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05 декабря 2018, 09:47

Forgetting ‘Airplane Mode’ on Your Phone Could Cost You on Your Next Flight


Stay on target

If you’re a frequent traveler, then you may have heard it before: you have to switch off your devices and turn on “airplane mode” for the duration of a flight. But sometimes, you forget, and it’s no big deal, right?

One passenger learned the hard way that forgetting to switch on airplane or flight mode on his phone can be a big deal — or a big bill from his provider — to the tune of a few hundred dollars.

The Irish Times was contacted by a passenger, who accidentally left his phone on when it was in the overhead compartment of an Aer Lingus flight to the US. Weeks after arriving, he received a bill for nearly $300 from AT&T, his phone provider, according to the publication.

The passenger incurred charges due to the phone connecting to to the flight’s roaming network.

iPhone and Apple Watch in ‘airplane mode.’ (Photo Credit: Apple)

The charges were racked up by “antennas installed on the plane that operate outside an unlimited international roaming plan,” AT&T told the Irish Times. The antennas can “automatically connect with phones that are not in flight mode and run up charges – even when the phones are not in use.”

Aer Lingus told Lonely Planet that travelers are advised to put their phones into airplane mode for safety reasons, or they can choose to pay and register to use in-flight Wi-Fi. Leaving it on, however, could connect to the flight’s roaming network.

“If a guest’s ‘Airplane Mode’ is OFF, the mobile device may connect to the in-flight roaming network and the guest will be billed by their home operator for any usage,” a spokeswoman for the Irish airline told Lonely Planet. “When using a mobile phone service you are roaming as if you were abroad. It’s the home operator that sets prices and bill customers. Reputable mobile operators send a pricing SMS when a device connects to such a network, on the ground or in the air, to ensure the user is aware of their error.”

With the busy holiday travel season underway, you may be thinking about ways to maximize your time on your flight with your smartphone. Just be careful that the “airplane mode” is switched on or you might be feeling a little less holiday cheer when the bill comes.

More on Geek.com:

Source: https://www.geek.com/tech/forgetting-airplane-mode-on-your-phone-could-cost-you-on-your-next-flight-1764166/?source=smartphones