One of the many frustrations for air travellers are inconsistent rules between airlines. One specific irritation are the rules in respect of the use of mobile phones by passengers once an aircraft has landed on the runway.
The UK, in accordance with the rules of the Civil Aviation Authority (“CAA”), has always adopted a strict approach that mobile phones and other electronic devices cannot be switched on after landing until the aircraft has reached the gate and the aircraft engines have been switched off.
Some international airlines are not bound by such restrictions and allow the use of mobile phones once the wheels have touched down.
In practice, this often leads to passengers not following crew instructions.
BA has been working with the CAA and has been able to obtain agreement that mobile phones and other electronic devices can be used once the aircraft has cleared the runway and the all clear is given by cabin crew.
This is the second time in the past year that the CAA has relaxed its rules after lobbying by BA. Last year, BA obtained agreement that its in-flight entertainment systems could, subject to some restrictions, be used “gate to gate” rather than being switched on after take off and switched off before landing.
The new policy will apply network wide from 1 July 2013. Current policies on switching off electronic devices before take off remain unchanged.