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What can you do on airplane mode?

Don't worry about having to disconnect your phone in the air, and learn about everything you can do in airplane mode. Enjoy movies and music!

Manuel M.

January 29, 2024

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We all know that on an aircraft, we have to activate airplane mode. But what can you do with this setting? Does it lock or block your phone? We have answers to all your questions. Today we’ll explain what this function is, how it works and what you do when you have it activated.

What is airplane mode?

There's plenty to do while in airplane mode, like readying.
Find ways to make time pass quickly. Source: Pexels

Down to basics. Airplane mode is a setting on your phone that disables any and all wireless communication capabilities, such as cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. In other words, the phone has zero contact with the outside world.

What does airplane mode do?

When you activate airplane mode on your phone, keep in mind the following:

  • Cellular Communication: Your phone won’t be able to make or receive calls, send texts, or go online. This includes any apps.
  • Wi-Fi: With Wi-Fi deactivated, you won’t connect to any local networks, not even the ones that your phone recognizes.
  • Bluetooth: Under this setting, Bluetooth is also turned off, and you won’t be able to connect to other phones or other wireless devices like headphones or headsets.

How do I activate airplane mode?

Completely disconnecting your phone from other devices or the internet is not that difficult at all. Overall, all phone models and operating systems have similar options to activate and deactivate airplane mode.

Generally, all you have to do is go to Settings>Airplane Mode and then toggle on the option. The easy way is to pull down the Easy Access options from the top. There you’ll see an airplane icon, you just have to tap it, and you’ll disconnect the phone from any wireless networks or connection.

Remember that to deactivate this option, essentially, just follow the previous instructions again, toggle on the settings menu option or tag once more the easy access icon.

What can you do on your phone in airplane mode?

So the question remains, what can you actually do once you’ve activated this option?

1. Watch downloaded videos

When you’re on a long flight or find yourself in an area with no internet connection, you can still find entertainment. Before activating airplane mode, download your favorite movies or TV shows and enjoy uninterrupted viewing.

2. Listen to offline music or podcasts

Just like with videos on streaming platforms, there are other apps like Spotify and YouTube where you can still enjoy your music or podcasts offline. Again, before activating this zero connection option, download your music and playlists so that you’ll be able to get through the long haul.

3. Read e-books or articles

Airplane mode won’t stop you from immersing yourself in a good book or catching up on articles. Download your preferred reading material beforehand and enjoy, regardless of being disconnected from the internet.

4. Take photos and videos

Capture precious moments even when you’re off the grid. Your phone’s camera function still works in airplane mode, allowing you to get beautiful pictures and videos, worrying about connectivity. A perfect example is those spectacular views from the air.

5. Use offline navigation

Don’t fret about getting lost when you’re disconnected from everything. Many navigation apps offer offline maps, ensuring you can find your way even without an internet connection.

6. Play Games

The app store and play store offer plenty of games that can be used offline. Help time go by faster when you’re on airplane mode by downloading your games before disconnecting from the internet. Some examples are:

  1. Crossy Road
  2. Plants vs. Zombies 2
  3. Dots: A Game About Connecting
  4. Subway Surfers
  5. Jetpack Joyride
  6. Minecraft Pocket Edition

Disadvantages of airplane mode

Enjoy the view from the air
Take pictures and video while in the air. Source: Unsplash

While there are plenty of options and things to do in when you’re connected to the internet, it also comes with limitations:

1. No real-time access

Without access to mobile data, certain apps and features reliant on real-time information won’t function. Apps like the weather, location and time readjustment won’t work. Furthermore, you won’t be able to check any of your personal information or even financial data.

2. No Connection to wireless devices

When you activate airplane mode, any wireless connection is deactivated. You won’t be able to connect to wireless headphones, smartwatches or speakers.

3. No communication

Without the possibility to connect to the World Wide Web, no one will be able to contact you. Your friends and family might be able to send you text messages, but you won’t receive them until you land and reconnect.

The best way to connect to the internet once you arrive is through a digital SIM card. This way you won’t be hassling with unstable free WiFi or wandering around for a local SIM card.

Connect in the air

There are businesspeople, influencers and high-profile workers that can’t disconnect even when in an airplane. With advancements in tech and air travel improvements, companies have become to incorporate and offer connection while you’re flying. However, airplane internet is only sometimes included for executive or first class passengers, the rest have to pay.

Using Airplane mode to avoid international roaming fees?

Some travelers activate airplane mode to avoid the hefty international roaming fees. However, this might not be the best solution due to the limitations discussed earlier. Instead, considering using other connectivity options is a much better alternative.

You can connect through a local SIM card or pocket WiFi but like roaming, this is very expensive and inconvenient. The innovative eSIM is designed for seamless connectivity without the fear of exorbitant charges. It’s a smarter and more versatile alternative. International providers like Holafly offer this virtual SIM, and the best part are the advantages that come along.

  • Unlimited Data
  • Connect instantly
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Connect anywhere anytime
  • No installation hassle
travel sim card unlimited data

While airplane mode is a handy tool for specific situations, it’s essential to weigh its advantages and disadvantages. Read your favorite book, listen to that song you love, or watch a movie while you land. Once you’re on the ground, make sure you get your digital SIM to connect with no issues and worry free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I receive texts in airplane mode?

Not in real time. When you activate this setting, all texts remain in pending. Once you land and connected, you’ll receive all the texts that others have sent you.

What happens if someone calls me in airplane mode?

Calls won’t come through, and the caller will likely reach your voicemail. You can return their call once you land and connect again with an eSIM or local network.

Why do we turn on airplane mode on a plane?

This option is activated on a plane to ensure that electronic devices do not interfere with the aircraft’s communication and navigation systems.

Can you use Bluetooth in airplane mode?

No, Bluetooth is disabled in this case, limiting wireless device connections. You can’t connect to other devices, nor headphones or headsets.