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Mobile phones on flights

Travel Forums General Talk Mobile phones on flights

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11. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 8y

I just gotta add that Isa lives in whats offically known as "middle of nowhere" - and sometimes if you stand on one leg at the top of the house whilst touching your nose you maybe just maybe migh get mobile signal - more often though you dont!!

For me it was like loosing a limb - though after a few days it was strangely pleasant!!!

12. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 8y

Not wanting to threadjack this one any further - i have continued the "non-plane" cell phone discussion over here.

Isa now returns this thread to it's originally scheduled topic. ;)

13. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

On the original topic, I say no. As someone who probably would have had a valid reason to use a cell phone on a plane when I was travelling 50,000 miles a year for work, I can say that the 6 hours a week I spent on a plane with my phone off was the only time I got to do that (weekends and nights included), and really, really was one of my favourite times of the whole week.

Now that I am not working and travelling, I can't imagine what I would say to people.

"I on a plane. ON A PLANE! PLANE! AIRPLANE! FLYING! NO, FLYING! Sorry it's noisy, that's the engine. ENGINE. No, I SAID ENGINE!"

14. Posted by zxxxt (Budding Member 3 posts) 8y

I agree. It's that time where people can get to relax a little without having to deal with ringing noise and loud voice talking on the phone.

On my last flight, the steward asked me to turn off my HTC Touch even if the flight mode is turned on. He said flight mode or not, no cell phone or other similar devices please during take off and landing.

15. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

Quoting zxxxt

On my last flight, the steward asked me to turn off my HTC Touch even if the flight mode is turned on. He said flight mode or not, no cell phone or other similar devices please during take off and landing.

Was that just during take off and landing? That's always been the case. ipods etc. are always asked to be switched off. Heck even digital cameras are technically off limits. It's always seemed like overkill to me, but who am I to know what kind of strange electrical current surrounds my devices

16. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 8y

Quoting Sam I Am

Quoting zxxxt

On my last flight, the steward asked me to turn off my HTC Touch even if the flight mode is turned on. He said flight mode or not, no cell phone or other similar devices please during take off and landing.

Was that just during take off and landing? That's always been the case. ipods etc. are always asked to be switched off. Heck even digital cameras are technically off limits. It's always seemed like overkill to me, but who am I to know what kind of strange electrical current surrounds my devices

and I always wonder what would happen if a device did interfere with the aircarft's controls! Surely interference couldn't be caused that easily, as an ipod, camera etc could easily be left on by accident so if it was that dangerous surely they would have to make more stringent checks.

17. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 8y

Quoting bex76

and I always wonder what would happen if a device did interfere with the aircarft's controls! Surely interference couldn't be caused that easily, as an ipod, camera etc could easily be left on by accident so if it was that dangerous surely they would have to make more stringent checks.

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too every landing and take off :) Last week we were coming in over Paris and someone started getting sms's. Obviously they'd forgotten to switch the phone off the whole flight, so it clearly can't be too bad (they wouldn't be allowing it in some flights if it was even remotely dangerous is my reasoning ... ).

18. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 8y

ive left my phone on twice for the whole flight accidentally, obviously, nothing happened. they did a thing on mythbusters about how the signal affects the planes machinery etc and htey found it affected some things, very slightly. but i mean.. i guess they know theres a slight effect so best just to be safe than sorry!

but ive had my phone on on purpose once, just to read a msg on there that id gotten before, and i had no signal anyway. so does it even matter that ppls phones will be on? cos theres no signal anyway?? or are they gonna put in something that allows you to get signal to ur phone?

19. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 8y

I have accidentally left my mobile on during flights before without any issues. In some places I have been (outside the U.S.), I've seen people using their phones the entire flight, though granted those planes were small prop planes and not large jumbo jets.

The ban of mobile phones on flights is based on two issues.

The first is the issue of "channel reuse." that the mobile system is built based on the assumption that you are on the ground, and therefore the closest tower gets "control" of your phone. As you move, across the landscape, if you get closer to a different tower, you are handed off to that other tower. When in the air, however, you could be equi-distance from a number of towers, and therefore multiple towers could be "controlling" your phone. If one tower gives you a channel to use, and your phone broadcasts on that channel, it could interfere with another phone that has been given that same channel by a different tower. This problem can be solved by software in the phone system, or by the installation of a "pinocell" in the plane, which acts as a mobile tower for the plane.

The second issue is the concern that your phone's broadcasting could interfere with flight operations. There are a small number of reports of radio transmitters like mobile phone's causing issues with airplane electronics, however as far as I know, no one has ever been able to reproduce the issues under controlled conditions. However, it is a well known fact that radio devices can interfere with each other, and therefore based on that fact alone, many have suggested the ban should stay - not because we can prove that it will happen, but because we don't want to create a situation where it could happen.

Jax - to answer your questions, you can get a signal if you are close enough to a city, but if flying over empty land you are more likely to have no signal.

The systems that are being deployed use the pinocell, basically a mobile phone tower on the plane itself, and then broadcasts that down to the ground.

Greg

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