Back in the old days you used to have to turn your phone off completely before the plane taxied down the runway but these days you’re sweet with airplane mode. 

And it turns out there’s a method to the madness – which means you really need to stop pretending you’ve done it. 

Because, even thousands of feet in the air, your phone signal can ping off several towers, actually intensifying.

Seriously. You’d probably get better reception on a 45 minute flight to Melbourne than you would in your own living room.

“The issue is interfering with airplane and causing more work for the pilots during critical phases of flight,” explained former Boeing engineer Kenny Kirchoff.

“When they take off and when they land, those are phases of flight that require a high level of concentration by the pilots.”

Added to that is the fact that any phone ringing during take-off or landing is going to be a huge distraction to cabin crew, not to MENTION how annoying people bleating down the phone would be to other passengers, and airlines are pretty reluctant to roll out technology that would allow you full use of your mobile mid-flight.


“The technology exists, but the hesitance is, again, public demand,” Allison Markey, an aviation safety professional, told “More passengers view this as an annoyance rather than a benefit of travel.

“It is bad enough being a passenger close to people who talk loudly to their neighbouring passengers; add cell phone use and the result may be worse than the few seat reclining events of late.”

Hear, hear. 

Love this? You’ll love this bit from Kyle & Jackie O!