When can you use your mobile phone?
When can you use your mobile phone and electronic devices?
You can use your mobile phone and other personal electronic devices (PEDs) without compromising safety standards as long as you follow on-board procedures. The operator has the final say about the type of PEDs you can take on-board and the conditions of use on board their aircraft. These include:
- Devices to remain in flight mode throughout the flight. Depending on the model, a device may be able to transmit three different signals, mobile telephone, WiFi and Bluetooth. The flight mode disables all transmitting functions. Some operators may offer WiFi streaming for in-flight entertainment or internet connectivity, mobile telephone functions aren’t permitted in flight.
- Small devices such as phones, tablet computers, laptops and portable video game consoles and cameras that weigh less than 1kg must be secured for flight take-off and landing and other events as determined by the crew. A PED is considered to be secured if it is placed in a seat back pocket, in a garment pocket the person is wearing or being held in a passenger’s hands. Devices sitting on an empty seat, table or resting on the lap of a passenger are not considered to be secured.
- Large devices weighing more than 1kg must be stowed in overhead lockers or other approved positions for take-off and landing and other events as determined by the crew.
You’re required by civil aviation regulations to follow the directions of the crew on the use and stowage of items in the cabin. Flight operators must also satisfy us that they have the appropriate procedures in place so that electronic devices can be used during all phases of flight.
Are there restrictions for using a mobile phone on the tarmac?
There might be restrictions in place due to various hazards including moving vehicles, baggage trolleys, tugs, catering vehicles, toilet and water servicing carts, engineer servicing vehicles and refuelling trucks. These can vary for different operators and airports so passengers should follow the directions of the crew.
What do I do if I think a passenger near me is not complying with the cabin crew’s instructions?
Your safety is being put at risk if a passenger is using a mobile phone or another device when cabin crew have instructed they must not be used. If possible, tell the cabin crew immediately.
If you notice the unlawful activity happening at a critical phase of flight, such as during take-off or landing when all cabin crew must be seated, you can raise it with the cabin crew as you disembark from the aircraft. Pass over your contact details, the seat that the other passenger was in and 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 offending passenger, educate them and record their details for further action in case of a repeat of this type of behaviour.