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December 19, 2013

British Airways lifts gadget restrictions during take-off and landings

However, calls, text messages or emails still remain restricted during flights.

By CBR Staff Writer

British Airways’ passengers will now be allowed to use in-flight portable-electronic-devices, only by switching on ‘flight safety’ mode, during take-off and landing, which makes it the first European airline to end a ban on the use of gadgets.

Passengers can now use their phones, e-readers and other electronics to work, read, play games, listen to music or watch films stored on their devices on BA flights, while they are still not authorised to make calls, text messages or emails.

Being implemented in the wake of the European Aviation Safety Agency ruling that allows airlines to relax restrictions on the use of electronic gadgets, the new policy is claimed to comply with all existing safety laws.

Last month, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) also relaxed rules on in-flight gadget use that allowed introduction of similar policies by US airlines.

BA flight training manager Capt Ian Pringle said that customers want to use their hand-held 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," Pringle said.

"With around 300 people on a long-haul flight that will mean a combined total of approximately 150 hours extra viewing, reading or working.

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"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."

Other airlines can also seek permission from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, which has regulated the move, to let their passengers use electronic gadgets during taxi, take-off and landing.

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