If you’ve ever wondered what the real reason why airlines tell you to turn your phone on Airplane Mode is then you’ve come to the right place.

Firstly, it’s not got anything to do with your phones interfering with the communications devices on the plane. Although many pilots still claim that an active cell phone connection could interfere with their navigation equipment.

But the real reason airlines in the U.S. make you put your phone on “Airplane Mode” is because of the Federal Communications Commission.

FCC regulations ban the use of cell phones on planes in order to “protect against radio interference to cell phone networks on the ground.” Meaning at 40,000 feet in the air, active cell phones would be picking up service from multiple cell towers on the ground. This could crowd the networks on the ground and disrupt service.

Perhaps, this has carried on to airlines all over the world. However, I honestly doubt that if you would ask someone that works at an airport (or a pilot themselves) that they would know the real reason why it has become a blind tradition to tell people to turn their phones on airplane mode.

But it’s not like we’ve ever had the urge to make a phone call during a flight anyway, right?

Article originally inspired by Business Insider

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