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Ryanair clears phones for takeoff

Airline's passengers no longer have to switch off their electronic devices for takeoff or landing, as of today

FROM today, Ryanair passengers will be allowed use electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones, e-readers and MP3 players at all times on their flights.

The budget airline today announced it was relaxing its rules on the use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) with immediate effect, permitting their use even during takeoff and landing, as long as they are set to “flight mode” and all in-flight safety instructions are followed.

Prior to today’s announcement, passengers on Ryanair flights were not allowed to use any electronic items during taxiing, takeoff or landing. Larger items, such as laptops, however, are not subject to the relaxation of rules.

However in “flight mode” devices cannot be used for text messages, phone calls or surfing the internet. The ruling in effect allows for offline work, listening to music, reading e-books etc.

The airline’s communication director Robin Kealy said: “Ryanair customers can now use their personal electronic devices at all stages of their flight, while they enjoy their allocated seats, our low fares and on-time arrivals.

“We are working hard to improve our service to all customers and today’s PED approval is the latest in a series of changes which we know our customers will love.”

The announcement brings Ryanair into line with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines issued at the end of November.

At the time, EASA’s executive director Patrick Ky described the changes as “a major step in the process of expanding the freedom to use personal electronic devices on-board aircraft without compromise in safety”.

EASA said it was up to individual airlines whether they changed their rules.

British Airways said it was the first in Europe to relax its rules on PEDs when it announced it would adopt the guidelines in December, after clearance from Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority, but other airlines, including easyJet and Air France, have yet to do so.

America’s Federal Aviation Administration said in October that it was relaxing its rules on the use of PEDs on flights.

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