If you are a frequent traveller like myself, and you may have already gone “paperless” when flying around the world, then the news that BA will allow you to use your device during take-off and landing from today (December 19th) will be music to your ears.

Pre iPad, on long-haul flights between Australia and the UK (before I relocated in 2006 to London), I would buy multiple newspapers for the long flight, along with magazines to keep up with the news on those 24 hour flights.

Fast forward to the age of the iPad and I now have every one of my newspapers and magazines delivered digitally, using apps such as PressReader.

The one gap in my digital strategy has always been the time between pushing back and about 20 minutes into flight when the Captain turns off the seat belt sign and the announcement is made that you can used your electronic devices in flight-safe mode.

This 20+ minutes of digital isolation meant I was forced to read the in-flight magazine, or take a paper (!) copy of the Economist on board to fill the gap.

The news from BA means that I will be able to continue reading my iPad from when I board right through the flight until when I get off at my destination.

BA has been one of the innovators in this space and back in June they allowed passengers to turn on their phones immediately after landing, bringing them into line with my experience with many US carriers.

Quoting from the BA release about the news..”The easing of restrictions will provide an average of 30 minutes’ additional personal screen time,” said BA flight training manager Ian Pringle.

“With around 300 people on a long-haul flight that will mean a combined total of approximately 150 hours’ extra viewing, reading or working.

I for one welcome the change, and hope all carriers follow soon.