The subject of cellphones on airplanes has become a hot topic in recent months. As of late last year, airlines started allowing passengers to keep their electronic devices powered on during take-off and landing provided they are on airplane mode.
In addition, U.S. regulatory groups are looking into the possibility of allowing the use of cellphones to talk and text mid-flight. While this is not yet a reality, it has started the discussion about proper inflight phone etiquette.
To help you get the most out of your mobile device at 30,000 feet while keeping your fellow travelers undisturbed, check out some of these tips.
1. Finish all calls before boarding. Observing polite mobile device manners starts even before you’re in the air. You can help keep the boarding process moving quickly by finishing all of your calls before handing over your boarding pass at the gate.
2. Keep your ringer on silent. Many of today’s most popular apps and games, like Candy Crush Saga, feature music and sound effects. Make sure your phone is on silent throughout your flight so you do not disrupt those seated around you. If you want to listen to music or watch a movie on your mobile device, bring some noise-cancelling headphones, like the Beats Studio Over-Ear Headphones, to block out the sound of the plane’s engines or other in-flight noises.
3. Dim your screen on overnight flights. Most phones and tablets give you the option to reduce the brightness of your screen. This helps you stay entertained while flying and also gives your sleeping neighbor a chance to get a good night’s rest without being bothered by the screen’s bright light. As an added bonus, you’ll also reduce the drain on your device’s battery.
4. Switch to airplane mode when asked. Several airlines now offer in-flight Wi-Fi so you can enjoy online content or stream music and videos while at cruising altitude. However, your phone must be set to airplane mode during take-off and landing and while the aircraft is less than 10,000 feet off the ground. Be courteous to your flight attendant crew and switch your phone to airplane mode when asked – they’ll appreciate you for it.
5. Tap, don’t talk. Send a text instead of making a call to let your family and friends know you’ve arrived safely. It’s faster and you’ll avoid having your phone conversation overheard by your neighboring passengers.