Virgin Australia has applied to allow customers to use personal electronic devices from gate to gate, following an update from the aviation safety regulator.
Virgin Australia has been working with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority on an exemption to existing rules which prohibit the use of personal electronic devices other than at cruising altitude.
The application would mean Virgin Australia guests would no longer need to miss the end of an in-flight movie, or put away their e-reader just as a book reaches a key plot twist, with guests allowed to continue using their devices throughout all stages of flight.
The electronic device rules have been a key area of customer feedback, with guests unable to watch a full movie between Sydney and Melbourne, and those whose services were delayed in flight due to weather or turbulence required to turn off their devices prematurely.
The application would allow guests to use electronic devices to access content through Virgin Australia’s Wireless In-flight Entertainment system or stored content on their own device, from departure gate to arrival gate.
Virgin Australia Chief Customer Officer Mark Hassell said the company looked forward to delivering the initiative for guests.
“In the past four years we have been committed to delivering a seamless flying experience to our guests; driving innovation on the ground and in the air.
“We continually innovate through technology; we were the first to introduce Wireless In-flight Entertainment through your own device and offer hundreds of hours of movies, TV shows, music and more.
“In-flight entertainment is a key driver of customer satisfaction and this application marks the next phase of that product evolution.”
Pending CASA approval, Virgin Australia will work to immediately implement the use of hand-held personal electronic devices from gate to gate and will have further updates for customers in coming days.
Pending CASA approval:
- Gate to gate usage of personal electronic devices will be allowed on all Virgin Australia mainline domestic and short-haul international flights.
- This 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.