“Please power down all electronic devices.” Ever heard this before? Since as far back as 1990, the use of cell phones on flights has been banned for fear that they would interfere with the plane’s instruments and cause accidents. But how many of us actually power down our devices for a flight?
A recent survey found around four out of 10 US air passengers admitted they don’t always turn their gadgets off on flights, which begs the question, is there really any harm in keeping them on? There is an almost worldwide consensus on regulations that ban the use of portable electronic devices below around 3,000 m (10,000 ft). But are these fears scientifically grounded, or just airline myths in need of revision?
The fear of interference comes from the fact that gadgets connect to the internet or to mobile phone networks using radio waves. Though the ban is still in effect, a study done by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in 2006 could not find a correlation between phone use and flight accidents. However, they were also unable to prove conclusively that phones did not lead to accidents and the ban has remained in effect. But while definite proof may be lacking, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the risks should be taken seriously. A report summarizing 50 cases of safety issues thought to have been caused by personal electronic devices, was published in January this year.
So where does this leave us? Richard Taylor, a spokesman of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, believes it is just a matter of time before we see more widespread use of mobile devices on aircraft, but that calls will remain banned during take-off or landing for the foreseeable future. With this in mind, just make sure that you conduct any important matters needing your mobile device before you get on you board your plane. That includes booking your Bags VIP luggage delivery service, as long as you book your delivery at least one hour before your scheduled flight’s departure.