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What Really Happens If You Leave Your Phone Switched On During A Flight

Flight attendants ask us to turn off our cell phones or put them in "flight mode" prior to take off, but do you know the reason why that is?

People who have a fear of flying naturally want any flight they have to take to go as smoothly as possible. As a matter of fact, whether you're afraid to fly or not, chances are you'll want the same. Anything and everything can make us nervous when we're 36,000 feet up in the air.

The person sitting next to you pulling out their phone to take a call is probably one of those things. Before take-off, all passengers are asked to either switch off their phones or set them to flight mode. The very fact the mode is named after the mode of transport you're taking should tell you how important it is.

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via Electronics/HowStuffWorks

But how important is it really? Most of us probably have some fabricated idea in our heads that one cell phone could interfere with a plane on such a grand scale that it'll take it down. That is not the case. According to Business Insider, there has never been a case of a cellphone causing a plane to crash. The real reason we all need to switch off our phones is due to something that happens at 10,000 feet.

Believe it or not, at that height, your phone signal is probably stronger than it is when on the ground. That's due to its signal being able to bounce off multiple towers. The fear is that signal will interfere with communication between the pilot and people on the ground. Truth be told, thanks to advances in technology, that fear is probably an outdated one in 2019.

According to the European Aviation Safety Agency, electronic devices now pose no safety risk to flights whatsoever. However, it is up to each individual airline to prove that their systems are unaffected by cellphone signals. The truth is that in the present day, the main reason phones still need to be off/in flight mode on planes is for the passengers' peace of mind. Like we said, seeing someone answer their phone on a plane can be unnerving, so why mess with the status quo?

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