AUSTRALIA- The era of recording unruly passenger behavior on Qantas (QF) flights or unintentionally appearing in someone else’s TikTok video might be drawing to a close.
The Australian national carrier has discreetly incorporated an additional clause into its carriage conditions, as Australian Frequent Flyer reported.
Qantas Amends Conduct Rules
Qantas Updates Conduct Rules, Mandating Consent for Filming or Photographing Qantas Group Personnel and Customers During Flight
Within the Conduct During Flight section, outlining standard requirements such as responsible overhead locker usage, no smoking or vaping, and maintaining seatbelt fastening when seated, Qantas has introduced a new clause: ‘Seek consent before filming or photographing Qantas Group staff, contractors, or other customers.’
This amendment, effective since November 8, prompts further inquiry from Stuff Travel, seeking additional comments from Qantas.
While this rule won’t impede personal selfies or photos of friends and family, it may deter the creation of viral videos involving crew and fellow passengers unless explicit permission is obtained.
Qantas is not alone in instituting such a policy, as Lufthansa also incorporates a similar clause in its conditions under Article 11: Behaviour on board, specifying that photography and filming are permissible only when the privacy rights of those photographed can be safeguarded. The crew reserves the right to prohibit photography and filming at any time.
Contrastingly, Air New Zealand and Jetstar lack comparable clauses in their online terms and conditions.
Privacy Commissioner Blog
“In 2018, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) in New Zealand addressed the matter of passenger photography on planes in a blog titled ‘Taking photos on a plane.’ The blog clarified that while no explicit laws prohibit passengers from taking photos or filming on planes, privacy rules could be applicable.
The OPC’s blog outlined scenarios that might be deemed ‘highly offensive’ to film, citing examples like a medical emergency.
However, it raised questions about the application of a blanket no-filming rule, particularly in air traffic incidents involving onboard fires, near misses, or severe turbulence. The blog suggested that airlines should carefully consider these situations and provide clear guidance to their aircrews.
A spokesperson for the OPC confirmed on Friday to Stuff Travel that the 2018 blogpost ‘continues to reflect OPC’s position.’ The advice emphasized that if an individual is taking photos or recording in a personal capacity, it generally wouldn’t be an issue under the Privacy Act unless it is deemed ‘highly offensive.’
The spokesperson stressed the importance of respecting others, seeking permission before taking pictures, and considering airline rules on such matters, which, as established by Qantas, form part of the terms and conditions for flying with them.
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