What does Airplane Mode do?

What does Airplane Mode do?

Airplane Mode is a feature on your smartphone that you might not think about too often. However, that little plane icon within your device’s settings actually plays a vital role, particularly when travelling.

Our smartphone experts are here to take you through what Airplane Mode does on iPhone and Android devices, as well as when to use it.

If you’re on the lookout for a new handset to join you on your travels, our iPhone and Android collections include various models for you to choose from.

What is Airplane Mode?

Airplane Mode, also known as Flight Mode, is a setting you can enable that prevents wireless and network signals from being sent by your mobile phone. It was developed as a way for phones to remain turned on during flights, while ensuring that signals don’t disrupt the plane’s radio transmission systems.

If you receive a call while Airplane Mode is switched on, you’ll see a notification that someone has tried to get in contact. They can then choose to leave a voicemail or call once Airplane Mode has been disabled.

As explained by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, the cabin crew will typically advise passengers to keep their phones in Airplane Mode for the duration of the flight.


Do I always have to enable Airplane Mode?

The need to always have Airplane Mode switched on is less common, especially compared to the 2000s and 2010s. Some airlines possess planes that have 5G connectivity on-board, enabling passengers to connect to the Internet without sending a signal beyond the plane itself.

When should I use Airplane Mode?

Airplane Mode should be switched on once you have checked in and are ready to board; this way you’re less likely to forget to enable it.

However, there are other reasons you might want to use Airplane Mode.

Enjoy time to focus

Because Airplane Mode disables your phone’s connection to the Internet and your mobile network, it effectively cuts you off from the outside world. It’s therefore a great way to focus on things without being disturbed by a call or text.


Save battery life

If you’re on a flight and low on battery without your charger available, Airplane Mode can help save on precious battery life. Connecting to your network or the Internet can drain the battery over time, and so by using Airplane Mode, it’s possible to use your phone for longer.

What happens if you don’t use Airplane Mode?

The aeroplane staff won’t be notified if your phone’s Airplane Mode isn’t switched on, but they might request all passengers to check their devices if the pilot says they’re receiving interference.

As you’ve seen, it’s important to be aware of Airplane Mode while on your travels. Another vital element of smartphone ownership to consider is your data plan. Our guide will help you see how much you need based on your requirements.