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Here’s Why You Have to Use Airplane Mode on an Airplane

Flying in an airplane demands that you use “airplane mode.” So, what's the deal with airplane mode, and is it really necessary? Find out now.

Every time you fly on an airplane, you’re likely told by flight staff to put your device on “airplane mode,” or else to turn it off completely. That means that you’ll likely be stuck connecting to the airplane’s Wi-Fi if you want to get online. Diagnose your Wi-Fi’s speed and security after you join to ensure that you’ll have a pleasant and safe online experience:

Your phone’s cellular capabilities are instantly disabled once your phone goes into airplane mode. But have you ever wondered why this feature must be disabled while you fly? Is there a real reason why you have to disable the main function of your phone, or is it based on something unfounded?

Read More: Here are the Best Android Apps You Can Use Offline

The Truth Behind Airplane Mode

Your phone’s major function is shut down in airplane mode. Your device will stop receiving signals from the cell towers. You won’t be able to get that text message or make a phone call. You also won’t be able to browse the Internet, check your email, or look at Facebook. It will be obvious when airplane mode is on because you will be left with basic functions and whatever mobile apps can function in offline mode. An airplane icon will appear in your sticky header.

Every phone in the air would have to expand its signal so it could reach the cell towers below. While it would drain your battery, and fast, the big issue is that the communication could wreak havoc on your airplane’s sensors. That’s the last thing you want when you are 30,000 feet in the air. If everyone on your flight were using their cellphones normally, that would greatly interfere with normal radio operations and your pilot’s ability to land a plane during bad weather.

Airplane Mode Woes

Federal regulators recently withdrew a proposal that would allow airline passengers the use of their cell phones even while flying at high altitudes. It would have meant the end of passengers having to rely solely on flight Wi-Fi. The public and airlines responded in mutual agreement.

In the words of one opponent, Clair Allyn, a Missouri resident who filed with the US Department of Transportation, “The use of cellphones on airplanes would be cruel. Can you imagine sitting next to a loud aggressive person talking to someone for one hour or two hours or three hours?” It’s a valid point, and a shared sentiment with a large number of opponents. You’ll be relying on airplane mode and in-flight Wi-Fi for now. At least now you understand some of the reasons why.