7 Useful Reasons to Use AirPlane Mode on iPhone

May 24, 2023 - 10 Comments

When and why to use AirPlane Mode on iPhone

While AirPlane Mode for iPhone has been around since the earliest days of the device, many users still do not understand how the feature works, or why it is potentially useful. With that in mind, we’re going to review a variety of genuinely useful reasons you may wish to use AirPlane Mode on an iPhone.

For the unfamiliar, using AirPlane Mode on iPhone is easy, and it can be enabled or disabled through Control Center by tapping the Airplane icon, or through Settings > AirPlane Mode. When AirPlane Mode is enabled, the iPhone will disconnect network connections and cellular connections, basically taking the device offline, and preventing inbound and outbound calls or data transfers.

Used properly, AirPlane Mode can be a useful tool for specific purposes, and also as an alternative to turning off iPhone completely.

1: During Flights

As the name implies, AirPlane Mode is commonly used when you’re flying on an airplane mode, and, due to airline regulations, the captain or steward declares over the intercom that it’s time to turn off your devices or place them into airplane mode. The idea behind this is that it may prevent your iPhone from interfering with any of the airplanes communication or navigation systems, though there is some debate about how necessary this is in the modern era of cell phones. Nonetheless, it remains so for most airlines, and is why AirPlane Mode has the name it does.

2: AirPlane Mode Helps to Appreciate the Moment

If you’re at a concert, performance, watching a movie, comedy show, or anything else, many people use AirPlane Mode during these events so that they can be fully present and enjoy the moment. Turning on AirPlane Mode while at a performance is also the appropriate thing to do so that performers do not get distracted by your ringing phone, text messages, or other alert sounds. Using AirPlane Mode takes the iPhone completely offline, which prevents any failures in the mute switch (or accidentally toggling Mute off in your pocket, bag, or purse) from creating an embarrassing situation.

Just remember to turn AirPlane Mode off again when finished, so that you can make/receive phone calls, texts, and use the iPhone as usual again.

3: AirPlane Mode can Conserve Battery Life of iPhone

Your iPhone will constantly attempt to connect to any cellular network or wi-fi network it can, and that signal searching behavior can lead to battery drain, particularly when you’re in an area with spotty or no cellular coverage.

If you know you’re going to be out of a coverage area, or in low coverage, continue toggling AirPlane Mode on to conserve battery life when you’re in a situation where you do not need any wireless communication. This will prevent the iPhone from constantly seeking a signal, which reduces battery life.

4: Reduce Distractions

When the iPhone is online and connected as usual, it is open to phone calls, messages, alerts, notifications, and a near infinite number of potential distractions that may come your way.

Many users use AirPlane Mode to focus on whatever task is at hand, whether that’s studying, giving a speech, attending a meeting, or anything else where minimizing distractions is desired.

5: Avoid Roaming Charges when Traveling

Some users take iPhone with them when traveling because it is their primary camera, but cellular roaming charges can be wildly expensive. One easy way to avoid potential roaming charges is to place the iPhone into AirPlane Mode, which will prevent the iPhone from attempting to join any local cell towers, while still allowing you to use the devices core functions like the camera.

6: Flush DNS Caches

Using AirPlane Mode can be used to flush and clear DNS caches on iPhone, which is helpful for developers, web designers, sysadmins, network administrators, and other tech workers. AirPlane Mode makes it easy to clear network caches and go on your way again.

7: Fake a Dropped Call

Want to get off the phone, but don’t know how to end the conversation? Maybe you need to urgently use the bathroom but the person you’re speaking with is in the middle of a 15 minute monologue? You can fake a dropped iPhone call by toggling AirPlane Mode on while you’re on the phone, which will disconnect the call by dropping the cellular connection. Perhaps not as ideal as being direct with ending a phone call, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do!

Do you use AirPlane Mode on iPhone? If so, why? Do you have any handy tricks for airplane mode? Let us know in the comments!


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Posted by: Jamie Cuevas in iPhone, Tips & Tricks


» Comments RSS Feed

  1. Tom Grace says:

    I use airplane mode to more quickly charge my iPhone, then turn it off.

  2. Bruno says:

    As an airline pilot for 30+ years I have never turned off my phone, also when you have 500 passengers on board at least 250 of them have their phone on. I had never any navigation errors and if I would have I would recommend to return the 400 million dollar airplane to the manufacturer. If a mobile phone could bring down an airplane Al Qaeda would have done it.

  3. John Melin says:

    7 useful reasons to use Airplane mode on iphone

    Your article stated “when airplane mode is enabled, the iphone will disconnect network connections and cellular connections…”

    I have been using airplane mode for a long time and was under the impression what you stated above correct. I believe Apple Company may have change Airplane mode in one of their updates.
    Two points
    1. My daughter and son-in-law lives in Chicago. They have internet via Comcast and Verizon for their iphones. We talk to them weekly (all using iphones) We get a lot of phone calls dropped (their end). My daughter switches to airplane mode, calls use back, and the connection works from that point on. I have switched to Airplane mode when making a call when we visit them.1 get the same result—call without being dropped.
    2. Flew from Grand Rapids MI to Florida about two month ago. Via Delta Airlines. Their pamphlet for using their network, indicated to turn off Airplane mode after plane is in the air; however, their automated announcing system said the opposite—keep Airplane mode on to connect to their system.
    Note: Mine and my wife’s iphones are 14s and my daughter and son-in-law are 12s. We are using ios 16.4.1.

    Something is not adding up right. We should not be taking with Airplane mode on.

    PS: I have been getting OSXDaily for a long time and I very much enjoy them.

    • CoffeeTime says:

      You can continue to use Wi-Fi when AirPlane mode is enabled, which basically means that turning on AirPlane Mode will only keep you off a cellular network.

      I have noticed that change too, it used to be manually enabled but now if I turn on AirPlane Mode then Bluetooth stays on (it did not used to), so it wouldn’t surprise me if wi-fi is also on now by default, though that is not the case with me.

      You can continue to manually turn off or on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, even when AirPlane is enabled, in Control Center.

  4. harsh says:


  5. arniii says:

    I’m a musician, and have been using airplane mode to silence all phone activity while I’m I’m working ever since I got an iphone (in 2007). Note that you still need to make sure you don’t have any alarms set – they’ll still ring in airplane mode. Also check all of your notification settings – you don’t want your fitness app reminding you to stand audibly. Not mentioned in this article – enabling airplane mode on your apple watch also toggles it on your iphone, and vice versa.

  6. Joanne Palmer says:

    I think it is important to point out that using airplane mode is a great way to disconnect phone and potential roaming charges while maintaining use of wireless networks.

  7. AAAA - Alan Campbell says:

    Does airplane mode affect GPS?

  8. Anthony Tellier says:

    110% on #5 “Roaming Charges”! And “Guy’s” comment (above)

  9. Guy Pagan says:

    I use airplane mode to reset my cellular connection and reconnect immediately to the strongest tower when having trouble with data transmission.

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