Hooray I Can read on The Plane

Having discovered the many advantages of an e-reader when travelling, it was always a matter of some frustration that I had to turn the thing off during take-off and landing. There is nothing worse than being at a crucial point in a story when that annoying voice pops up on the PA system asking you to turn off all electronic devices. I never understood why this action was necessary and how my enjoyment of Jack Reacher’s latest exploits could possibly affect the plane and now it seems that the safety authorities agree with my assessment.


E-readers have been a revelation to me that is right up there with the first time I saw television in colour. With age related eyesight problems and being sick of carting loads of books around on holiday, I discovered that I could actually see my Kindle! The little device could also hold as much reading material as I could possibly plough my way through on even the longest trip including recipe books and travel guides. It was like discovering that Ermintrude was pink. For those who don’t remember, Ermintrude was the cow in Magic Roundabout, the second programme that I ever saw in colour. The first was Scooby Do but I digress.


Back in October Aviation regulators in the United States cleared electronic devices for use during take-off and landing as long as they have flight mode activated. Voice calls, internet connections and texts will still be prohibited. Not only will book worms like me be able to read during those tiresome delays before take-off. Games fans and movie buffs will be able to indulge their interests too. This could help eradicate the wailing of bored children which invariably punctuates most flights. We have all become rather addicted to our devices and it is difficult to know whether the restlessness on planes is due simply to the boredom or if it is, in fact, withdrawal symptoms from having to switch off the electronics!

Airlines must undertake safety checks before changing their policies and must show the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that their planes can cope with the effects that the devices could have on flight instruments. I am sure that all will be well in this regard.


Following the American announcement the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has also announced a relaxing of the rules. Again devices must be in flight mode and the changes to the regulations could be applied within days. I am sure that the rest of the world will shortly follow suit and in-flight boredom will be a thing of the past.

I can now look forward to downloading more books to my Kindle in readiness for the next holiday. Now I come to think of it I should also download a few episodes of the Magic Roundabout to my laptop. It will be a useful way of reminding myself just how much things have changed. Sadly the only change in my eyesight has been for the worse and so I must remember to take my reading specs or I will not be able to see my books or Ermintrude wherever the plane happens to be.


Article by Sally Stacey