Why You Have To Turn Your Phone Off

A bit NSFW language. Plus one day we’ll invent moving pictures with sound.

I always assumed the ‘turn off your devices’ was more that they wanted people to hear the evac stuff during dep/arr rather than have to step over someone zoned out listening to music? I bet a pilot knows…

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TL;DR Using a bunch of devices that create electronic fields might cause issues with equipment in the aircraft, so better safe than sorry.

The fact that they allow you to have these devices on the plane at all, but won’t let you take on a medium sized tube of toothpaste tells you how serious a threat this is.

The argument that cell phones at higher altitudes affect cell towers and the rapid switching somehow messes them up seems kinda reasonable, but it also seems like it’d be awfully easy to fix in the hardware rather than push for vague policies.

And don’t get me started about cell phones being dangerous at the gas pump.


I’ve heard multiple stories from pilots of cellphone interference. Mostly equipment acting weird, them asking the passengers to turn off cell phones and other electronic devices, and then the problem disappearing.

Thing is, these are devices that emit a EM field, this can indeed cause problems, and the ban is device wide because they are not all certified and tested to comply to aviation standards.