BA first to allow mobile phone switch on after landing

British Airways, a UK-based airline company, is to become Europe’s first air carrier to allow passengers to switch on their mobile phones soon after the airplane has landed.

The airline will introduce the amendment to current rules and enable passengers to operate their handheld mobile devices once the airplane has turned off the runway, following an instruction from cabin crew. This innovation will mean that passengers will no longer have to wait until the airplane has taxied to the gate and the doors have been opened before being permitted to switch their devices on. The ruling will include the use of I-pads, e-readers and Kindles as well as mobile phones.

The new ruling, which comes into being from July 1 and will apply to every British Airways flight that lands at any global destination, has only been made possible by BA proving to the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority that such devices can be used safely once the airplane is clear of the runway. However, the rule pertaining to such devices being banned from use for outbound passengers remains in force from when the aircraft leaves the departure gate until after take off and an instruction has been issued by cabin crew.

BA’s flight training manager, Ian Pringle, said, ‘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.’