Phones, tablets, and laptops to stay on from take-off to landing in Australia on Qantas

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We’ve heard for years that electronic gadgets need to be off during take-off and landing, and you’ve probably questioned it, but from today, that is no longer an issue.

Keep your phones on, your tablets at the ready, and your laptops good to do some work on the next time you board a flight, because you won’t have to switch them off from here on in.

In Australia, Qantas has revised its policy on personal electronics following guidance from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, and from 3.30pm on August 26, will be allowing passengers on any Qantas domestic flight to use their gadgets from gate to gate.

That means you can use them as you’re walking through the airbridge to the plane, when you sit down while you’re waiting for the flight to take off, when the doors close and the aircraft makes its way to the runway, during take off, in flight, in the process of landing, when you’re back on ground and waiting to get to the terminal, and back across the airbridge at your final destination; “gate to gate,” as the term goes.

“Whether customers choose to listen to music, read their e-books or review work documents the introduction of gate-to-gate electronic access on Qantas flights is an exciting development to an already exceptional inflight entertainment service,” said Lyell Strambi, Qantas Domestic Chief Executive Officer.

“Qantas has conducted rigorous testing to assess the impacts of electronic devices on the safe operation of aircraft. We are confident that these devices are safe to be turned on, but in flight mode, for the duration of each flight,” said Mr. Strambi.

There are some minor catches, and these are things you’ll probably expect. One is that you still can’t make phone calls or send texts, so don’t try, and that the devices need to be in flight mode nice the aircraft doors close for departure, an action which will also stop you from making calls or sending texts.

Big gadgets like laptops will still need to be stowed before take-off and landing, due to safety concerns. No one wants a laptop in the face, and while a phone isn’t likely to cause a lot of damage if the aircraft hits bumpy times, a notebook computer will leave a mark.

The other catch is that this doesn’t affect QantasLink or Jetstar flights, so if you’re on one of these, your phones won’t be taken out until the captain has turned off the fasten seatbelt sign, but Qantas has said it is working to to make this happen for these parts of the Qantas network.