Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 06 Aug 2017
Total posts 120
Earlier tonight I flew SYD-MEL. Just after the cabin crew had finished their final walkthrough before landing, the passenger across the aisle from me got out his phone and started reading, and sending, SMS and emails. There was no internet on the flight so I can only assume he was using his cellular (phone) connection. This is not the first time I have seen a passenger using his mobile phone/cellular data during a flight. How much of a big deal is this? Was the passenger genuinely endangering the people on board? What should I have done?
British Airways - Executive Club
Member since 23 Mar 2018
Total posts 33
I don’t see how it can be a major risk if you are allowed to bring the phone on board in the first place. Things that can endanger people’s lives (knives, guns, sharp objects etc) are banned from aircraft cabins. If mobile phones were a major hazard then surely the risk would be too great to allow them in the cabin at all.
Member since 18 Jan 2018
Total posts 4
No evidence that cellular phone use puts passengers at risk.
Member since 19 Apr 2012
Total posts 627
I think the issue is one of volume. If everybody has it on there may be electronic interference but one or two my have little effect. I have seen cabin crew tell people to turn them off and there was story of a seeing business men or poltician being kicked off a flight for talking on ther phone after being told not to. The issue of no evidence is a good thing, as it is precuationary principle. Avoiding cases that provides evidence. People should not take bags on emergency evacuations but they do. Nobody has been killed YET, but that does not mean it is safe to do so.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 21 Jan 2014
Total posts 269
Happens a lot, as long as people aren’t talking on it I really don’t care, I am sure if it was a real concern the airlines would make more of an issue out of it.
Bad analogy. The act of taking bags requires additional time. It is reasonable to infer additional risk resulting from delayed evacuation arising from this.
Member since 17 Aug 2012
Total posts 1,285
Was the passenger across the aisle actually on a data connection, though? It is possible to 'send' messages and emails while offline; they just sit in the outbox until the connection is reestablished.
Member since 10 Nov 2011
Total posts 95
It's just rude really. Like it or not you're in a regulated environment where you are obliged to follow the directions of cabin crew. It's a display of self importance.
Member since 08 Dec 2014
Total posts 11
The main reason you should switch your phone to flight mode is BECAUSE YOU WERE ASKED TO!! The arrogance of some people who think that certain rules shouldn’t apply to them astounds me. Just because you don’t know the reason for something doesn’t mean you just get to ignore it.
Yes, he seemed to be downloading and receiving messages as well as sending them -- so it looked like he was on a cellular data connection.
Agree that phones should be put in flight mode if directed by crew.
Member since 28 Aug 2014
Total posts 128
A consumer cell phone doesn't interfere with the navigation equipment of a three hundred million dollar airplane. It's not a grey area, it just simply does not. There is no evidence to the contrary, and it's not for lack of investigation. In fact, some airlines (e.g. Emirates) already allow passengers to SMS and make / receive phone calls during flight on their personal devices using cell service.Let your fingers do the walking, and research this information
online for yourself. Think rationally; if they were a genuine threat to aviation safety, they would not be allowed in the main cabin. (A satellite phone is a different story, of course, as is a radio transmitter.)It's probably hard to know with certainty if the pax on your flight was using his cellular service, or just fiddling with his phone... but I do imagine that blatantly using the cellular service of a mobile phone would contribute to the anxiety of neighboring passengers, and should not be done for that reason alone.That being said, I'd be lying if I said I've never switched my phone off flight mode as we were on the approach to landing. And I've frequently seen flight crew doing the same thing from their galley jump-seats. I'm sure a decent proportion of the plane is doing the same thing.My advice is to let it go.
Member since 19 Jan 2018
Total posts 41
I've been using my mobile phone on planes as and when I please ever since I've had one. It's completely fine.
Member since 14 Dec 2017
Total posts 14
I would be so happy to have cellular reception at 5000m height.
Member since 21 May 2014
Total posts 174
Are there any pilots on here making comments about interference, or is it armchair experts?
IMHO, the reason why the FA rolled their eyes at your comments is that you waited until you were disembarking before you reported it. What realistically are they meant to do at that point in time?
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
Using (cellular) mobile phone during flight
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest news, reviews, tips and more sent straight to your inbox