Airplane mode no longer needed on European flights

Airplane Mode
Has Airplane Mode had its day?

If you've ever been annoyed at having to turn your smartphone off during a flight, rejoice! The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has just announced that it will now allow airlines to permit the use of mobile phones though out the flight.

Before this announcement you would have to either turn off your device or put it into Airplane Mode. Recent relaxations in the policy meant you would only have to do this during take off and landing.

Now, however, you won't have to turn off or use the Airplane Mode at all, so you'll be able to make and receive calls, or browse the internet, through all stages of your journey.

Cloud service

The relaxing of the rules doesn't just affect smartphones either, with tablets, laptops, ereaders and other personal electronic devices being allowed to remain on throughout the flight.

However, this doesn't mean that all flights will allow you uninterrupted use of your phone. EASA is leaving it up to each airline to decide the level of use of personal electronic devices.

Each airline will also need to go through an assessment process to make sure that aircraft systems are not affected in any way by the use of electronic equipment.

These measures will only affect European flights, with rules regarding the use of personal electronic devices in the US and Australia remaining the same, so you won't see the Airplane Mode setting disappear from your phone any time soon.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.