Flight Safe Mode; The Sequel

This is mercifully brief follow up to my previous post on British Airways proscriptions on enabling flight safe mode on your mobile phone and hails jointly from the departments of “be careful what you ask for, it might come true” and “they didn’t really mean to say that … did they?” …

On this morning’s flight from London Heathrow to Berlin’s Tegel the usual flight safety announcement was made, but with a couple of significant, if contradictory, changes.


All electrical devices should be switched off during take off, landing and when the engines are running, some devices may be used after take off, please see High Life magazine for more information. If your mobile phone has a flight safe mode, it should be enabled now, before switching off the device and ensuring it is stowed in an overhead locker“.

We’ll leave aside for one moment that I’m pretty sure the engines are running during the flight so are we allowed to use flight safe enabled mobiles at all or not? But are we now not even trusted to have a switched off mobile phone in our pocket anymore and it has to be out of reach in the overhead locker?

Normal geo-related bloggage service will be resumed soon. Promise.

Written and posted from the Hotel Mercure An Der Charite in Berlin (52.530429, 13.381361)

Written by Gary

Husband, Father, geotechnologist, map geek, coffee addict, Sci-fi fan, UNIX and Mac user.


Robin Wilton


And their enforcement strategy for this is…….? Will we now be frisked by cabin crew before we are allowed to take our seats? (Or maybe they will install a Disrobot “nudiscan” machine at the entrance to the aircraft.

I have also noted some disturbing Newspeak in the lengthy spiel explaining how to get through Terminal 5 on arrival at Heathrow. Apparently we are now all “customers” of the Immigration service…

Rob Cottingham

Thanks for sharing the cartoon – I’m glad it worked so well with your post!

My complaint these days isn’t so much the arbitrary rules (it’s air travel; arbitrary and baffling is how they roll) as the spectacular inconsistency from one airline to another. On one, I could use my mobile phone as soon as the plane had landed and started taxiing to the gate. On another, I had to wait until I’d entered the terminal building. And on Air Canada, I get the impression they’d be happiest if I dropped my phone into a lead-lined sack and then left the sack at home.

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