Quick Travel Tip: Keep Your Phone Handy

a group of cell phones(For you regular travelers, this will not be a new tip.)

A friend of mine, who hasn’t traveled that often before, will soon be traveling for work on a regular basis. She is justifiably a little nervous, so this past weekend I caught her up on all of my tips. One of her questions surprised me, though. She said, “So what’s the deal with phones? I heard from someone that you can’t use them at all while you’re on a plane.” I was quick to correct her—you can use your phone on a plane, but not during the actual flight. In fact, that’s not true either. You can’t use your phone as a phone once the airplane door closes. However, you can use your phone in airplane mode to listen to music, play games, or anything else that doesn’t require it to connect to the phone network.

You can use your phone to talk, text, send email, etc, before the airplane door closes. And you can actually turn on your phone once you land, while your plane is taxiing to the gate. So keep it handy! I’ve noticed that men will often keep their phones in their shirt pockets. I don’t usually have a pocket there, so I keep it in the pocket of my purse, or just hang onto it if I know I’ll be using it for music during the flight.

Mostly, if you pay attention to the flight attendants, you will be fine. They will tell you when to turn your phone off and when it’s okay to use again.

Readers, where do you keep your phones during travel? Do you hope that someday people can talk on their cell phones during flights?


  1. I agree with Mike. I always have my phone on… and I’m guilty of receiving texts as the plane descends before landing…

  2. My husband has a saying: “pockets are a feminist issue.” I often am not, therefore, wearing pants with pockets. Generally before landing, I’ll tuck it in what he calls my “feminist pockets” (bra strap).

  3. The best tip is to keep the cell phone handy and someone you can call near a computer to help reroute especially during irrops. This has helped me get planes and rooms before most others even are aware of their options.
    While I am handling one part of the problem my cohort at the computer handles the other parts. for example when I had a wx delay in columbus that forced an overnight stay my computer buddy had a hotel booked for me and my flight for the next day picked out for me before I got my luggage. I caught the shuttle and was at the hotel and in my room before the hoards. I know a good iphone can do the same but it will delays me from other things that need to be done. These tasks can be better handled by someone who has your Credit card info handy and is not in the middle of a crush of confused people. Sort of like having a personal assistant

  4. @Ben, that is a good friend!!

    I tend to agree with you guys–just about everyone I know has left their phone on during a flight, either on purpose or accident, and we are all just fine.

    At the same time, I really, really don’t want the guy next to me to be on his cell the whole time during a flight, you know? So it’s okay with me that we’re not able to use them.

  5. I’m always on my cell phone playing games on my Blackberry.. i love extended batteries and multiple battery backups.. – take that iphone!

  6. Count me in as one who does NOT want to listen to everyone yammering away on cell phones throughout the flight! I look forward to flights as time to read in peace!

  7. For those who believe that cell phones do not affect planes need to go out on a small plane with a friend over the weekend with their cell phone turned on. It is not the plane, it is the communications with ATC which can get garbled and that confusion can cause issue especially during the take off and landing phases. I have experienced it first hand and since that make sure that my phone is switched off when advised to do so.

  8. My phone is all ways in my pants pocket. But one thing I face is the phones charge. I have a newer Google Nexus S, and Android users can confirm that they eat up battery. Also because its a newer phone, I can’t really buy a 10$ back up battery off of amazon. So I always have a charger, and in between flights let it juice up abit.

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