Ryanair allows use of electronic devices for duration of flights

6 Feb 2014

Image via Shutter_M/Shutterstock

Passengers on all Ryanair routes will now be permitted to keep their personal electronic devices (PEDs) switched on for the duration of the flight, making Ryanair the first Irish airline to enable passengers to do so.

PEDs include devices such as e-readers, MP3 players and portable games consoles, as well as smartphones and tablets. However, no cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity will be permitted in-flight as ‘flight mode’ will have to be enabled while travelling. Ryanair also stated that passengers using PEDs are still required to pay attention to all safety demos and briefings.

The new policy has already been implemented and Ryanair’s Robin Kiely promises this is just the latest in a series of changes that will benefit its customers.

Permission granted

The permission to use PEDs throughout entire flights is becoming more and more common as safety concerns for the signals emitted by these devices have been allayed.

At the close of October 2013, the Federal Aviation Administration announced airlines in the US would be allowed expand passengers’ use of PEDs on flights during all phases, though cellular activity is still not permitted and attention must be paid to safety messages.

This was followed in November by a decision by the European Aviation Safety Agency to approve the use of PEDs during take-off and landing, thus permitting their use at all times.

Aer Lingus to follow suit

Also in October last year, Aer Lingus equipped its long-haul fleet with satellite technology to enable access to Wi-Fi, GSM and SMS services during transatlantic flights. While this allows users to access the internet and send texts, calls are not permitted in the cabin for the benefit of fellow passengers.

These services are only accessible after take-off and before landing and access to Wi-Fi comes at a cost. However, an Aer Lingus spokesperson speaking to TheJournal.ie revealed the rival Irish airline is “at an advanced stage” of changing its own policy on the use of PEDs and that an announcement will come shortly.

In-flight image by Shutter_M via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.