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QANTAS: Bans on capturing images of staff, contractors or customers on flights without consent

QANTAS: Bans on capturing images of staff, contractors or customers on flights without consent

Qantas Group has made a change to its ‘Conditions of Carriage’ that customers have to agree to travel with the airline.

According to AFF, and corroborated by that amazing public internet archive tool, the WayBack Machine the changes were made on 7 & 8 November 2023. The changes we are concerned with are headed under Section 11 (prior to 7 November) now Section 12. Conduct During Flight.

The change is contained in Section 12.1.[l]:

‘seek consent before filming or photographing Qantas Group staff, contractors or other customers’

Qantas Group Conditions of Carriage
a close up of a metal hinge
You will get a lot more of these equipment fault images, because a tray table doesn’t need to give permission. [Schuetz/2PAXfly


On the surface, this is a reasonable rule from a layman’s perspective. Most people, including me, want to have control over images of ourselves. I accept that when in a public place, that may not be possible, or when something adjacent to a public space, like a theatre or dance venue or sports stadium, that is a difficult proposition. However, I accept the principle.

As a travel, hotel and aviation blogger, I can foresee all kinds of difficulties. It makes it pretty hard to take any image of a Qantas aircraft cabin unless it is completely empty.

What I do

My practice has been to take images in aircraft cabins, acknowledging the inherent right to privacy of anyone captured in the image. My practice has been to blur the faces of anyone in a cabin image. If it’s just the back of a head or body parts, I let it be. I try to practice this across the board, but there may well be some images on 2PAXfly where this rule has not been observed.

I usually don’t want people in my shots, but sometimes that is very difficult, especially on an aircraft. My editorial choices are in most cases for cabins without people, or at the least without identifiable faces.

a person sitting in a chair
I did not get this person’s permission to photograph the back of her head. [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

Caught out

I have only been caught out once potentially on these bans on capturing images of staff. On a domestic Qantas flight, I was perhaps a little overenthusiastic in my photography. I had taken a shot or two down the plane – not to use, but to give me an idea of what percentage of seats were occupied on the flight for a trip review. I’d also taken some shots of service, with the intention of cropping out identifying body parts.

The cabin supervisor, very politely and discreetly, had a word that ‘it had been noticed that I had been taking photos in the aircraft, and were they just for private use?’ An innocent enough, but nonetheless difficult, question for a blogger to answer. If I had been completely honest and replied, ‘Yes, I am a travel blogger, ‘ then my mask and anonymity would have been removed. From then on, I could be recognised and given special treatment – whether positive or negative. That would make my objective and independent reviewing difficult.

What I’ll do now

Well, there won’t be any more shots down the cabin to record passenger density easily. Looks like I’ll be taking lots more shots of food then. And the need to get on the plane first and take cabin shots will keep me out of the lounge earlier so I can be at the head of the boarding queue.

people sitting on a plane
I think this is OK according to Virgin Australia’s conditions of carriage

Other Airlines

Oh, I have had a great day, scouring the Conditions of Carriage of other airlines like Virgin Australia, Bonza, and REX to see whether they have bans on capturing images of staff.

Here’s what I found:

  • Bonza – you are going to have to download their PDF. Skip down the clauses to get to 41.Refusal of Carriage – Denied Boarding and 42. Directions of Bonza Crew During Flight: particularly clause (j) not behaving in a manner which other Customers may object, and also clauses 44.2 [b] & [d], which refer to ‘conduct which other Customers may object to’ and ‘interfering with a crew member in the course of their duties’.
  • REX – You will find their CoC here. I can’t find any specific reference to filming and photography, but again, the general prohibitions on bad behaviour and obeying crew directions may come into play. They are listed under clause 12. Passenger Conduct
  • Virgin Australia – Head over to their CoC and section 15.1 [i], which specifically refers to filming and photography. Essentially, it must be for private use or at the direction of the flight crew:

‘(i) 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.’

Virgin Australia’s Conditions of Carriage
a person sitting in a chair
Would I need to get these two passengers’ permission? [Schuetz/2PAXfly]

2PAXfly Takeout

If you want a big surprise about how much power onboard staff have and how many rights you are signing away when you buy a Qantas ticket, have a look in detail at those Conditions of Carriage. It’s the kind of reading that easily puts you to sleep on a short-haul flight.

Just thank Qantas that they have WiFi on domestic flights, so you can read the Conditions on your electronic device – unless cabin staff have already confiscated it (12.1[m]) or taken your passport for safekeeping (12.1{o}. And remember that if you misbehave and cause a diversion, then they will charge you for it! (12.3) Safety and security.

‘You must comply with the following requirements, and all other reasonable directions of any crew member on your flight with us, when on board,” section 12.1 states.

Basically, don’t mess with the cabin staff once onboard, so you better observe those bans on capturing images of staff.


  1. Matt

    Don’t most bloggers protect the privacy of staff and pax? Sounds like they are trying to control any negative posts, but most bloggers see the positive!

    • 2paxfly

      Hi Matt, thanks for your comment, and fair enough!


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