Travelling by plane: Should you turn off your mobile phone?

December 2016


Travelling by plane: Should you turn off your mobile phone?



During the takeoff and landing of an aircraft, passengers are asked to turn off their mobile phones. The reason? There could be possible interference with aircraft equipment! Information and explanations.

Why you need to turn off your mobile in an airplane?

There really is no proven scientific reason. This instruction to turn off all mobile during take-off and landing of the airplane is actually a preventive measure. In fact, 3G connections and sending/ receiving calls from a mobile phone could cause interference. Mobile phones emit electromagnetic waves. They operate within a specific frequency ranges depending on the functionality or type of service used. The risk of electromagnetic interference is present if a mobile phone transmits signals on the same frequency range as the aircraft's equipements. It should be noted that, instead of banning the use of mobile phones on the plane, some airlines company have made deployed several control features:
  • Air France-KLM offers Wi-Fi on board, with technology specifically designed for aircraft, without the risk of interference.
  • Emirates airline have a mobile phone relay that forwards calls to a satellite. The crew can turn the unit off at any time!

Services and applications that shouldn't be used during the flight

All services requiring a network connection:
  • Online Apps
  • Social networks
  • Online music and videos streaming
  • E-mails,
  • Online games etc..

But also:
  • Location services
  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • The telephone network.

The Airplane mode, the right alternative


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