Air France joins BA in relaxing IFE restrictions

Air France passengers can now enjoy in-flight entertainment from the moment they arrive at their seats until they disembark on select long-haul flights.

The relaxation of rules, which follows in the footsteps of British Airways (see online news, November 2012), means passengers no longer have to wait until the seatbelts sign is turned off after take-off.

The airline introduced the measure on Monday.

Nineteen Air France aircraft, including all the carrier’s A380s, are so far equipped with the system, which will be gradually implemented across the entire Air France long-haul fleet.

Last year, BA obtained permission from the Civil Aviation Authority for its long-haul passengers to be allowed to watch their IFE screens “from the second they reach their seat to the moment they arrive at their destination”.

BA had required passengers to wait until after take-off and announcements have been carried out before the IFE system can be used, and turned off the system 15-20 minutes before landing.

But, from December 1, the carrier became the first UK airline to relax these restrictions on all long-haul flights, following nine months of negotiations with the CAA.

Certain restrictions, however, have remained in place for Club World and First passengers, and those sitting in exit row and bulk head seats.

Graham Smith

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