Using your electronic devices on flights

You can use your mobile phone and other personal electronic devices (such as tablets and laptops) safely on flights. But you must follow all on-board procedures and the crew’s instructions.

Policies on taking electronic devices vary among airlines. Airlines have the final say on:

  • the type of devices you can take on board
  • when you can use them
  • how you can use them.

Make sure you check the airline's policy before boarding.

You should also remember to charge your devices before you fly. You may not be able to charge them on board.

Using devices during the safety briefing

You must put down all electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the safety briefing.

Use flight mode

All devices must stay in flight mode throughout the flight.

Flight mode disables all transmitting functions, such as signals for:

  • mobile telephone
  • Bluetooth
  • WiFi.

Some airlines may offer WiFi streaming for in-flight entertainment or internet connectivity. However, you aren't allowed to use mobile telephone functions in flight.

Secure devices for take-off and landing

You must secure all devices for take-off and landing, and when instructed by the crew during other events, like turbulence. This applies to:

  • phones
  • tablet computers
  • laptops
  • cameras
  • portable video game consoles
  • other devices 1 kg or less.

To secure your device, put it:

  • in your pocket
  • in a seat back pocket
  • in a bag in an overhead locker or under the seat in front.

Don't leave devices on your lap, the seat table or an empty seat. We also recommend passengers remove charging cords from in-seat charging ports during taxi take-off and landing phases. This avoids restricting access to the aisle in the event of an evacuation.

If you lose your phone in flight, do not move the seat. Contact a crew member immediately to help you find it.

You must stow devices weighing more than 1 kg in overhead lockers or in other positions as directed by the crew. This helps to prevent injuries in the event of turbulence or an accident.

You must secure smaller handheld devices that weigh less than 1 kg for:

  • take off
  • landing
  • when advised by crew.

However, airline policy may allow you to keep the device in the seat pocket, garment pocket or in your hands. If unsure, ask a crew member.

Restrictions when using a mobile phone on the tarmac

Restrictions on using phones on the tarmac vary for different airlines and airports. This is due to different hazards, such as moving vehicles and refuelling trucks.

You must follow the crew’s directions before using your device on the tarmac.

Electronic cigarettes

Airlines consider electronic cigarettes, or eCigarettes, as a personal electronic device. You must carry them on you or in your carry-on baggage.

Most airlines don't allow the use of eCigarettes in flight. Check with your airline before you travel.

Check out our dangerous goods information.

Other passengers not following the cabin crew’s instructions

If another passenger does not follow cabin crew instructions, tell the crew.

Failing to comply with crew instructions can put all passengers and crew at risk.

If you see the unlawful activity happening at a critical phase of flight, such as during take-off or landing, tell the crew as soon as it is safe to do so. This may be when you leave the aircraft. Give the crew:

  • your contact details
  • the other passenger’s seat location
  • a short summary of what you saw.

The airline will take your safety concerns seriously and might contact you for more information. They’ll also respect your privacy. In most circumstances, they’ll contact the passenger to educate them. They may record their details for further action if required.

Last updated:
4 Dec 2023
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