Domestic airline Kulula.com said on Thursday that passengers will no longer have to turn off their phones at any stage during a flight, including during take-off and landing, but they will have to be in “flight mode”, with the cellular antenna switched off.
The low-cost airline said in a statement that all passengers can now use their “portable electronic devices during all phases of their flight journey”.
These include, but are not limited to, tablets, e-readers, smartphones and other small devices such as MP3 players, electronic toys and smartwatches.
Prior to the new policy, customers had to turn off and stow all electronic devices during taxi, take-off and landing.
“We have worked very closely with the South African Aviation authority to approve this new policy on our aircraft, which is a significant enhancement to our customer experience on board,” says Kulula’s head of marketing, Shaun Pozyn, in the statement.
“In short, this means that passengers can now use their devices as soon as they set foot on board our aircraft and keep them on for their entire journey.”
Devices must be used in “aeroplane mode” or with the cellular connection disabled, though they can use short-range Bluetooth accessories like wireless keyboards. Heavier devices like computers will still need to be stowed in overhead bins or under seats during take-off and landing as these items “could impede evacuation of an aircraft or may injure you or someone else in the event of turbulence or an accident”.
“Always follow crew instructions and immediately turn off your device if asked to do so,” Kulula said. — (c) 2019 NewsCentral Media