?

We have years of customer feedback on in-flight voice communications. The overwhelming sentiment is to continue to not allow voice communications while in flight.

Can pilots and flight attendants use electronic devices while in flight?

More than 19,000 Delta flight attendants recently began using Windows Phone 8 handheld devices to enable improved on-board purchases. Also, more than 11,000 pilots now use the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet, which replaced heavy paper-based flight kits. Neither can be used for non work-related functions during flight.

ABOUT WI-FI ON DELTA FLIGHTS

When did Delta begin offering Wi-Fi onboard its aircraft?

Delta launched Gogo Inflight Internet service on December 16, 2008.

What is the cost to use Wi-Fi onboard a Delta flight?

For pricing, visit delta.com/wifi.

Who provides Delta’s inflight Wi-Fi service?

Delta partners with Gogo, the world’s leading provider of airborne communications, to provide you with an industry-leading in-flight Wi-Fi experience. More information is available at delta.com/wifi.

How can I find out more information about Wi-Fi on board Delta flights?

Visit delta.com/wifi for more information

Are there any websites I can access for free?

We want it to be easy for you to connect with us at any point during your travels, so our Fly Delta app and any page on delta.com can be accessed in-flight Wi-Fi for free.

When can I use in-flight Wi-Fi?

You can access in-flight Wi-Fi as soon as your flight reaches 10,000 feet.

Do you anticipate in-flight Wi-Fi use below 10,000 feet in the future?

At present, the FAA only allows Wi-Fi use only upon reaching 10,000 feet. Current air-to-ground Wi-Fi systems through Gogo are not optimized for service below 10,000 feet, in part because the system uses cellular towers on the ground. The plans for Wi-Fi service on Delta’s international flights use a satellite-based system that could feasibly be used by passengers below 10,000 feet, if the FAA were to approve it.

Where is Delta’s in-flight Wi-Fi service available?

In-flight Wi-Fi is available on domestic flights, as well as on select flights as far north as Anchorage, and about 100 miles beyond the United States border. Although some current international flights may be Gogo-equipped, Internet access will only be provided while in the in-flight Wi-Fi coverage area.

By the end of 2015, you will be able to use Wi-fi on more than 950 international aircraft.

How do I know if my flight has Wi-Fi available?

You may look for an indicator for Wi-fi and other in-flight amenities during the booking process on delta.com. On board, flight attendants will announce when an aircraft is Wi-Fi equipped, and you’ll see visual indications on seatback cards and overhead placards.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT DELTA PRODUCTS

How can I find out more information about charging my device on board Delta flights?

For information, visit the in-flight power page on delta.com.

Does Delta have plans to increase seating space to accommodate laptops?

As laptop models continue to get smaller as technology evolves, most seats can now accommodate laptops. As such, we do not have plans to change seating configuration.

Can I pay more for a seat with more space?

As a SkyMiles Medallion member, you’ll receive complimentary upgrades to First Class when space is available. Also, Economy Comfort seats are available for purchase from the time of reservation until the time you check-in for your flight.

 
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