Qantas and Virgin Australia passengers can from today use personal electronic devices for the duration of their flight.
Both carriers now permit the use of handheld devices during taxiing, take-off and landing, as long as ‘flight mode’ is switched on.
The move applies to both international and domestic passengers and comes after Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) last night approved applications made by the airlines.
It means mobile phones, tablets, e-readers and small game consoles can be used during take-off and landing, although laptops will still be required to be stowed away at these times.
CASA spokesman Peter Gibson said: “The change does mean that passengers will be allowed to speak on their phones from gate-to-gate.
“But at some point crew will ask passengers to put their electronic devices on flight mode, probably before the safety briefing is given.”
Lyell Strambi, Qantas’ domestic CEO, said: “We’re delighted to give Qantas customers the freedom and flexibility to use their personal electronic devices from the moment they board the plane until they disembark.”
British Airways permitted the use of personal electronic devices during all phases of flight last December (see news, December 2013).