The Association of Flight Attendants launched a lawsuit after the FAA allowed electronics on take off and landing. The lawsuit was dismissed since the FAA has authority to change these types of rules.
The group claimed that passengers were no longer paying attention to the highlight of their cabin duties, the pre-flight safety demonstrations. Although the location of the exit rows might change based on the type of plane passengers happen to be flying, the majority of airline safety rules tend to be the same.
According to court documents obtained by Ars Technica, the court ruled that the FAA has the authority to change its rules at will; therefore, the flight attendants’ suit has no grounds.
Another argument made by the AFA against the FAA is that electronics can become projectiles in flight and cause bodily injury.
I’d personally rather get hit by a kindle than a copy of War & Peace. If projectiles were this much of a concern, the AFA should have also fought to ban books and other things people are allowed to hold.
As far as paying attention to the safety briefing, before electronics were allowed, people were talking among each other, reading SkyMall (RIP), or staring mindlessly out the window.
They were not listening to the flight attendants with rapt attention. If this also were a real major concern, they would have pushed for banning speaking or reading during the safety briefing already. Instead, the only concern is mobile devices, which does not make sense to me.
In response to people saying mobile devices make us less social and pay less attention, images like this have been circling around:
We didn’t just suddenly stop paying attention. We weren’t all along!
Plus, in the case of an emergency, all that briefing goes out the window anyway. You can take a quiz to see how you’d do!