Spectators Balcony (Spotters Corner)If you're not a professional pilot but want to discuss issues about the job, this is the best place to loiter. You won't be moved on by 'security' and there'll be plenty of experts to answer any questions.
I'm wondering what are airlines polices/rules on passengers taking photographs onboard an aircraft inflight?
I always have this fear that if I bring out my DSLR and innocently start snapping photographs of the cabin or photographs looking out of the window I'd be told to put my camera away.
I'm a bit of a budding photographer and on an upcoming flight I'd like to take some photos just looking out the window (wing views, engine views, clouds sky, ground shots etc). On previous flights I've always snapped with my iPhone because I've been reluctant to bring my DSLR out incase I get 'told off'.
Can anymore reassure me that taking photos onboard would be ok, provided they're not photos of crew or other passengers?
I know this sounds really trivial but I'd hate to be embarrassed and told to put my camera away.
How about you just ask the crew if they allow you to take pics and after they gave you the green light you can take your camera out???
I know much has changed over the years, but even nowadays I doubt you will find many cabin crew who are willing to take responsibility for giving you explicit permission to take photos out of the window.
Some countries have laws prohibiting or restricting aerial photography. I think this applies at least to Belgium, Argentina, India and Sudan. Probably others as well.
But it is virtually unenforceable and anachronistic in these days of camera phones etc.
It would be polite to ask first, but you may not get the answer you hoped for if the cabin crew are ignorant or over cautious regarding the rules. Most people don't ask and, at worst, you may be asked to stop.
Never asked in 200 flights in last seven years and only been challenged once shooting out of the window. Sitting in 01F taxi-ing in, Cabin Crew wondered WHAT was so interesting! As for shooting in cabin, record shot from the back or in seat have never been an issue, however if you stand up and start shooting, I'd also want you to stop if you're catching people's faces, and think about it, their kids!!
Shooting out the window is a no no over some countries I am told. My most innocent and inane tourist smile, like a keen amateur is worn at all times in these situations.
Last edited by Skipness One Echo; 16th Jul 2012 at 17:34.
I regularly take pics and videos from planes. In 1 case, I filmed an entire takeoff from Thassos bound for LGW and didn't get challenged even though there was a flight attendant sitting in the jump-seat facing us (you can even hear her voice chatting with my partner).
But different airlines / cabin staff seem to make up different rules as they go along (and if it's not something they've been asked before, the instinctive response is often to say no!) so my advice would be NOT to ask permission and to do it discreetly. If you ask permission, or get seen doing it, and get told no, they'll be watching you for the rest of the flight.
I was asked to turn my iPhone off eben though it was in flight mode on approach into Cardiff from Larnaca with Thomson Airways in May.
I am pretty sure that Flybe recently have asked passengers to send photo's in of their journey with them and even published some as passengers walked around the aircraft wing as they disembarked the aircraft.
I suppose as long as your paying attention to the safety demonstration then there shouldn't really be much of an issues.
The worst than can happen is that they tell you to stop and as long as your not pointing it at the crew, other people on the flight, children etc then a few aerial shots can't really do any harm. If they do ask you to stop then obviously respect that and do stop.
Sometimes it can literally be down to the crew members on the day I suppose.
Snapping pics inside the cabin is a matter of privacy and common sense. People do it, but I wouldn't be surprised if the CC occasionally asks someone to stop out of concern for other PAX.
Out the window is less problematic (aside from some jurisdictions that might have security concerns). Terrain photos shouldn't be a problem, but airspace in some countries being tight, you could (inadvertently) get a pic of some military equipment flying by.
When snapping photos out the window, just don't lean out too far.
I've flown some of the budget airlines and I've often been challenged to put cameras away during taxi, takeoff and landing. If the camera is large and looks heavy I think there is a rule about stowing such items during takeoff and landing in case it flies across the cabin and brains someone when you overshoot the runway and end up in a reservoir.
I'm not sure if this is just a discretionary rule or whether it's supposed to be applied to all movements in the UK. Perhaps someone can clarify.
The strange thing is, the more expensive airlines like Virgin, BA etc don't tend to mind, even if you're taking video out the window. I took some decent video in March flying to LA in Virgin economy.
If you're asked not to use your camera, never argue with them even if you think they're wrong. Smile sweetly and do as you're told.
I remember during the great storm of October 87, we were returning to LGW from Crete late that evening. I was listening to ATC on a Sony Air 7 I had. They didn't bat an eyelid. I wonder how many airlines would allow you to do that now.
That was an approach and landing I'll never forget. LGW was closed soon after we arrived.
In the US, the airline is never wrong in this situation, except with regard to 4 narrow classes of devices. The FAA (FAR 121.306) gives each airline the discretion to approve any particular electronic equipment. If the airline does not approve it, use is prohibited by default.
Andrew, just do it and don't bother asking. Some ignorant CC member who doesn't know what he/she is talking about will most probably say "best not to...". I've always flown with my big flashy DLR in my lap (when I have a window seat) and its nobody elses buisness. When I'm not using it I'll put it down by my feet. The thing with telephone cameras is that they look like a telephone and people probably assume you are using a telephone, whereas a camera is camera and people/CC don't give you a second thought as so many people are actually using one. Look at this from the cnn website, they have an i-report page and one of the current assignments is pictures 'from the airplane window'. Airplane window photos: News & Videos about Airplane window photos - CNN iReport
Keep clicking on the 'show more' and hundreds of photos will keep popping up. There are some amazing photos there, so you can see what you would be missing. I have one in there somewhere called 'welcome to London 2012'. If photographers had to ask, some of the worlds great photos would never have been taken.
As a pax on a stop over in Karachi one night, we were told that all cameras etc were prohibited to be used. Ive also been told to turn off a hand held GPS once , I questioned her call, but turned it off in front of her. About 5mins later she returned and told me she had asked the captain and he said it was OK for me to leave it on. I had already turned it back on anyway, knowing its purely a Rx device and can not transmit anything.
Most airlines have a policy that when taking off or landing (practically speaking while the seatbelt sign is on) ALL electronic equipment should be turned off. Not getting into a debate here about whether or not that is necessary; those are the rules; simple. At other times, ie in the cruise, you can shoot what you like out the window, no issue at all. An issue does arise if you start taking the cabin interior, as someone else said this is a privacy issue. On board an aircraft, like anywhere else, you should not photograph someone (esp the cabin crew) without asking their permission first!
I had already turned it back on anyway, knowing its purely a Rx device and can not transmit anything.
Then you know wrong. All radio receivers emit electromagnetic energy. As do many electronic devices which have neither a receiver or transmitter, such as cd or dvd players and even LED lights.
There seems to be an attitude of I know better, I will do whatever I want and I will challenge anyone who says differently. The fact is you don't know better, the device that " can not transmit anything" actually can and you do not know how much or in which frequency bands. It may have FCC or EC compliant stickers on the back but that does not mean that your specific device complies in any way with any standard.
just do it and don't bother asking. Some ignorant CC member who doesn't know what he/she is talking about will most probably say "best not to...". I've always flown with my big flashy DLR in my lap (when I have a window seat) and its nobody elses buisness
It is in fact somebody else's business. The airline you are travelling with have a set of rules that you are required to comply with. It is the business of the crew to ensure that you do. Should you decide that you know better than the "ignorant CC member" you may find that your journey will end in the company of representatives of the law.