If you’ve ever been on a flight, you would’ve been told to switch your various devices to airplane mode. While not switching to airplane mode might not be as dangerous as taking a possibly explosive Galaxy Note 7 on a flight, disobeying this request could pose some risks when you’re traveling by air.

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Not a lot of research has been conducted as to what happens when you don’t switch to airplane mode, partly because smartphone and other gadget technology grows at such a rapid rate. One thing must be borne in mind though – failing to switch your devices to airplane mode has never brought down a plane. With technology advancing so rapidly the need to switch to airplane mode seems to become obsolete, with the European Aviation Safety Agency declaring in 2014 that electronic devices and gadgets pose no safety risks when not switched to airplane mode. However, the Agency requires that airlines prove that no interference is caused and prohibits voice communications.

But can you imagine people are suddenly allowed to talk to others on their phones on planes? That means, not only would you have to endure having to sit next to a stranger, but you might have to listen to their ramblings over FaceTime with their mothers.

So other than getting a strong talking to by a flight attendant, not much might happen to passengers who fail to switch their devices to airplane mode as there is also no way of determining who hasn’t obeyed the command to switch to airplane mode. There is no device on the plane which can detect that some naughty passenger has failed to switch her device to airplane mode, so it would be difficult to determine where a signal was coming from in the first place. Whether the signals emitted by a device which hasn’t been switched to airplane mode could cause interference with the plane, is debatable, and even if it did, it would be difficult to catch the culprit.

With airplane and gadgets technology constantly being upgraded, do you think the requirement to switch your devices to airplane mode is still relevant? Drop us a comment and let us know.

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