Mobile Phones on Airplanes

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by danielh, Jun 10, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.
Joining AFF is fast, simple & ABSOLUTELY FREE -  join now by clicking on the JOIN NOW button, and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.
Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)
  1. danielh

    danielh Member

    Dec 5, 2003

    Thought I'd mention the change that came in on Tuesday 7 June 2005.

    The only reason why I even noticed this change was because on my Monday morning flight to Sydney the air fight attendant looked at my Treo 600 PDA (which was was happily playing Holdem Poker) and asked if that was a mobile phone. I told her it was a PDA with a mobile phone but I had flight mode turned on so it was not transmitting anything.

    She then asked me to turn it off and distracted me with mentioning the change in rule was going to allow me to use the phone from tuesday onwards.

    Looking at the actual article I don't think she knew what she was talking about but since I was losing my $$$ I decided to comply and get a quick 30 min nap before landing.


  2. tatty

    tatty Junior Member

    Jan 11, 2005
    Do 802.11b/g wireless cards or bluetooth have any affect on the aircraft? I bet very few people remember to disable their cards before switching on the laptop. Perhaps the 2.4Ghz frequency doesn't affect anything.

    As for the mobile phones. QF always said you had to wait until well inside the terminal building due to refuelling taking place. I watched Myth Busters try to light a sealed area of fuel vapour with a mobile phone without any result.
  3. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Can only use at cruise altitudes, or upon commencement of taxiing after landing. Any chance of getting phone reception at 33,000 ft anyway, away from climb/descent, and therefore away from population centres.
  4. danielh

    danielh Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    Well the announcement tonight when we landed said we can now turn on all mobile phone devices.

    Basically their announcements upon takeoff and landing have changed with this rule.

    Hard to miss now. :)

  5. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    I flew SYD - MEL on Tuesday (7/6) and we weren't allowed to have them switched on in SYD but when we landed in MEL we could if we wanted to. Returning on Wed we could switch on when we landed in SYD. I recall a couple of years ago we could do this on City Flyer for a short while but then it disappeared. The old refuelling excuse was used. Now it's back - to be honest it's rare that I care enough to switch on. I usually call when I'm leaving the airport as I know I won't be waiting any longer - one can give a reasonable estimate of arrival then.

    Hope the day doesn't come too soon when Mr Obnoxious in the seat next to me can yap at full volume all the way to Perth!
  6. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    Adds nothing to the discussion but I choose to not own a cell phone. :D
  7. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Landed in BNE Thursday evening. After the aircraft had landed and while taxiing on came the announcement:
    Mine was off in my pocket, so I did.

    I guess the "If you can reach it..." bit is to discourage PAX from jumping from there seats and grabbing their 'phone out of the overhead lockers while the seatbelt signs are still lit.
  8. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    There have been more than 100 incidents reported to CASA regarding interference from electronic devices inlight in the past 10 years, I dont think we will see mobile phones being permtted in flight anytime in the near future. If you think it is a myth - checkout:

    Dont forget you are sitting on top of kilometres of wiring that acts as a big antenna!
  9. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Anything that transmits radio frequency is not permitted in flight. On most devices its easy to turn off the radios. However, these are most unlikely to cause any interference issues on an aircraft and I think one day we will see 802.11b offered in-flight for internet access - but not for a while.

    On a recent flight, the Captain made an announcement that someone in the cabin was using a WiFi device and could they please disable the radio. He specifically mentioned the device ID that was being transmitted. So to find that out, he must have had a laptop or PPC and done a scan looking for available SSIDs.
    One of the main reasons they don't like phone being used inside the plane is that they can cause interference with the radio communications and intercom systems in the aircraft. Try sitting your GSM mobile phone next to a regular land-line telephone or near an AM/FM radio and call it. Many times you will hear a loud "da-da-da-da" sound on the landline phone or radio receiver. This can also happen on to the aircraft's intercom and external radio receivers depending on just how close the mobile phone is to the aircraft's systems. Such interference could cause an important communication to be disrupted or missed.

    I believe the risk of a mobile phone causing the aircraft flight control systems to malfunction is very minimal. But the risk of a mobile phone interfering with the internal or external communication systems and hence the flight crew missing an important instruction from ATC does exist. Hence by leaving them off until the seatbelt sign is extinguished, that risk is decreased.

    I don't believe bluetooth poses any such risk.

    However, in all this it is important to remember one thing. It makes no difference at all if your device is harmless. It is a legal requirement that all passengers must obey an instruction give by a Flight Attendent on an aircraft. Failing to abide by an FA's instruction is an offence. So if the FA says to turn it off, then off it must go - no arguements. Even if the FA has no clue about what type of device you have and whether it is even capable of transmitting and causing interference.
  10. jonesy

    jonesy Junior Member

    May 5, 2005
    Shenzhen, China
    Why can we use mobile phones upon landing in Sydney on a Qantas domestic flight but not on an international flights :?:
  11. Guest

    Guest Guest

    You are not allowed to use a mobile phone (apparently) before "enterring Australia". I've been told off a few times for being on the phone in BNE and SYD intl when presenting my immigration docs...

    Some airports, especially LAX T4, mobile phones don't even work until you get past immigration!
  12. danielh

    danielh Member

    Dec 5, 2003
    You never know. It might be to prevent a spotter going ahead to see if there are any police waiting for drug mules to arrive and to let them know to dump the goods before they 'arrive' to the checkin. :)

  13. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Using a mobile phone inside the immigration/customs areas is a security risk (or so the signs imply)

    That would be why the phone is not allowed to be switched on when the plane lands.

Share This Page