Every time you are traveling and choose to fly, you are asked to switch your gadgets off or to flight mode. These gadgets are not just phones, tablets, iPads, or laptops, they also include Bluetooth headsets, watches, hand speakers, and any gadget that uses Bluetooth connection or the internet to function. This is normal during flights.
Well, it’s important for you to know why you must switch your gadgets to flight mode every time you board a plane. In simple terms, you need to switch your gadgets off or to flight mode because signal transmission by your gadgets will compromise the plane’s flight performance.
Before the introduction of flight mode, passengers were instructed to switch their phones off completely. This rule, however, was changed by the FAA In the year 2013. They released new guidelines that allowed passengers to use gadgets on air as long as they were in flight mode. In any case, it is up to the airline to verify the flight’s phone tolerance.
In some very rare cases, flight attendants will ask you to switch off your phones completely if the plane’s landing system is failing to tolerate interference from the gadgets. It should be noted that switching to flight mode is a federal requirement, and in the USA you can be risking a fine if you don’t follow this requirement.
Activation of flight mode on your gadgets
First and foremost, this feature is found on every smartphone. Activating this feature on your phones, iPads, and iPhones means Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and cellular communications will be disabled. In most devices, Wi-Fi is allowed to work when flight mode has been activated and even then it will be allowed above 10,000 feet.
Access to flight mode
Most gadgets have a shortcut on the notification bar. Naturally, its symbol is a plane and it is followed by an on-off tab for easy use. If it cannot be found on the notification bar, the settings will definitely have it.
Why you should switch your phone to flight mode during flights
Researchers from Harvard discovered that it is very safe to fly than to drive. The odds of being in a flight accident are 1:1.2 million! That should show you that airlines work with absolute caution to make sure your flight is safe. So next time they ask you to switch to flight mode. It is for your own safety.
Devices emit signals
As you get out of reach of cellular towers, your gadget will frantically seek connection. When it cannot find a connection to latch to, it will keep sending strong electric signals. These signals are what will be heard in the pilot’s headphones and will disturb the connection between the cockpit, the cabin crew, and eventually the air traffic control tower.
Apart from that, the phone will try to connect to every single tower in the plane’s flight path. Not to mention that these activities will drain your gadget’s battery. Some old-fashioned phones have been known to send signals at the same frequency as some airplanes. So having a phone like that on during a flight would definitely mean disruption on the aircraft.
Another reason why phones should be placed in flight mode is to avoid you getting distracted during the flight. This is necessary during take-off and landing. If you were on your phone during these vital times, you would miss something important being communicated and that would be disastrous. That is why you are told to put your gadgets away to focus on what is going on around you.
Is this regulation necessary?
Without a doubt, yes. It is very necessary. Putting your gadgets in flight mode will stop the emission of signals that may disrupt your flight and put your safety at risk.
These days, however, modern aircraft are well-tested to minimize any kind of interference. While some may call this regulation overcautious, it will help with preventing any kind of interference from an untested device. People board with all kinds of devices, and some might be untested against aircraft systems.
These modern aircraft systems have brought about change even for the pilots and their crews, as they are also capable of using gadgets for paperwork when flying, instead of using written forms.
Some aircraft have in-flight Wi-Fi which you can connect to after take-off and use to get on the internet, use WhatsApp Facebook, Twitter, and even send and receive emails. All but cellular connections, of course. In airplanes like Delta, you have to pay for this connection.
The connection has been said to be good especially when the flight is in the air, rather than when it’s on the ground. The connection might not be available in some places and the weather can disrupt it and end up not working.
Outside of the USA, some flights allow in-flight calling. But the moment they are in USA air, the technology that allows this is switched off. It should be pointed out now that different countries have different rules when it comes to this. Some will allow you to use Wi-Fi and some will force you to switch off your phone entirely.
Whether the plane is a modern contraption or an old-fashioned one, it is very important to switch your gadgets to flight mode as soon as the flight attendant signals you to do it. It ensures your safety and also has your gadgets in good battery condition when you arrive at your destination. Just because a plane has never been brought down because of a phone doesn’t mean you can neglect the requirements to switch to flight mode. It’s for your safety, and it is better to be safe than sorry.
And also, as this offers you to be off your gadgets, working, and surfing the internet, it might not be a bad thing to take a break. You need a digital break sometimes so when you get the chance, use it.