What Is Airplane Mode, and What Does It Do?

Last Updated: December 23, 2021By

Airplane mode enable on black android smartphone

Flying on a plane is one of the most common ways to get from one location to another. You’re surrounded by people you don’t know, and you’re trapped inside with them for hours on end.

It’s not even like driving where you can at least look out the window and see something new.

All that’s left is to stare at your phone or listen to music, which wouldn’t be so bad if there was service, but since there isn’t any, what are you supposed to do?

What Is Airplane Mode and How Does It Work?

Airplane mode is a feature on electronic devices that enables them to connect to a wireless network without cellular data. This means that you can still use features like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth while on airplane mode.

Wi-Fi on airplane mode will still work, but you won’t be able to make calls or send text messages. Since most airplane doesn’t have Wi-Fi, or at least it is not free and expensive, chances are you going to use airplane mode without any internet connection.

It means you also cant use social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Why Do People Use Airplane Mode?

There are a few reasons why people might use airplane mode:

Conserve Battery Life

The airplane mode is a setting that turns off wireless connectivity on your phone. It’s not just for when you’re on an airplane–it can be used in any place where there are no cell towers or Wi-Fi to connect to the internet.

If you want to conserve battery life, use this setting, so your phone doesn’t have to search for signals constantly. If you are somewhere with no service at all, it might be worth turning this option on because without it; your phone will continually search for service and drain its battery quickly.

You’re on an Airplane

If you’re on an airplane, the best thing to do is turn your phone completely off or put it on airplane mode. If you leave it on and open, it could interfere with the plane’s navigational system because it emits a continuous signal to search for service.

This signal may interfere with pilots’ instruments to fly the plane; it could also cause the plane to lose communication with air traffic control.

So, if you’re on an airplane, turn your phone off or put it on airplane mode. You can still use your phone as usual, but all the features related to calling and texting will be disabled.

Charge Your Phone Faster

Airplane mode can also be used to charge your phone faster. When your phone is connected to the internet, either with Wi-Fi or cellular data, it’s constantly searching for a signal. This takes up battery life and slows down the charging process. When your phone is on airplane mode, however, it’s not searching for a signal so it can charge faster.

So, if you’re in a hurry to charge your phone, put it on airplane mode. Just be sure to turn off airplane mode when you’re done charging so you can use the internet and make calls.

Traveling To Other Countries

Roaming charges (charges you incur when using your phone outside of your provider’s coverage area) can add up quickly when you’re traveling.

If you’re going to another country and don’t want to rack up charges, put your phone on airplane mode before leaving the country. If your phone is on airplane mode and you happen to be somewhere with Wi-Fi (like in an airport), you can leave airplane mode on and turn Wi-Fi on. This allows your phone to connect to the internet with Wi-Fi but not use up cellular data.

Kids Using Your Phone

If you don’t want your kids to be able to use your phone to make calls or access the internet, you can put your phone on airplane mode. They can still play offline games or watch movies that you’ve downloaded. It also prevents them from purchasing extra features when playing games.

How To Use Airplane Mode on Your Phone

Airplane mode icon on black android smartphone


  1. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center.
  2. Tap the airplane icon.
  3. Your phone will turn off all wireless connections.
  4. To turn airplane mode off, swipe up from the bottom of your screen and tap the airplane icon again.


  1. Swipe down from the top of your screen to open up all your notifications.
  2. Tap the airplane icon.
  3. Your phone will turn off all wireless connections.
  4. To turn airplane mode off, tap the airplane icon again.


  1. Swipe down or tap the down arrow from the top of the screen from the home screen.
  2. Tap the airplane icon.
  3. To turn airplane mode off, tap the airplane icon again.

Tips for Using Airplane Mode When Flying

Download Movies, Music, or Videos

If you’re going to be on a long flight, download some movies or music using the internet connection that’s available in your home or at the airport (bear in mind, Wi-Fi in the airport can be slow). Some streaming services like Netflix offer downloads, so take advantage of this feature if it’s available.

Spotify Premium users can download songs for offline playback. Additionally, Youtube Premium members can download videos for offline playback.

Get Some Work Done

If you need to get some work done, being on an airplane can be your best friend. Without any distractions, you can buckle down and focus on the task at hand. Since you’re not going to be able to access the internet, this is a good time to catch up to finish up a project.

Make a Travel Playlist

On long flights, listening to music is a great way to calm your nerves and pass the time. If you have a lot of music on your phone, create a playlist beforehand so you won’t have to fumble through your library.

Listen to Audiobooks

Audiobooks are a great way to get through long flights or an extended road trip. Since you can’t access any internet-based audio, it’s the perfect time to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. Just make sure you download them in advance.

Read Offline

If reading is your thing, download some books onto your phone or e-reader before your trip. This way, you won’t have to worry about finding an open Wi-Fi spot or paying for an overpriced book while on vacation.

Play Games

If you’re looking to kill some time, playing a game on your phone can be a great way to do it. However, you’ll want to make sure you have them downloaded before your trip. There are a lot of great games that don’t require an internet connection, such as Crossy Road, Eternium, or Friday the 13th.

Declutter Your Phone

The last thing you want to do is spend your vacation deleting some apps or files through your phone because of lack of storage, right?

Delete any old messages, unused apps, blurry pictures, or screenshots that you don’t need. Doing this will free up space on your phone and make it run a bit smoother.

Learn a Language

Use the time you have left in your flight to focus on learning another language you’ve wanted to learn. Many different apps can help you with this, so find one that works best for you and get started. Duolingo is a great option, and it’s free.