Can You Use Your Phone on a Plane? [2024]

The other day, one of my friends was planning to fly out next month to attend her best friend’s wedding. It was going to be held in another country. She had to take a 10-hour flight, to reach there and was wondering whether can you use a cell phone on a plane

She asked several of us, and we were not very sure about the answer. Though most of my team members have flown in an airplane, both domestically and internationally, we weren’t sure. So, we did some research to find the answers. 

We were quite astounded with the answers because they were plain & simple. We want to provide you with the answers as well, so that your doubts may be quelled once-for-all. Without further ado, let us read the post.

Why it is important to know if can you use a phone on a plane?

Sometimes, you may wonder why you can’t use a cell phone on a plane. Often, you may have heard the air hostess and the pilots making regular announcements, especially, during takeoff & landing. 

They repeatedly keep requesting passengers to switch off their cell phones or place them on airplane mode. So, why do these rules exist in the first place? Maybe you are a businessman who needs to use a smartphone or cellphone to attend an important call. 

We will try and help you understand why the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the EC or European Commission have come up with these rules for using wireless devices in the first place.

Can you use your cell phone on a plane?

can you use a cellphone on a plane

Yes, you can use your cell phone on the plane. It is a common myth among many passengers, that you can’t use the cell phone because it may affect with the aircraft's electrical components. During our research, we also noted that some passengers thought that using a cell phone on planes may cause them to crash during takeoff or landing. 

It comes as no surprise that the actual rules during takeoff and landing on a plane, are quite lesser known to many passengers. We want to help you learn & understand more about this. Firstly, airlines don’t mind passengers using their smartphones in airplane mode. 

You see when you keep your cellphone on airplane mode, it instantly disables all the internet connectivity and functionalities. You can only use your device to take photos, and videos, and listen to downloaded music. 

Doing that ensures that your device does not interfere with the aircraft's navigation systems.

Why isn’t a cell phone allowed on an airplane?

Though cell phones are allowed on aircraft, their usage must be limited or restricted. In some cases, you will be told to switch off your device, rather than keeping it in airplane mode. When you don’t comply with it, you may face legal action upon reaching the destination. 

They do that so that there is no communication breakup between the pilots and the ATC regarding takeoff and landing. Besides, the crew is dutybound to ensure that the passengers are safely transported to their destination. 

It is not surprising to note that the aviation bodies of different countries or regions have their own guidelines as to how much cellphone usage is appropriate on flights.  The governing bodies stipulate accurate rules for cellphone usage.

We may want to remind you that if your flight was delayed, canceled, or overbooked, then you are eligible for a small compensation. 

Is there Wi-Fi on the plane?

can you use a cellphone on a plane

Yes, there is Wi-Fi on the plane. The plane crew won’t tell you that because of their company’s policies. However, several commercial airlines provide in-flight Wi-Fi connectivity. Now, you can remain connected during the journey. 

You may want to find more information on the airline website to determine whether they have Wi-Fi or not. You can also find out more on the pricing & availability of the Wi-Fi connectivity. Using that, you can learn how to connect to the onboard Wi-Fi network.

However, the quality of the internet connection can vary depending on the location, and number of passengers. You can choose from the packages that are provided to you by the airlines, allowing you to select the option that meets your requirements.

How much does Wi-Fi cost on a plane?

If you are a frequent flyer in America, then you might want to make use of Wi-Fi when flying. It could be for personal or professional purposes. The rate of the Wi-Fi depends on the airline you are flying. 

Alaska Airlines charges $8 for using Wi-Fi, while JetBlue provides you with a free service on domestic flights. However, JetBlue offers Wi-Fi service only on a few selected international flights.

United Airlines provides the service for $8 to $10. When you are a MileagePlus member, and you are a T-Mobile subscriber, you can use it for free. You can find this data on the website of the airline that you are flying out with, in the in-flight entertainment segment.

The Wi-Fi connectivity is provided to the flyers with the help of antennas, that rely on satellites, and ground towers. However, you can play games, listen to downloaded music, and write notes, on your cellphone without using the internet connection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you use your phone on a plane?

Until now, there has been no plane crash because somebody forgot to keep their smartphone on airplane mode. However, using a phone on the plane can get you into trouble, if you are found out. So, it is best to keep your device in airplane mode. But you can take pictures and videos of take-off, landing, or other sceneries if you want.

Can you use your phone on a plane?

According to the FAA website on safety information, travelers are banned from using the cellphone as they interfere with critical aircraft instruments. However, they can be used after they are kept in airplane mode.

Which cellphones are not allowed on flights?

Though most devices are allowed on the light, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has been banned because of several reports of the smartphone catching fire. However, the smartphone is no longer in production.

Can you use your cellphone to take pictures on flights?

Yes, you can use the cellphone to take pictures on flights. However, you may want to avoid taking pictures or videos of the staff, unless you have taken permission or their consent. Different airlines have different policies, and you may be disembarked from the flight if you do not comply with their regulations.

What happens if you forget to place your cellphone on airplane mode on the flight?

There may be genuine cases, where you may have forgotten to place your smartphone on airplane mode. However, it is best once, you enter the aircraft, that you place it on airplane mode.

Besides, the air hostesses and pilots make several announcements to keep the smartphones on airplane mode. When the cellphone is not in airplane mode, the pilots can hear some jamming noises, and they may not be able to hear what is being instructed to them through radio signals, during takeoff and landing.


We have come to the end of our discussion on whether can you use a cellphone on a plane. We sincerely hope that this post we able to answer your queries about using cellphones when you are flying nationally or internationally. 

As you can see, keeping your cellphone in airplane mode when flying is extremely crucial as it may affect the radio signals. Moreover, the pilots may not be able to hear the vital communication with the ATC below. 

It can be dangerous when takeoff and landing. We would love to hear all about your experiences, feedback, and feelings. Please don’t hesitate to drop in your thoughts in the comment section.

Also Read:
How to Convince Your Parents to Get a Cell Phone
Reasons Your Kid Should Have a Cell Phone
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Sumith Roul
(23 Articles Published)

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