An Airline Pilot Speaks Out About Your Phone's Airplane Mode

September 26, 2018

When you think about it, there are hundreds of special rules you most follow only when flying in an airplane.  From placing liquids in quart-sized baggies to viewing a safety video that still shows people how a seat belt works!  But one rule that many pilots consider outdated is the rule that forces travelers to turn their phones off for take-off or put them in airplane mode. According to one airline pilot, there is no reason passengers should switch off these days, because technology is far more advanced. Captain Chris Foster said in an interview that "the regulations date back many years to when we didn’t even have things like iPads" and that "aircraft control systems are so sophisticated now, that they wouldn’t cause any interference." Although cell phones may not interfere with the safety of an airplane's electronic technologies, it is passengers and flight attendants who overwhelming want no cell phone service at 30,000 feet.  In 2013 the FCC was considering to lift the ban on voice phone calls during flights but the public support to not allow it ultimately won.  Another vote in 2014 prompted more than 1,700 comments, with 96% favoring the ban, 2% favoring the ban with exceptions for emergencies and 2% saying airlines should set their own policies. The FCC’s action leaves untouched the prospect for Wi-Fi calls during flights through services such as Skype. No federal regulations now govern Wi-Fi calls during flights, although most U.S. airlines prohibit all voice calls. So don't be alarmed if you forget to turn your phone off or in airplane mode when in the air.  However if a flight attendant instructs you to do it, by law, you must follow their instructions. 

SOURCE: The Sun & USA Today

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