25 August 2014 | Customer

Virgin Australia customers' electronic devices cleared for take-off

Further to the announcement on Friday 22 August, Virgin Australia customers will be able to use personal hand-held electronic devices from gate to gate from tomorrow, following approval today from the aviation safety regulator.

From tomorrow, 26 August:

  • Usage of personal electronic devices weighing less than 1kg will be permitted at all stages of flight (from departure gate to arrival gate), provided flight mode is selected.
  • Applies to all Virgin Australia mainline domestic and short-haul international flights – includes Boeing 737, Embraer 190, and Airbus 330 aircraft.
  • Devices weighing more than 1kg will still be required to be stowed during take-off and landing.
  • Cabin Crew will make announcements on the flights confirming that customers are able to use their devices.
  • Passengers will be asked to pause their in-flight entertainment while the pre-flight safety briefing is underway.

Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell said the company was pleased to be introducing the initiative without delay.

“Today’s announcement means that our customers will be able to use their personal devices throughout their entire journey with us, maximising their work or leisure time.

“On Boeing 737 and the majority of Embraer 190 aircraft, customers will also be able to take advantage of our innovative Australian-first Wi-Fi entertainment system, with more than 300 hours of film, television and music content at their fingertips from the moment they sit down.

“We know that a significant proportion of our customers travel with at least one smartphone or tablet, which demonstrates how valuable gate-to-gate access is to their overall travel experience”, Mr Hassell said.

Virgin Australia worked with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on an exemption to previous rules which prohibited the use of personal electronic devices other than at cruising altitude. Other aircraft in Virgin Australia’s fleet still require more testing and approvals prior to launching gate-to-gate access for personal hand-held devices. Flights to or from New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and Fiji are excluded as approval is needed from the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand.