British Airways lifts mobile phone ban, but only on landing

British Airways is the first European airline to let you switch on your phone after landing, but the ban remains for take-off.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Please remain in your seats while the seatbelt light is illuminated -- but y'know what? Feel free to whip out your phone. British Airways is the first European airline to let you switch on your phone straight after touching down.

BA has decided to allow you to switch on your phones, tablets and other electrical kit as soon as your aircraft has landed and left the runway.

Europe's Civil Aviation Authority has looked into the subject of interference from passenger's gadgets bleeping and tweeting back there in cattle class, and decided there are no safety implications.

That means as soon as wheels hit tarmac you can call ahead for someone to meet you at the gate, check onward journey times, or just kick back with a quick couple of games of Angry Birds while everybody else battles with the overhead lockers.

Honestly, it's one of my pet hates: why do so many people treat the seatbelt light as a starting pistol, leaping to their feet and falling over each other to grab their bags -- just to find themselves standing hunched and twisted under the overhead bins for 10 minutes, balancing their ludicrously oversized 'hand' luggage on their ear, eyelid and one shoulder, and generally contriving to drive up their blood pressure for no good reason at all.

The lifting of the phone ban upon landing is a small victory: electronic devices still have to be switched off until your aircraft reaches 10,000ft because of fears the signals will interfere with the plane's instruments.

What do you think of the ban on phones on planes? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or take to the skies with our Facebook page.