US Airways CEO: Sometimes I Forget to Turn Off Cell

The question about whether passengers should be allowed to keep their smartphones and tablets on during takeoffs and landings is not up to the airlines, said Doug Parker, who will be CEO of the new American Airlines after the US Airways merger.

(Read More: US Airways-AA CEO: No Airfare Hikes Due to Merger)

"This is an FAA issue. Once the FAA tells us it's not a safety issue, then it will go away," Parker told "Squawk Box" on Wednesday. "I'm not the expert on this safety issue. My understanding is that it's being re-looked. And I think it should be re-looked."

Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the Federal Aviation Administration hopes to relax the rules for portable devices—but not for cellphones—by the end of the year.

Parker admitted, "Sometimes I forget to turn [my phone] off. … Flight attendants have had to remind me at times."

"It's a difficult customer service issue," he added, saying that flight attendants are required by FAA regulations to ask passengers to turn off their electronic devices before taking off and landing.

Case in point, actor Alec Baldwin was kicked off an American Airlines flight in 2011 after he refused to turn off his iPad.

Meanwhile, US Airways is looking at allowing pilots to use iPads in the cockpit during flights to replace the heavy paper flight manuals.

American Airlines said it was the first to get FAA approval to outfit pilots with iPads for this purpose and after testing has been doing so since September.

United Continental has already been outfitting its pilots with iPads for this purpose.

By CNBC's Matthew J. Belvedere; Follow him on Twitter @Matt_SquawkCNBC


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