Crew Using Personal Phone Devices at Critical Stages of Flight

I felt compelled to report to yourselves my observations of the growing trend of crew members distracted by the use of personal devices during critical phases of flight (taxi, take-off and landing). They have a complete lack of safety awareness. Whilst I am happy to challenge my colleagues around this behaviour, I have found I have been dismissed due same rank on board.  I have also on occasions witnessed this behaviour from the most senior crew member which makes reporting all the more challenging.  I have reported my concerns to the company in the past however, this continues. I often feel if an emergency were to occur unexpectedly, I would be the minority of crew ready to react. This is a commonly observed culture.

Company Comment

Thank you for submitting a report about crew using their personal devices during the critical stages of flight. The policy in the operating manual for device use states that for the majority of the crews’ duty, it can only be used for operational reasons.  Credit to the reporter for challenging colleagues when they contravene this policy. All incidents of this nature need to be reported in a safety report. When they are triaged by safety, reports of this nature are brought to the attention of the cabin crew management team to contact the crew member to reinforce the policy. Safety reporting is crucial to allow us to build a picture of the trend and report to the various teams within the organisation.


CAA Comment

Reporting such incidents enables an operator to identify adverse trends and determine the root cause.  Whilst appropriately addressing non-adherence to procedures with the individuals concerned may provide corrective action in those cases it is unlikely to provide a preventative measure that stops others from doing the same. Establishing the reason for an event is  essential to enable the implementation of effective measures to prevent a wider re-occurrence.

Using any sort of PEDs whilst engaged in other tasks can cause distraction. Taxi, take-off and landing are classed as critical phases of flight and cabin crew should not be using personal devices during this time. There can be all sorts of circumstances that make it difficult to wait and whilst it may be tempting check your socials or send a quick message during the critical phases of flight, cabin crew members must be focused on the tasks ahead and be ready to act should an emergency situation arise. If an operational task requires it, cabin crew can use an electronic device as per their company Operations Manual which will specify the situations when this is permissible.