BA to become first European airline to relax device restrictions

By Travolution
By Travolution
December 18, 2013 04:56 PM GMT

British Airways is expected to become the first airline in Europe to allow passengers to use handheld electronic devices during taxiing, take off and landing.

Travellers will be able to use tablet devices, phones and eReaders in ‘flight safe’ mode from when they board their flight until they leave the aircraft.

The change comes into force from tomorrow (Thursday) following acceptance by the Civil Aviation Authority.

BA said it had demonstrated to the authority that the changes will comply with all existing safety rules and regulations.

The airline’s flight training manager Captain Ian Pringle said: “We know that our customers want to use their handheld electronic devices more, so this will be very welcome news for them.

“The easing of restrictions will provide an average of 30 minutes additional personal screen time. With around 300 people on a long-haul flight that will mean a combined total of approximately 150 hours extra viewing, reading or working.

“We are incredibly pleased to be the first airline in Europe to introduce these changes which will be of great benefit to our customers on any British Airways flight anywhere in the world.”

BA was the first European airline earlier this year to allow passengers to use mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices to call, text and send emails, after their aircraft has landed and taxied off the runway.

It was the first UK airline to allow customers on long-haul services to watch in-flight entertainment from gate to gate.

BA also provides connectivity on its double daily London City to New York service, which enables passengers to send and receive texts and data.

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