Qantas has drastically changed the rules around customers filming on board its aircraft and this is a very spicy update to say the least. Let’s unpack (pardon the pun).
Section 12.1 of Qantas’ updated Conditions of Carriage section on its website now asks that passengers, “seek consent before filming or photographing Qantas Group staff, contractors or other customers”.
Previously, customers were able to film staff willy-nilly without issue.
When checking in online, passengers will now have to accept this new update as part of the flight’s Ts and Cs.
When quizzed about the change, a spokesperson for the airline told the Daily Mail that “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”.
“It doesn’t prevent customers from taking photos or videos of themselves, their family and friends or out of the window.”
The Mail also added that the move was an attempt to stop staff and customers being featured in viral videos.
So is this a thing anywhere else?
According to the air travel blog site Australian Frequent Flyer, German carrier Lufthansa is one of the only airlines that enforce a ban on filming staff without their consent.
Closer to home, Virgin is less specific about its policy, writing that passengers must “use cameras or photographic devices (including mobile phones) for personal use only. You must comply with the directions of flight crew when using cameras or photographic devices while on board.”
It does feel strange in the era of TikTok and Instagram to enforce such a rule.
Filming people doing their jobs (ie: the waiter delivering your food in a restaurant, or your tour guide on a travel expedition) has become such an established part of documenting things for social media that most people (especially the youngins) don’t consider it that strange.
Qantas definitely would’ve factored the PR element this into its decision too.
There have been countless instances of people filming airline staff being rude or a little sluggish on the job, only for the clips to be viewed thousands of times and damaging the airline’s brand.
Even when the staff have just been doing their jobs, clips where a passenger has been kicking off about something don’t exactly scream “enjoyable flight”.
The lesson of today is — if you feel the need to film a crew member, just ask!
Header photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images.