Vote Now: Do You Use Airplane Mode When You’re on an Airplane?

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I had to fly to Milan a few weeks ago and while waiting for the plane to leave I noticed something strange. The cabin crew told all passengers to put their electronic devices on airplane mode, and as I did so, a quick glance around me saw that hardly anyone cared.

The first question here is why should we put our phones on airplane mode on an airplane? Most of you may think this is done to avoid radio interference with the aircraft’s avionics. That is somewhat correct, but does not tell the whole story.

The Federal Communications Commission regulates the use of cell phones on aircraft with the following statement: “The use of mobile telephones is prohibited for protection against radio interference on mobile telephone networks on the ground.”

That’s correct! When a phone tries to connect to a cell tower when you are at 40,000 feet and traveling more than 1000 miles per hour, your cell phone will pick up a large number of cell towers. Multiply this by the number of passengers and all the flights constantly buzzing through the air and you get the picture – this can easily disrupt mobile services on the ground.

Now back to the poll – do you use airplane mode when told to? Or do you turn off all your electronic devices completely? Some domestic flights offer in-flight Wi-Fi service, so it would make sense to disable Airplane Mode. Tell us and share your experience in the comment section below.

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