Do regular cell phones work well in airplanes?

Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by RawHawg, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. RawHawg

    RawHawg Black Belt

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    I have heard they do not, and that it takes a specific type of satellite phone to get a good connection in a moving, flying plane. Has anyone ever had any luck talking on their normal cell phone mid-flight?

    ty
     
  2. metal

    metal saying what i want Platinum Member

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    Had a motorola flip phone back in 2005-06, and it had service on a plane. Dont remember if i tried to make a call though.
     
  3. mushishi

    mushishi A is a, a is a, should I save her?

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    Really? Always thought the distance was too great to get reception from the cell towers, but I guess cell tower range is greater than cruising altitude and there aren't many sources of interference 7 miles up. Going to have to leave my phone on and check if I get signal.

    As for actually making a call, maybe you'll be traveling too fast to get good reception from one tower to the next.
     
  4. JLBN

    JLBN Blue Belt

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    A regular phone does not work mid flight.
     
  5. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg tread lightly

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    Because of my fear of flying, I would be too scared that my phone would interfere with the engines.
     
  6. TSO

    TSO Cookie monster belt

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    Every phone ive had after about 2002 has had no problem making calls in a plane.
     
  7. RawHawg

    RawHawg Black Belt

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    That's cool, ty, I thought they had to hit a specific tower or would lose reception. I guess with the advent of ip based calls, if you can now connect to a satellite it is more stable in a plane. Anyone have any luck making calls way out to sea on a cruise ship on their cell phone?
     
  8. Cajun

    Cajun A Cajun Traveler: Something of a Novelty... Platinum Member

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    Never had one that worked. Sometimes it will flicker in and out so a text or something comes through but that's all.
     
  9. jmac98

    jmac98 * Platinum Member

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    I've never tried to place a call while on a plane. I usually just advise those in the need to know that I'm going on a plane and will talk in a few hours.
     
  10. TSO

    TSO Cookie monster belt

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    You do have to hit a cell tower, cell phones do not operate in a way that they can communicate with satellites. The reason they operate on a plane is that most of them have a ten mile range and you're only around seven miles up a cruising altitude and you have no obstructions blocking the signal.

    Even if your phone could communicate with a satellite, you're pretty far out of range in the air. They orbit at a minimum of 160 miles up.
     
  11. Zer

    Zer Gold Belt

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    People were making calls on 9/11 before the planes hit. You'll be fine
     
  12. jefferz

    jefferz Gold Belt Platinum Member

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    Works best if you chant Allah Akbar before using it.
     
  13. SiKnSiN

    SiKnSiN Brown Belt

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    It depends on the distance of the flight. Most of my flights are long distance flights, and there's no way a normal cell is going to work mid flight. The cruising altitude is just way out of range.
     
  14. JudoThrowFiasco

    JudoThrowFiasco Charming Quark Platinum Member

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    You're only about 5.6 miles above cell towers, so usually you will get coverage - just depends on the quality of your network.
     

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