The Australian airline, Qantas has extended its policy on the use of mobile phones to include all of the airline’s international services, New Zealand domestic operations and Australian Airlines services from this week. Under the policy, which was introduced for Australian domestic services in June 2005, mobile phones can be used once an aircraft has landed and vacated the runway. An announcement by cabin crew shortly after landing informs customers when they can use their mobile phones.
Qantas Executive General Manager John Borghetti said Qantas was pleased to be able to extend the policy to international services. “We have had positive feedback from our Australian domestic customers – in particular business travellers, who have welcomed the ability to access messages and use their phones for calls at an earlier stage of arrival,” Mr Borghetti said.
Under the new policy, ‘flight mode’ capable mobile phones and personal digital assistants (such as Blackberrys and Palm Pilots) can be used from the time the seat belt sign has been extinguished after take-off until the aircraft has begun its descent. However, ‘flight mode’ must be activated prior to turning the device off.
Mr Borghetti said customers could continue to use mobile phones on aerobridges at departure and arrival.
“It is important to note, however, that most electronic equipment must still remain switched off during both take-off and landing,” he said.
Portable electronic equipment such as laptop computers, personal music and electronic games devices may be used when the aircraft seat belt sign is extinguished after take-off and until the top of descent.
The new arrangements meet the standards set by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia and New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority.