A member of the cabin crew explains why your phone must be in flight mode on an airplane


This is a safety measure that we have all become accustomed to in recent years: switching our phones to “airplane mode” before take-off and leaving them offline until after landing.

But not everyone knows why the airlines are asking us to do it.

In a TikTok video, flight attendant Cierra Mistt explained the flight mode rule and why it’s in place, saying, “The reason can actually shock you and make you think twice. before you try to sneak in and keep your phone in normal mode. “

Mistt explains, “From the moment the boarding gate closes until the moment of landing, pilots follow specific instructions given to them by a group of people on the ground called Air Traffic Control, or ATC, whose job is to ensure that planes take off and land safely without colliding.

In the viral video, Mistt claims cell phone frequencies could potentially interfere with conversations between pilots and ATC workers on the ground.

She explained, “In order for pilots to communicate with ATC, they use frequencies that we use on our phones.”

“Now imagine how bad it would be for a pilot who takes instructions from ATC on the ground, suddenly loses signal and starts flying blind because of the frequency of a passenger’s phone that intercepted it. “

However, not everyone agrees with this reasoning.

“It has never been proven that a cell phone signal interfered with the aircraft’s navigation performance. But just because it never happened does not mean it will never happen, ”said a pilot. Business intern in 2017.

Commenting on Mistt’s TikTok video, an electrical engineer said the real reason for the flight mode was “unintentional radio waves emitted by phones and other devices” or “intentional radio waves inadvertently picked up by the aircraft’s equipment. pilot”.

Suggesting that “our devices do not emit or accept so many unintentional waves”, the engineer asked if the flight mode was still “absolutely necessary”, but added: “To be on the safe side, do it”.

In 2013, the United States Federal Aviation Administration determined that it was safe for passengers to use electronic devices during take-off and landing, provided the aircraft was equipped with appropriate interference.

But the FAA has stipulated that cell phones must be put in airplane mode.

Flight attendants have reported in the past that this is as much a matter of passenger safety as it is of flight technology, with the risk of phones flying in the cabin during extreme turbulence and distracting passengers when safety instructions are given or an evacuation is indicated.


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