The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has decided that Portable Electronic Devices may be used in Airplane Mode at all stages in flight. They have noted that you should still listen to crew member instructions–so if they ask you to shut down, you should shut down.
“Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions. Electronic items, books and magazines, must be held or put in the seat back pocket during the actual takeoff and landing roll. Cell phones should be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled – i.e., no signal bars displayed—and cannot be used for voice communications based on FCC regulations that prohibit any airborne calls using cell phones. If your air carrier provides Wi-Fi service during flight, you may use those services. You can also continue to use short-range Bluetooth accessories, like wireless keyboards.”
I’ve joked to my colleagues that if I’m not online, I’m either taking off, landing, or dead (or the Gogo is down!) Now, I guess the default is “dead”.
Disclaimer: While I tweet a lot, if I’m not tweeting, I’m probably not dead. But I appreciate every time people get concerned.