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Photographing from inside commercial aircraft

Adrian Stone , Jun 17, 2004; 07:58 p.m.

I was recently told to refrain from taking pictures of clouds on a commercial AIR TAP Portuguese)flight from Porto, Portugal to Heathrow, London. We were at 35,000 feet and in clouds. I was told that taking photographs in flight is forbidden under the new security controls on commercial flights. Does anyone know if such a ruling exists? Does it apply to all commercial flights?

Adrian Stone


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Nick Sanyal , Jun 17, 2004; 09:51 p.m.

Al Queda and Georgie Bush may have plans to use clouds as weapons! Remember, your heard it here first!

j a , Jun 17, 2004; 10:00 p.m.

I don't know about whether its against the law or not (The Patriot Act pretty much made anything illegal that any authority wants illiegal), but you are on private property when you fly on an airlines airplane. They have the right to demand no cameras or any other device they deem fit. Your recourse is to either not use thier airline again, write a letter to the airlines customer service center discribing the incedent and requesting clarification, or don't bring out your camera.

Jim Gifford , Jun 17, 2004; 10:01 p.m.

Asiana says in listing permitted equipment for use in the cabin in flight: "Camera equipment, including movie cameras and lights, video cameras, and flash bulbs, digital camera are allowed, but only when the No Smoking sign is off. "

So there's no international ban. Airlines get to make their own rules. Individual flight attendants also have thet privilege, really, since passeners are required (at least under U.S. regulations) to do what the flight crew says.

Be well,

j a , Jun 17, 2004; 10:02 p.m.

I should have made more clear, the above this aplies to Aircraft owned by American Companies and over United States soil. Laws may vary from nation to nation. But I doubt it.

Jeff Spirer , Jun 17, 2004; 10:48 p.m.

How many flight attendants are on the plane? How much time will they spend at your seat? Just shoot....

Aerolitoral, Copyright 2002 Jeff Spirer

James Burger , Jun 18, 2004; 12:33 a.m.

Sometimes you have to take chances... flyby of Greenland en route from Amsterdam to New York... just after the new security measures were implemented. My friend woke me up to show me this, and I'm grateful for it to this day.


Copyright 2002 James Burger

Constance Cook , Jun 18, 2004; 09:36 a.m.

On the last flight I was on (May, 2004), passengers were warned that not obeying a flight attendent would result in arrest when the plane arrived at its destination.


Frank Uhlig , Jun 18, 2004; 11:40 a.m.

I just flew on Lufthansa across Germany and took a few pics of the landscape below. Attendants served me as usual; no restraint on photos there.

Will fly TAP later next month and shall let you know (a) if anything worth photographing came under our wings, and if so, whether (b) I was hassled by TAP attendents.

Alex Lofquist , Jun 18, 2004; 11:53 a.m.

The only time I was told to not take photos from commercial aircraft was while we were on the ground at Bombay, Bangkok, and at a field on the east coast of Taiwan that was shared by their military. I remember that during WWII there were times and places where the window shades had to be drawn during portions of the flight. (One of these places was at Niagara Falls.)

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