Qantas Air bans in-flight filming and photos


Qantas Air recently implemented a strict policy prohibiting passengers from filming or taking photos during flights without the explicit consent of individuals involved. This move comes in response to a rising trend on platforms like TikTok and YouTube, where passengers record themselves, fellow travelers, and airline staff for social media content.

Instances of filming altercations or incidents on flights, including conflicts between passengers and crew, have prompted Qantas to amend its Conditions of Carriage, mandatory for all travelers. Last month, the airline introduced three directives within these conditions. Passengers are now required to obtain consent before recording Qantas Group staff, contractors, or fellow passengers.

The updated rules aim to ensure passenger comfort, safety, and security. They mandate compliance with crew instructions, the appropriate use of electronic devices, and empower Qantas to retain devices in case of non-compliance.

A Qantas spokesperson clarified that passengers can still film themselves and scenes outside the aircraft window, emphasizing the policy’s intent to enable safe and respectful recording experiences. However, filming of airline personnel without consent is explicitly restricted.

While Qantas is taking a stringent stance, most other airlines have less rigid policies. Virgin Australia permits camera use for personal purposes and instructs compliance with crew orders regarding device usage. Lufthansa, a German airline, allows filming only when ensuring the rights of individuals being filmed are protected.

Teri O’Toole, the Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia federal secretary, welcomed Qantas’ decision, highlighting the necessity of protecting airline staff from unauthorized filming, citing instances of invasion of privacy and harassment. O’Toole emphasized that passengers can blog or record without infringing on the privacy of crew members.

The directive to seek consent before filming will likely deter incidents of capturing disputes or interactions on planes without authorization. A recent Reddit post from an Australian recounted an experience of being on a flight with a YouTuber filming passenger without their knowledge for content, sparking discussion on the importance of respecting privacy and consent.

Reactions on forums such as the Australian Frequent Flyer website largely supported Qantas’ move, expressing concern about the growing trend of filming at the expense of others’ privacy or during distressing situations instead of offering assistance. This shift in policy underscores the airline’s commitment to fostering a more respectful and secure flying environment for all passengers and staff.


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