What Happens if You Don’t Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode? ✈︎

3 min read

Morning Flyers!

What happens if you turn off airplane mode during a flight?

Yeah, maybe this is a bit of an exaggeration.

But they do actually say to put your phone on airplane mode.

But have you ever wondered… why?

Like many others, I assumed it was something to do with safety.

But it's not actually to protect the people on the plane, it's actually to help out everyone who's not on the plane.

Let me explain…

So let's say you call your best friend.

Your phone sends out a radio wave signal to the nearest cell tower.

Once connected, this signal is then bounced over to other cell towers until it reaches whoever you're calling.

But, there's a problem, see, a bunch of other people also making calls.

So, how do they ensure you are not picking up other people's calls?

Well, the cell towers manage the calls by assigning each phone a different frequency of radio wave.

These radio waves for cell phone calls operate between 450 megahertz and 2700 megahertz.

So here's the frequencies Durd and his friend might be assigned:

But the issue is that there's only so many frequencies in this range to choose from.

And since literally everyone and their grandmother have phones now, the demand for ownership over these frequencies has exploded!

So, let's get back to the airplane.

Now, if you were to turn airplane mode off, whilst in the air, your phone will have to work overtime to send the loudest signal it can in search of service.

Simply because you're so damn far away from any cell towers.

But here's where the issue arises.

Since planes travel so quickly, your phone might find itself much closer to a cell tower than expected.

So they absolutely BLAST the cell tower with a massive signal.

Completely drowning out all other phone calls on the ground.

So when you fly without using airplane mode, you're basically acting as a military radio jammer, beaming giant radio waves that interfere with nearby signals.

And as we know, there's already a massive lack of frequencies, so it's really best to avoid doing this lol.

Stay Cute,
Reece, Henry & Dylan 🌈

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