Taking photos or video showing crew or pax onboard a flight

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  • cwoodward

    I noticed the below from Qantas added this month to their ‘Conditions of Travel’.

    “Seek consent before filming or photographing Qantas Group staff, contractors or other customers ”
    This seems to be a direct response to much recent criterium of the airline and negative images posted online by unhappy passengers.

    One sees a lot videos online featuring all sorts of happenings on board flights and I was wondering what sort of regulations other airlines have and how stringently they ar policed.


    A bit of an over reaction, it seems.

    If one is professional & competent in one’s job, they should have nothing to fear unless there is something lacking in the performance or service levels.

    In any case Qantas crew over the years have always fallen behind various Asian airline standards, taking recourse to fine print terms & conditions in an effort to mask deficiencies hardly draws confidence. Maybe Qantas should make an effort to find out why there are so many unhappy passengers & negative criticism.

    If anyone has any doubts, I would suggest a trip HKG-SYD-HKG with QF one way & CX the other, in any class. The difference is visible.


    This is nothing new in many parts of the world. For example in Germany it is illegal to film anyone without getting their consent. Same for a lot of EU countries. For me it is a common sense approach. If I am generally making a quick video of the cabin to show a friend and there are some crew in the background, I don’t see the big deal. However, if I want to make the crew member the SUBJECT of my video and/or circulate this on social media I completely support QF’s new rule.

    @ woodpecker. In terms of your comparison between QF and CX crews this isn’t surprising and I think you could compare almost any ‘western’ carrier with any ‘asian’ carrier and find more or less the same. Because it is largely cultural and you will find a similar line in hotels, restaurants etc.

    Saying that, I am not a fan of the style of service I receive on the likes of CX, SQ etc. Firstly, a lot of the time I find it for want of a better word, forced and rehearsed. Very much smiles smiles smiles with not a lot behind the smiles, essentially being very task focused. When I fly airlines like Qantas they tend to be a bit more of a mixed bag in terms of customer service skills but I find them genuine and able to divert a lot more from ‘the script’. I have had so many interesting conversations with QF crews whilst waiting for the loo or such this has never happened to me on an asian airline (including CX) where the mentality seems to be ‘look busy’ whenever a customer enters the galley.

    Secondly….I feel safe at Qantas. I have flown on QF flights where a passenger behaves badly and doesn’t follow safety instructions from the crew and the crew stand their ground – regardless of the passengers frequent flyer status or the cabin. Safety comes first. The last time I flew CX there were two passengers on the other side of the business cabin, obviously vv important to CX. Coming in for landing, seats almost in bed mode, bags all over the floor, window shades closed…the crew very meekly asked them to prepare their area for landing, they basically told the crew to ‘F off’ which the crew did. And that’s how the cabin was left for these two to land in. For me, if the crew just overlook this…what else are they overlooking?

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    I admit to watching a lot of You Tube videos from some tremendous You Tubers / content creators. On the odd occasion you see bad interaction between cabin crew and You Tuber where there is some hostility about who is being filmed. Happens more on US carriers where some cabin crew really like to exert their authority. Personally I see no issue. We live in a world of social media, phones with cameras. Odds are the airline/airport are filming the passengers and crew anyway, at frequent points along the airport journey – and probably inside the aircraft too….

    What i find more concerning though are the number of flight deck videos which show multiple cameras stuck on the windshield and in some cases stuck centre windshield facing the pilot. Surely there must be some issues with visual impairment (for the pilots) with so many cameras…


    On my flight with Virgin from Austin to London last week, the cabin crew announcement before take off explicitly said they had no problem with people taking photos or videos on board but to please ask for consent from anyone likely to be shown in it.

    First time, I’ve ever heard an announcement like that


    This is quite a common practice in China, I recall being on a China Southern flight from Beijing to Amsterdam about 15 year ago, snapping a pic of the cabin from my seat to be admonished by the crew almost to the point of them scolding me, then having them standing over me whilst I deleted the image. The other end of the scale, BA and Virgin seem very happy for crew to be on social media, my Instagram feed is full of crew of both carriers, Concorde Julie being one of my favourites, often with videos of her onboard and with group pics of the entire crew down route, I much prefer this sort of attitude, and it’s good for the brand. Inappropriate recordings of course should be prohibited, and such clauses are likely added to T&C so they have all bases covered, and perhaps unions have something to do with it.


    The problem is I think isn’t so much including a person in a video it is more the fact that when a video of lets say a ‘juicy’ situation such as a staff/passenger exchange is filmed it more often then not ends up online for the world to see. And, some would say ‘so what’? It’s about context. The filmer is able to write the narrative of the story being broadcast around the world and we all know from watching reality TV how someone can be portrayed as a villain or a darling by clever editing.

