Lufthansa to bring in unrestricted handheld device use

23 Dec 2013 by GrahamSmith

Lufthansa passengers will soon be able to use personal electronic devices during all phases of their flight.

From January 1, the German airline will allow the use of small handheld devices from gate-to-gate — including during taxiing, take-off and landing — onboard its Boeing 747-8 aircraft.

All devices will need to remain in "flight mode" throughout.

Lufthansa plans to extend the unrestricted use of electronic devices across its fleet in the first few weeks of 2014, subject to further guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

However, the airline has ruled out permitting passengers to make phone calls on mobile devices.

A spokesman said: "Telephone calls on board Lufthansa flights shall remain forbidden, however, as the overwhelming majority of our passengers oppose people making phone calls on board.

"However, in order to make a phone call on long-haul flights there are satellite telephones available, which can be used, for a charge, by each passenger during the flight."

Earlier this month, the EASA issued new guidelines that said devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, ereaders and MP3 music players can be switched on at all times as long as "transmitting capabilities" have been disabled.

British Airways then announced that its passengers will be able to use personal electronic devices during all phases of their flight (see news, December 9). This was implemented last week (see news, December 18).

Graham Smith

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