Airplane mode: Why you should turn off your phone during a flight

By TravelWiseJan 26, 2024 08:17 AMNews
Share:
Airplane mode: Why you should turn off your phone during a flight
Passengers always hear the same message when landing and taking off - turn off your cell phones or switch them to airplane mode. Source: freepik

Turning on airplane mode when the plane is getting ready to take off is a standard part of life for the average passenger on board an airplane. In airplane mode, your phone is disconnected from cellular networks, but you can still use your device and even connect it to Wi-Fi if it's available on board.

But what happens if you accidentally leave your phone on? Don't worry: it's unlikely your plane will fall down the sky. In fact, a 2017 survey conducted by Allianz Travel Insurance found that 17.2% of passengers have never switched their phones to airplane mode during a flight. The problem is that we don't really know what can happen because the interaction between mobile phones and airplanes is not well understood. This is reported by travelandleisure.com.

"If you don't turn off your cell phone, it can interfere with navigation devices," says Daniel Babb, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a former airline pilot.

"Potential" is the operative word here. If there is any potential hazard, regardless of the cause, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are going to avoid it.

Airplane mode: Why you should turn off your phone during a flight
17.2% of passengers have never switched their phones to airplane mode during a flight. Source: pixabay

This is why the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations currently states the following, "Cellular telephones installed in airplanes, balloons, or any other type of aircraft may not be used when such aircraft are in the air (not touching the ground). When any aircraft leaves the ground, all cell phones on board that aircraft must be turned off." And if you don't comply, you can be fined.

Another problem associated with using a cell phone while flying is the possibility of overloading cell towers on the ground. When you are flying at low altitude, i.e. during takeoff and landing, which are considered key stages of a flight, your phone connects to several towers at the same time as you move. Given the number of passengers in the sky at any given time, this can certainly be a burden on the network near particularly busy airports.

Experts note that 5G networks are currently the biggest threat.

"With many phone companies now offering 5G bandwidth, this could interfere with the radio altimeter that pilots rely on to indicate when they need to widen or raise the nose wheel of an airplane to land," Babb says.

The European Union requires 5G networks on airplanes to allow passengers to communicate freely with their mobile devices, including making calls. But there is a key difference between European and American 5G networks: European networks operate on a different frequency, which adds more of a gap between cellular use and the radio altimeter. Therefore, there is less chance of interference. For this reason, we should not expect the US to follow suit anytime soon.

Top Articles
Bibles in hotels: the mysteries of placing the gospel in hotels and current changes related to this topic

Bibles in hotels: the mysteries of placing the gospel in hotels and current changes related to this topic

Feb 29, 2024 16:55 PM
Best American ranches: 11 places to experience freedom and adrenaline at its best

Best American ranches: 11 places to experience freedom and adrenaline at its best

Feb 28, 2024 21:40 PM

Where to stay in Barcelona so you don't miss out on the most important things. A guide to neighborhoods and places of interest

Feb 28, 2024 15:50 PM

Mysterious Gjirokastra: where to go, where to stay and delicious food in the "city of a thousand steps"

Feb 28, 2024 08:50 AM
More News
Giraffe during daytime

Swartland: Wine innovation through community spirit.

Mar 2, 2024 08:40 AM
A helicopter parked on a snowy landscape with clouds in the blue sky above

Airbus Helicopters Celebrates Success at Heli-Expo 2024 with 155 Commitments

Mar 2, 2024 07:37 AM

How to organize your hotel room space to make it feel like home: a few tips

Mar 2, 2024 07:16 AM

Great white shark weighing 1500 pounds washes up on beach in Florida

Mar 2, 2024 06:50 AM
White and black letter blocks

Spring destinations offer festivals, nature, culture.

Mar 2, 2024 06:39 AM
Getting ready for summer: how to buy plane tickets at the best price

Getting ready for summer: how to buy plane tickets at the best price

Mar 2, 2024 06:30 AM
The best ski destinations in the US where you can still find snow

The best ski destinations in the US where you can still find snow

Mar 2, 2024 06:01 AM
Red balloon with percentage symbol

AirAsia MOVE Transforms Ramadan and Raya Travel with Exceptional Super Sale

Mar 2, 2024 05:31 AM
These zodiac signs will have harmonious family relationships next week

These zodiac signs will have harmonious family relationships next week

Mar 2, 2024 05:30 AM

Improvised cooler or bottle opener: these life hacks for travelers will surprise you

Mar 2, 2024 05:00 AM

Security Alert: Bomb Threat Disrupts Zimbabwe President's Travel Plans

Mar 2, 2024 04:37 AM
Southwest Airlines plane on the runway

Southwest Airlines Embraces Future of Green Aviation with New Renewable Ventures and Investment in LanzaJet

Mar 2, 2024 03:34 AM
Three zodiac signs shine with their communication skills: Horoscope for March

Three zodiac signs shine with their communication skills: Horoscope for March

Mar 2, 2024 03:30 AM
Man in blue shirt sitting on black chair in the London airport

London Airports Hit Remarkable 400-Destination Milestone

Mar 2, 2024 02:35 AM
Nighttime shot of Bogotá, Colombia's bustling streets with light trails from moving traffic and illuminated modern buildings

Bogotá: A Premier Destination for International Events in 2024

Mar 2, 2024 01:32 AM

Three zodiac signs will have a chance to enhance their abilities: Horoscope for March 2

Mar 2, 2024 01:30 AM

IndiGo Bolsters Domestic Network with Six New Summer Routes

Mar 2, 2024 00:33 AM
Twilight cityscape with illuminated buildings and bustling traffic trails in Portland, Oregon

Alaska Airlines and Portland Trail Blazers Elevate HBCU Awareness Through Unique Partnership

Mar 1, 2024 23:36 PM
One of the cheapest cities in Europe is suitable for beer lovers

One of the cheapest cities in Europe is suitable for beer lovers

Mar 1, 2024 23:18 PM
Choosing a seat in an almost empty airplane surprised another passenger

Choosing a seat in an almost empty airplane surprised another passenger

Mar 1, 2024 23:03 PM
Three zodiac signs may encounter unexpected difficulties: Horoscope for March

Three zodiac signs may encounter unexpected difficulties: Horoscope for March

Mar 1, 2024 22:47 PM
White Lufthansa plane during daytime

Lufthansa Introduces Allegris Business Class, Starting with Vancouver

Mar 1, 2024 22:31 PM

The legendary "Orient Express" is making a comeback: luxury travel is being considered in Paris

Mar 1, 2024 22:16 PM

Souvenirs from Suriname: what you need to buy

Mar 1, 2024 22:09 PM
Luxury perfume vending machines appeared in Dubai

Luxury perfume vending machines appeared in Dubai

Mar 1, 2024 21:50 PM
View of the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea from an airplane wing, with small islands near Cancún

GoNexus Group Embarks on Global Expansion with Revitalized Leadership Team

Mar 1, 2024 21:32 PM