TikTok user Cierra_mistt, who works as a flight attendant, posted a video to explain why passengers are asked to put their phones on airplane mode – and it’s been viewed more than 1.8 million times
There’s a few rules when it comes to flying that passengers may dismiss as being unimportant.
Although it may be tempting to ignore the cabin crew’s appeal to turn phones onto airplane mode, a flight attendant has said it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
TikTok user Cierra_mistt shared a video about the importance of airplane mode, which has been viewed more than 1.8 million times, and said: “The reason may actually shock you and make you think twice about trying to sneak and keep your phone on normal mode.”
Cierra said it all comes down to the work behind the scenes to navigate and coordinate all the planes both in the air and on the ground, which is achieved by constant communication between pilots and air traffic control (ATC).
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She claimed: “In order for the pilots to be able to communicate with ATC, they use frequencies – which is what we use on our phones.
“But sometimes frequencies can collide and cause a loss of signal completely.
“Now picture how bad it would be for a pilot who was taking directions from ATC on the ground, all of a sudden loses signal and starts flying blindly, all because of the frequency of a passenger’s phone that intercepted it.
“Long story short; put your phone on aeroplane mode.”
Some viewers doubted the claims, and Bobby Laurie – a former flight attendant and host of The Jet Set TV show – previously told CNTraveler that although issues with phone interference are rare, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
He said: “The best way that a pilot explained it to me was, if you’ve ever left your cell phone next to a speaker—just before it rang, you would hear that clicking noise from the speaker.
“That’s kind of what they hear in their headsets and in-flight deck speaker system when they’re communicating.”
Bobby says he’s been on a few flights where they’ve had to ask passengers numerous times to switch to airplane mode as the pilots reported getting a lot of interference, adding: “But like I said, it is pretty rare.”
Travel firm BudgetAir also writes on its website: “Why do we have to put our phone in Airplane mode during the flight? This has to do with the signal that your device emits.
“During the flight you get out of reach of the telephone towers with which your phone constantly seeks connection. Because your phone can’t find a connection, it sends an increasingly strong electrical signal into the world in search of these towers.
“The pilot can hear an annoying sound in his or her headphones because of this signal.”