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TechWatch: British Airways takes foot off pedal on electronic gadgets

by Simon Lazarus
9 July, 2013
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Simon is a published journalist in the UK, US and Europe on a range of topics and currently has a number of clients in different sectors for whom he produces content on a weekly basis. Topics include travel, property, food, lifestyle, finance, hi-tech and business.

british-airways

TechWatch

Frank Sinatra wanted to fly to the moon and Westlife told us we could fly without wings. But one airline has ensured that tech folk can now sync, talk and play away even when in the air.

British Airways has become the first major airline in Europe to allow travellers to turn on mobile handsets as well as a host of gadgets when taking off and landing.

BA introduces new rules for gadgets

Effective from the 1st of July, as soon as an airplane is no longer on the runway, one of Britain’s most famous airlines have ensured that people will be able to fire up their gizmos.

This is instead of the usual mundane warnings stating that no one can switch any devices on until the aircraft has come to a complete standstill. This has been in place amid worries over interference.

But according to The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), they believe the new introduction won’t cause any safety implications. It comes against a recent backdrop where other airlines around the world have relaxed their laws in a similar way.

Yet British Airways are certainly putting their motto “To Fly To Serve” into good practice. It now states that you can use mobiles from the very moment when the plane is in the air.

To Fly To Serve

Ian Pringle, a BA training manager told the BBC; “Customers will no longer have the frustration of having to wait until their plane has arrived at the terminal building before being able to use their mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices. Now they’ll have that extra time to phone ahead for that important business meeting, check their emails, or make sure someone is there to meet them at the airport.”

There are no limits on take-off but your gadgets, iPads; MP3s and such like face the off switch until at least 10,000 feet. This immediate change is thanks to a wave of customer service feedback and has been applied to all of BA’s planes wherever they land across the globe.

Tech usage on BA relaxed

Meanwhile, this has not stopped other authorities to get in on the act. This includes the likes of The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) who are investigating how to use electronics on journeys.

 

Rules in place since ’66

With stringent rules in place stretching back to when Sir Geoff struck England to World Cup victory and Sir Bobby’s hair was waving in the summer air, aviation has had to change with modern times.Thanks to major tech advances, this has seen authorities relax their rules but it has been viewed by some as an opportunity for airlines to coin in on vital revenue.

This is especially the case when looking at tablets and other devices which utilise roaming and possible data charges not to mention expensive calls for vital business meetings and more.

Yet new policies will certainly be most welcome for some. This includes 100 high school children who were ordered off an AirTran flight to Atlanta whilst Alec Baldwin was also kicked off an AA flight in December 2011.

Alec Baldwin stopped for playing Words with Friends

This was for continuing to play that old favourite Words With Friends! He later took to the Twittersphere where the 30 Rock star voiced his grievances to his 1 million plus Twitter followers.

Simon Lazarus | Website

Simon is a published journalist in the UK, US and Europe on a range of topics and currently has a number of clients in different sectors for whom he produces content on a weekly basis. Topics include travel, property, food, lifestyle, finance, hi-tech and business.

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