Qantas passengers told to ask permission before filming others

Qantas travellers are complaining of a data breach on the airline's app.

Qantas travellers are complaining of a data breach on the airline's app. Photo: AAP

Planning on filming or taking pictures of your flight home for the holidays?

If you’re flying with Qantas, you should think twice before whipping out your phone to record staff handing you a disappointing in-flight meal or a fellow passenger having a meltdown, as a new set of rules mean you could easily be landing yourself in hot water.

One of the clauses quietly added to the airline’s Conditions of Carriage in November stipulates passengers must “seek consent before filming or photographing Qantas Group staff, contractors or other customers” while on board.

If this rule isn’t obeyed, Qantas may confiscate your phone or camera, with another addition to the section’s clauses stating the airline may “retain” electronic devices (excluding hearing aids and heart pacemakers) when passengers fail to comply with direction.

The new rules don’t ban any aspiring social media influencers, or regular folk, from documenting themselves on Qantas flights.

Instead, they appear to protect the privacy of the airline’s staff, contractors and other passengers.

“We know that lots of our customers want to film and photograph their journey and our policy is designed to make sure they can do that safely and respectfully,” Qantas told The New Daily.

“It doesn’t prevent customers from taking photos or videos of themselves, their family and friends or out of the window.”

The change likely won’t make much of a difference in most Qantas passengers’ in-flight experiences, but it does mean there may be fewer videos of passenger conflicts.

Last year saw footage, filmed by a fellow passenger, go viral of rugby player Zakir Slaimankhel being kicked off a Qantas flight after accusing the crew of making his wife cry.

Some of this year’s viral aeroplane videos and pictures of passengers taken by fellow passengers portrayed Canberra man Muhammad Arif’s bomb threats – which caused a Kuala Lumpur-bound Malaysia Airlines flight to return to Sydney – and American woman Tiffany Gomas’ attempts to get off an American Airlines flight while claiming someone else on the plane was “not real”.

Qantas appears to be the only Australian airline enforcing specific restrictions on what passengers can film and photograph.

Virgin Australia currently stipulates passengers should only use cameras for personal use and must comply with the directions of flight crew when using cameras on board.

Bonza’s conditions of carriage contain no specific references to photography or filming, but read that customers must comply with the directions of cabin crew and personnel regarding electronic devices.

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