From American Airlines' website:

As of July 8, 2003, on all departing flights worldwide, you may use your cell phone, laptop computer, two-way pager and PDA until the aircraft door is closed. Upon arrival on most fleet types* with American Airlines, American Eagle and AmericanConnection, you may use your cell phone during taxi-in as signaled by a flight attendant announcement. Use of cell phones is not allowed during flight per Federal Communication rules.
This concerns me a bit. I agree it's probably not a safety issue. But I wonder about the impetus for the change. Were AA flight attendants simply tired of policing the old policy? Lots of heads turning whenever someone disobeyed the old rule and turned on their phone during taxi to the gate. So it's a "what's next" question -- hey, we can see the ground, let's turn our phones now! How about in-flight, maybe it will work here?
I don't know why, but I just dislike people who can't follow instructions while flying. The guy in front of me on the flight from Frankfurt the other day was having a power struggle with the flight attendants over reclining his seat during landing. He finally complied, but only after being told four times that his seat needed to be upright. He probably figures, what's the difference, right? Well, in an emergency, buster, I don't want your lazy ass to be responsible for making it difficult for me to get off the plane (by giving me less room to manuver). Rules are usually there for a reason. When you're crammed into a metal tube with 100-300 of your fellow Earthlings, you have to give up some of your individual freedom. Sorry.

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