Here’s the reason why you should always put your phone in airplane mode during a flight


“Please turn off all electronic devices during take off and landing.”

If you have ever been on a plane you will know that there are always lots of warnings given about turning off your electronic devices and putting your phone into airplane mode.

But do you know the reasons why?

It isn’t as many people believe that a phone will interfere with the plane’s navigation equipment and send it plummeting to the ground from 30,000ft.

It is true that mobile phones interfere with the electronics on a plane.

airplane mode

However, while the real reason is not as dramatic as causing a plane to fall out of the sky, it is still significant.

According to a post on the pilot’s blog, the reason why you are asked to turn off electronic devices and/or put your mobile phone into flight mode is because it can cause a weird buzzing noise that can distract pilots and air traffic controllers.

The buzzing noise is said to be similar to that heard if you have ever held a mobile phone close to a speaker.

According to the blog, switching to airplane mode is less about safety and more about consideration for the pilot.


“If say 50 people on board are inconsiderate enough who can’t be bothered to switch their cell radio off, there will be 50 phones constantly looking for cell towers at maximum power.  That is a lot of radio pollution.”

“It is common courtesy. By switching your phone to airplane mode you show your appreciation to the people doing their job to get you where you want to be.”

The pilot goes onto say that he flies around 50 flights per month and during that time he will hear the buzzing noise once or twice.

He also says that more often or not it is the result of a crewmember forgetting to turn their phone to airplane mode.

So next time you are about to take a flight, spare a thought for the pilot and make sure you either turn your phone off or switch it to airplane mode.



  1. AndrewMunn on

    An article that I saw some years ago gave another reason also. Hundreds of phones traveling at hundreds of miles an hour (probably looking for dozens of networks) befuddling the ground mast/mobile network etc.

  2. I don’t understand. Are you saying electronic noise comes through the headset the captain wears?

  3. I’m not buying this story. What about the many thousands of cell phones that are turned on at big sporting events, and at music concerts? If what you say is true, then those thousands and thousands of cell phones would reek havoc on the venue’s audio systems … but they don’t.