(Yicai Global) Jan. 26 -- China Eastern Airlines Corp. has started allowing passengers to use their smartphones while in flight.
Customers are permitted to use mobile phones, certain sizes of laptops, and small portable electronic devices, including tablets, e-books, media players and video game consoles, the Shanghai-based carrier said Jan. 17.
Devices that have flight mode must be set to it. Phones without this mode cannot be used in the air, and large devices such as laptops and tablets can only be used while the plane is cruising.
Budget carrier Spring Airlines Co. said it plans to roll out a similar policy in the first half of this year.
China Eastern flight crews have the right to request passengers shut down their PEDs under special circumstances, such as when visibility is low or when the crew suspects the devices have caused electronic interference. Passengers will need to follow any instruction to stop using devices and stow them safely.
“Before, I just slept aboard aircrafts, sometimes read magazines in front of me and then had nothing to do,” said a passenger surnamed Zuo, who took a flight with WiFi yesterday. “Now I can use my social network accounts.”