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Can you get cell phone reception on a plane?

i know they tell you to turn theem off but can you still get service?

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I'm not sure if the "captain" above really knows what he's taking about, but 'Airplane Mode' is designed so that all interference/transmissions to and from the phone are completely cut off.

It's approved by the FCC and supported by all major US-based carriers, and so if you tried to have your air marshall confiscate it, I believe he'd tell you "mkay thx go away".


That being said, no, you will not receive any type of a cell signal that will show up as 'bars' on your device. However, some of the waves will still reach your phone, causing a minor disturbance.

Furthermore, certain airline are currently testing in-flight cellular service programs. Air France currently has one on several intra-Europe flights that allows you to use mobile internet, text, instant message, e-mail, and more. I know Emirates and Qantas also have limited availability of cellular service.

Hope it helps =]

The phone will work -- many people used their phones during 9/11 -- but the rapid handoffs confuse the towers and chew-up bandwidth, and the phone's need to constantly "ping" in search of the best tower means that the flight crew hears a loud and annoying dit-dit-dit-dit in their headphones all the time. In short, it's not just the airlines being poopy-heards, like it usually is; it's actually unsafe and a bad idea.

John W
Cell phones work by tower talking to tower. Now, usually those towers bounce the signal up in the sky and then down again - like you throwing a ball for distance - you don't throw it straight horizontal, you throw it up slightly to gain more distance.

However, the towers are not designed to throw the signal as high as a plane. That said, there will be times in your plane that you will be in a signal range, but don't count on it.

The other answers here have already given you the legal reasons. But technically speaking, yes, some of the time.

9/11 and people calling.... don't believe all you hear in the press. Simple.

Yes, you can generally still get reception. However, the FCC prohibits the use of cellular telephones in flight.

yes but that is while the plane is on the ground. When the plane is in the air, you are supposed to turn your phone off or put it in flight mode

The answer to can you is maybe. (But if you are not in a window seat and the plane is a cruising altitude, that pretty much becomes no.)

The answer to may you is simply no.

if u dont turn ur cellphone off in a plane it messes with the navagation signals

not in the air because your flying tens of thousands of feet in the air and your signals constantly jump from tower to tower. You can only get reception on the ground. I always turn mine off just after we took off and seconds before landing to let any msgs arrive

Captain Art Griego
Yes, it's called "Airplane Mode". And if I catch you using your phone at all on one of my flights I'll have the air marshall confiscate your phone faster than you can say "Mkay thx bai".

yes that's why they make you turn them off

Alex L
Yes in most places you can get reception, just like on the ground

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