    I have seen short clips of a video where I have thought ‘oh gosh, that crew member is absolutely rude and awful’. Yet, then seen the ENTIRE video and the whole exchange adds a lot more context.

    Being quite the Avgeek I always take quite a lot of photos and videos of my travels. I always politely ask the crew in advance if its ok and make it clear I will not be taking any of the crew and if I inadvertently do, I will ensure I blur the faces. Have never had a ‘no’ yet.

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    I totally agree with QF rule and this shall be applied everywhere.
    In these days of shutter-happy or TikTok happy social media generation it is really getting unmanageable.

    I cannot imagine someone taking my photo while I am doing my job at office or making a presentation without my consent or pre-agreed in case of a presentation.
    We need to respect each person privacy at all places and that applies to crew of airlines.

    I shudder to the thought if a crew member taking my photo while I am sleeping and very likely snoring loudly and publishes that in social media!

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    As a principle, in English Law, a photographer can film from a public area and capture whatever is in sight.

    However, on private property, the property owner gets to say what is allowed.

    Therefore, it seems reasonable, to me, that an airline can place restriction on filing activities onboard.

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    KLM have also been announcing this for at least a 3 years, both on short haul and long haul flights.
    They Announce promptly before the plane moves, when the doors are finally closed,
    “It is not allowed to take photos or Video clips of crew or of other passengers on board!”

    It was only about 6 years ago, that i was asked to be a “Passenger observer” for KLM, having to go through every stage of the travel process, and take photos of check in desks, security, on board meals, or to show any issues that came up!!! ||it was extremely detailed, a set app program you activated as you arrived at The Airport to follow.
    I found it quite laborious when asked to do this every long haul flight, through they did credit you with miles for it.
    ir did feel uncomfortable taking photos of these various every stage of yr trip reports to a set format.
    I only made 3 then declined to complete any more. I took very few photos anyway as i felt generally uncomfortable in doing so.

    There certainly are some countries where i would not take photos, for cultural or religious reasons, where it is not acceptable.
    However, I am very sure they have many images of us through every stage of the airport systems when we travel, like it or not.
    Just like those very long range temperature gauges that had Nurses behind them from so far away, and they never sought permission.
    Some in Asia are still operating today, and you cannot see until you walk very close!

    It does seem very one sided, when we are followed throughout our trips especially at airports!


    So, how would you feel as a passenger, if the crew started filming you without asking permission?


    I feel many ignore the fact that anyone in the service industry (not just crew) or any industry for that matter are not performance monkeys there to entertain, they are fulfilling a job. Many people do not want their image taken and used by strangers and nor should they be placed into that positions when the job description does not call for it.

    Sadly mobile phone cameras are also often used as an intimidation tactic to coerce a response or outcome these days. We’ve all seen it online. I for one would welcome such a policy if it became more widespread. Recent flights with other airlines including Aer Lingus suggests it’s becoming more common. But then I believe that Social Media as a whole is creating a rot in society.

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    As a member of society who has seen too many birthdays, I am one of those passengers/travellers who perhaps sends one last message to the wife, ‘Am on my seat’ and closes the mobile. I certainly have no desire to video the inside of a metal tube, which in all honesty looks much like any other metal tube. Some have two aisles and others, just one.
    I wish to relax and chill out, and if anything untoward happens I have a photographic memory, one that has served me well in all aspects of life for more than 67 summers ……………… so, and I’m sure this will upset many people here (and generally), why does Boeing and Airbus not install a ‘kill switch’ for mobiles, so that on entering the aircraft your camera/video mode on the mobile is frozen, furthermore that the network signal is also scrambled and …………. ‘Bob’s your uncle’, (and Fanny’s yer aunt) two birds with one stone so to speak, no more bothersome TikTok brigade, and secondly, no need to remind pax to switch their mobiles to aircraft mode.

    And that’s my ‘twopenyworth’

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    What troubles me slightly these days is the fact that some folk assume they have the “right” to film/photograph whatever takes their fancy.

    Not sure how this culture developed.

    Last year I attended a Remembrance Day service. A group of elderly ex servicemen proudly paraded past with their regimental pennants and sadly one of them went down like a sack of spuds. Whilst some administered CPR, others formed a human shield around him. People sprang forward from the crowd and attempted to film what was going on between the legs of those shielding him.

    Sadly he didn’t make it, but I think praise is due for the other attending servicemen and women who “dealt” with those who did not know how to behave.

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    I’m almost certain the Middle East airlines prevent (or try to) filming/photos on board without agreement.

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