Purpose of Airplane Mode in Flight

Airplane Mode

Airplane mode is an alternative for people who want to cut off their connection with the cellular networks without switching off their phones. When airplane mode is enabled on a mobile phone, the device can no longer make or receive calls, stream content online using packet data or wi-fi, access the messaging services, etc. Although, the offline services can be easily utilized such as, listening to music, reading a document, etc. It is also known as flight mode or aeroplane mode. In other words, the airplane mode is the quickest method to cut off all the wireless connections established by a device at a particular instant of time. After turning on the airplane mode, the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be enabled separately; however, a cellular connection on the device can only be established after disabling the flight mode.

Reason to turn on the Airplane Mode during a flight

All the people present on a flight are strictly advised to either switch off their mobile phones or turn on the airplane mode of the device before take-off. Most of us follow the instruction without pondering over the possible reason behind it. The reason why it is advised to turn on the airplane mode while travelling in a flight is that the airplane flies about 28000 ft to 45000 ft above sea level; therefore, the signals from a cellular tower do not reach such high altitudes. The phone keeps on searching for the connection. In an attempt to get connected with the nearest available cellular network, the device exhibits a strong and intense electrical signal in the environment. This high power signal gets interfered with the other gadgets installed in the airplane such as the navigation device. Due to this interference, the navigator does not work properly and is unable to fetch accurate data. The signal transmitted by the mobile phone also gets interfered with the internal circuitry of the pilot’s headphones and generates a noise signal.

What if we don’t turn on the Airplane Mode during a flight 

If a person does not turn on the airplane mode during a flight, the following issues may arise:

1. It creates an annoying noise in the headphones of the pilot that causes inconvenience and disturbance.

2. It also hampers the flight’s navigator. This may mislead the pilot, and the airplane may deviate from its actual path.

3. Mobile phones serve to be a great source of distraction. Hence, the airplane mode keeps people from being distracted and helps them to be more attentive in case of any mishap.

4. In some countries such as the United States, criminal charges are pressed against the people who violate the rule to turn on airplane mode during a flight.

5. The battery of the device discharges quickly because it tends to radiate more energy, and it keeps making constant attempts to catch the signals radiated from the cellular towers present on the ground.


General Questions Regarding Airplane Mode

What happens to the incoming call during airplane mode?

The person whose mobile phone is set to airplane mode does not receive any notification regarding the call or the caller. The call sent on such a phone gets diverted to the voice mail directly. After turning off the airplane mode, the device is able to receive the notification that tells about the caller id and time of the call.

Do alarms and other phone features work on airplane mode?

Yes, the alarms and other offline built-in features of a mobile phone do properly work when the airplane mode is turned on. This is because the Airplane mode only cuts off the interconnection of the mobile phone with the cellular network. It does not affect the internal functions of the device or the working of the applications that do not require an active connection with the cellular towers.

Can someone access the internet when airplane mode is turned on?

When the airplane mode is turned on, one cannot access the internet services through packet data; however, he/she may access the wi-fi facility to browse information and data online.

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