Why we are asked to activate airplane mode on a flight and what can happen if we do not

To all passengers on a plane, just before it takes off, the crew requests that all electronic devices be put in airplane mode, an option that you can easily enable from the “Settings” menu.

There are many myths around airplane mode on tablets and cell phones and what would happen on a flight if the crew’s order is not followed.

There are many myths around the subject; one of them indicates that if you do not put the airplane mode on your electronic device when flying, it could burn an internal plate of it because its emissions could cause interference.

Why we are asked to activate airplane mode on a flight and what can happen if we do not

But it is also believed that if you do not make this change, your devices could damage the control panels in the cabin and therefore cause an incident on the plane.

What happens when you turn on airplane mode on your electronic devices

Once you activate this feature, all mobile devices are disconnected from the mobile network and therefore cannot receive or send messages, make calls or connect to the internet.

Similarly, you should know that in airplane mode you will be able to access the applications that are installed, but you will not be able to use any function that requires an Internet connection. Only downloaded data such as photos, videos or offline music or movies can be used.

The fact of enabling airplane mode during a flight is precisely to limit any potential difficulty in communication with the control tower, or some other device in the cabin. In other words, not complying with this slogan could affect these aspects.

Read: Have you ever wondered why airplane windows are round and not square?

Although the essential flight systems are more than protected against the electromagnetic radiation emitted by the mobile phone, communications between the aircraft and the air traffic controller continue to use traditional radio, which is very sensitive to any external interference. And that is where the offline profile is especially relevant.

If it were to occur in any situation during the key stages of the air journey (such as landing or takeoff), it could endanger the entire aircraft, including the passengers and crew, since it is the moment in which the landing coordinates are given.

Airplane mode: Why is the use of Wi-Fi allowed on airplanes?

Compared to the GSM network, the Wi-Fi signal is much weaker at its peak power (100mW); therefore, many airlines provide this service on their planes. The only restriction is not to use it during takeoff, landing, or when flying below 10,000 feet.

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