What is airplane mode?
Airplane mode, as the name suggests, was designed to be used during flights – in conditions where conventional mobile communications are not available. This disables all network connections: mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Turning the phone off completely would have exactly the same effect, but putting the device into airplane mode is more comfortable and faster.
What happens if you don’t turn on airplane mode on the plane?
First of all, the reassuring news: you are not threatened with any serious consequences or even a plane crash just because you or one of the other passengers forgot to activate the airplane mode on your smartphone.
Currently, aircraft control systems are developed well enough not to pick up any interference from cellular communications. Still, this should not be completely ruled out, but even in the event of interference in the onboard equipment, this will not affect flight safety in any way.
Then why are we still being asked to put our phones on airplane mode?
Many are wondering why the rule to turn on airplane mode is still in effect, if on-board electronics do not depend on smartphone signals in any way.
On the one hand, this is due to the fact that airlines want to play it safe: working phones, although minimal, can still affect the radio communications of pilots. The chances that this will happen are extremely small, but they exist. This also does not pose a major safety risk, but may be inconvenient for pilots.
On the other hand, today airplane mode is needed not only for the safety of equipment, but also for the comfort of passengers: so that during takeoff and landing they do not interfere with each other by telephone conversations. In addition, flight attendants usually ask not only to turn off or put the device into airplane mode, but also to put it in the pocket of the seat in front of them. This is reinsurance in case of a hard landing or an unsuccessful takeoff – with strong shaking, you will not drop the phone from your hands, and it will not fly into another passenger. Agree: gadgets flying around the cabin are a fun, but dangerous sight.
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