An FAA advisory panel is expected to recommend relaxing restrictions on electronic devices during flights. The rules on when to turn off electronic devices on airplanes has long been a contentious point for travelers. But faced with a surge of electronics on airplanes and under pressure from a growing number of tech-savvy, and increasingly tech-dependent, passengers, the Federal Aviation Administration recognized that change was inevitable. This week, an FAA advisory panel will meet to complete its recommendations to relax most of the restrictions. The guidelines are expected to allow reading e-books or other publications, listening to podcasts, and watching videos. The ban on sending and receiving emails and text messages or using Wi-Fi during takeoff or landing is expected to remain in place, as is the prohibition on making phone calls throughout the flight.
The world's largest ferris wheel is being built in Las Vegas. The outer wheel of the 55-story High Roller ride is scheduled to be hoisted into place Monday. The huge project is now visible from all over the city, including the airport. Early next year, it will be outfitted with 1,500 LED lights and start its slow spin. Caesars Entertainment Corp. is building the ride as part of a $550 million development across the street from Caesars Palace. The High Roller will be 100 feet taller than the London Eye, which opened in 2000, 30 feet taller than China's Star of Nanchang, which opened in 2006, and 9 feet taller than the Singapore Flyer, which opened in 2008. The Las Vegas ride will take 30 minutes to make one revolution. Tickets will be comparable to the London ride, which costs about $30, according to Caesars spokeswoman. The High Roller won't be the tallest for long as New York announced plans last year for a 625 foot ride on the waterfront.
The TSA announced yesterday that it would expand an expedited program to 60 more airports this year, allowing tens of millions of travelers to keep on their shoes and belts at airport checkpoints. The TSA's Pre Check program will expand to 100 airports in 42 US states plus Guam and Puerto Rico. The agency also plans to expand the number of TSA Pre Check lanes at the existing 40 airports in the coming weeks. TSA Pre Check allows pre-approved airline travelers may leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt while they go through security. They do not have to remove laptop computers from cases or take out approved-sized liquids out of carry-on bags before the bags are screened. Passengers who are eligible for Pre Check include U.S. citizens of frequent traveler programs who are invited to apply by participating airlines including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America.