Qantas, Virgin switched on for gadgets
Qantas, Virgin switched on for gadgets

Passengers on Qantas and Virgin Australia will be able to use their personal electronic devices in flight mode as soon as they board and for the duration of the flight from today.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority yesterday ticked off on various safety initiatives to enable what is called gate-to-gate use, but the ban on phone calls and text messages remains.

Both airlines said they had done rigorous safety testing to assess the impacts of electronic devices on the safe operation of aircraft.

Passengers must hold their devices for taxiing, take-off and landing or put them in a seat pocket.

However larger items such as laptops will still need to be stowed until cabin crew advise they can be used.

Qantas Domestic chief executive Lyell Strambi said the new changes would be positive for customers.

"Whether customers choose to listen to music, read their e-books or review work documents, the introduction of gate-to-gate electronic access on Qantas flights is an exciting development to an already exceptional inflight entertainment service," he said.

Passengers are also still required to listen to all in-flight safety briefings and comply with cabin crew instructions.
Cabin crew will ask passengers to pause their devices to listen to the safety demonstration.

The lifting of the ban applies to Qantas Group and Virgin Australia but not QantasLink, Jetstar or Virgin Regional.

Those three airlines are preparing submissions to CASA.

The West Australian

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