Virgin Australia Now Allows In-flight Use of Digital Devices

26th Aug 2014

Virgin Australia is serious about its competition with another major carrier. Recently, the airline has announced to the media that it is now possible for customers to use their own electronic gadgets during the entire leg of their flight. The announcement came after it received a green light from the country's aviation safety regulatory agency.

Starting today, August 26:

- The use of digital device whose weight doesn't exceed 1kg is permitted on-board, during the entire leg, from gate to gate. It should be set to flight mode, however.

- The use of any device weighing over 1kg is still restricted during both take-off and landing.

- The new in-flight offering is available to all mainline domestic and short-haul international service, including its fleet of B737, Embraer 190, and Airbus 330.

- Flight crew members would confirm the flights where the use of such device is allowed.

- Customers will be requested to pause momentarily their enjoyment of in-flight entertainment while pre-flight safety briefing is ongoing.

An airline official also disclosed that customers on board B737 flights and majority of Embraer planes have the opportunity to enjoy 300 hours of audio, video, and television shows via the country's pioneering Wi-Fi entertainment system.

This in-flight service innovation will benefit mostly passengers who want to use their own personal gadgets like a smart phone, tablet from the moment the plane eases out of the gate at the airport of origin to the time the aircraft wheels to the gate at the destination airport.

The management of Virgin Australia has been working closely with the country's Civil Aviation Safety Authority to allow its passengers on-board its flights to use their own personal electronic devices at all times. Previously, passengers are prohibited to use such gadgets except when the plane is at cruising altitude.

The carrier is still conducting further testing on other aircraft in its fleet before they can launch the same service in those flights. The service is not yet available on flights to and from the following countries: New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Cook Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu, as approval from New Zealand's own Civil Aviation Authority is required.