"As for photography in the USA, what exactly do you mean by a "prohibited area"? Are these the same as the prohibited areas on the sectional charts (such as the White House?)"
I don't know Jhooper, I didn't write the ops manual. If you ever find out how a "prohibited area" is defined, let me know.
"Accordingly, I would be a wanted man in: Austria Belgium Italy"
Have you seen anyone from Interpol hanging about near your house recently Ikarus
Joking aside, some countries are on the list maybe because they are worried about espionage, others it might merely be illegal unless you've purchased the correct government licence, aimed at Commercial Ariel photography work rather than airliners, but you might still fall under any permit that is required. Again, I didn't write the ops manual, I'm just guessing here.
Nice photos Omegous, I like taking the odd in-flight shot myself.
"You just took a picture of Belgian farmland sir, Im afraid thats illegal, we will have to confiscate your camera and throw you in jail for a day"
No Greg, if the Airline intended the crew to take action of that sort, the ops manual would have specified it. It merely says "watchful for passengers with cameras and inform
them that photography over these countries is prohibited by local law."
"Thing is, its not the cabin or flight deck crew's job to act as policeman in such matters, and therefore its largely irrelevent what's written in an airline ops manual about which countries its legal to photograph and which its not."
I agree Andy, but the point is the Airline has "covered itself", so if ever there is an incident (Athens springs to mind) the Airline will point to the ops manual and blame the crew for not informing the passengers, or the passengers for taking photos regardless, either way the Airline is covered.
Anyway guys, I think you'll generally find as long as your not disturbing the other passengers most crews will happily let you take as many photos as you wish. But if you do ever run into a crew who says it's not allowed, just be aware, they may just be correct!
Happy Shooting, Rgds Sid.