Man using phone on airplane

What Airplane Mode Does And Why You Should Use It

By Nicole Cord-Cruz


Using phones during flights is prohibited, but devices set to airplane mode are exempt from this rule under most circumstances.
The rule exists to minimize the "potential interference to wireless networks on the ground," says the FCC. Phones can emit signals that disrupt a plane's navigational systems.
Engineer Kenny Kirchoff says, "It's not necessarily that a phone can bring down an airplane ... The issue is interfering with the airplane and causing more work for the pilots."
This rule was first put in place in the 1990s, but changing technology may have made it functionally obsolete. Pilots have stated that smartphones are rarely a threat these days.
Still, it also doesn't hurt to put your phone in airplane mode, as it's always better to err on the side of caution. You should especially keep airplane mode on during landing.