Air New Zealand okays 'gate to gate' tablets, smartphones, ebooks

By David Flynn, July 4 2014
Air New Zealand okays 'gate to gate' tablets, smartphones, ebooks

Air New Zealand is the latest airline to allow passengers to use tablets, smartphones, ebook readers and MP3 players for the entire duration of their trip, from before take-off to after landing.

The Kiwi carrier says that travellers on selected flights will be able to use 'handheld portable electronic devices' on a gate-to-gate basis from July 16 following approval from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority.

The first services to get the green light are domestic and international services flights by Airbus A320 and Boeing 787-9, Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 777-300 aircraft.

Read: Air New Zealand set to bring Boeing 787-9 home to Auckland

Air New Zealand says it plans to extend this arrangement to "regional turbo prop and Boeing 767-300 fleets over time, subject to regulatory approval."

Gadgets which are capable of transmitting will have to remain in flight mode, however, and even the skinniest of laptops will still need to be stowed for take-off and landing.

“We are living in a digital age where the majority of our customers use electronic devices while travelling" said Air New Zealand’s General Manager Customer Experience Carrie Hurihanganui. "Today’s announcement will give customers further freedom to use their handheld devices to take photos, listen to music or watch pre-loaded movies gate to gate."

Qantas and Virgin Australia are hopeful to join the 'gate to gate gadget club' by year's end pending approval by Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

Read more: Qantas, Virgin Australia to allow gate-to-gate gadgets by year's end?

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer Platinum

07 Feb 2013

Total posts 551

Wow New Zealand got to it before Australia how embarrassing - come on CASA!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 26

Coming to Australia circa 2030, Remeber most Queenslanders still think daylight saving fades the curtains.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 113

I am on a flight that departs a few hours before this roll over on airnz. Wonder if they will still say "as it may intefere with the electronics".

12 Oct 2011

Total posts 23

I wouldn't imagine so, Jared. On domestic US flights that operated after the regulations changed, but before individual airline policies had changed, flight attendants said something along the lines of "Many of you know that you will soon be able to use your devices. However, our policy will not change for another xxx days. Please do not use your devices at this time."

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