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Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar relax personal device rules

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Austrailian Personal Device Rules Relaxed

Passengers flying with Virgin Australia and Qantas will be able to watch IFE on their own devices from gate-to-gate via the respective Virgin Australia Entertainment App and Q Streaming service.

Australian carriers Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar have all relaxed their rules on the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) in-flight following a change in policy by the country’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

The development means passengers can use their PEDs from gate-to-gate, whereas previously they had to switch them off during taxiing, take-off and landing. Flights to or from New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Fiji are excluded, however, as approval is still needed from the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand.

Passengers who make use of the wireless in-flight entertainment options from Virgin Australia and Qantas will particularly benefit, as they will now be able to watch content on their own devices without any interruptions.

Qantas Domestic CEO Lyell Strambi said the carrier is “delighted” to give passengers the “freedom and flexibility to use their personal electronic devices from the moment they board the plane until they disembark”.

Virgin Australia’s Mark Hassell, Chief Customer Officer, commented: “We know that a significant proportion of our customers travel with at least one smartphone or tablet, which demonstrates how valuable gate-to-gate access is to their overall travel experience.”

The relaxing of rules by Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority follows similar moves by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in late 2013.

Future Travel Experience Up in the airIf you are committed to enhancing the onboard passenger experience, make sure you attend the FTE Up in the Air conference, which will take place at our flagship event, FTE Global 2014, in Las Vegas from 24-26 September 2014. The theme of the event is 'Redefining the end-to-end passenger experience'.

The Up in the Air conference will focus on all things in-flight – including IFE&C, passenger and crew connectivity, cabin design, passenger comfort, personalisation and ancillary revenue generation – and we look forward to playing an important role in shaking up the passenger experience in the air, which has evolved very little in the last 20 years, unlike on the ground.

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