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03rd Dec 2018

Airline Passengers Who Don’t Use Flight Mode Could End Up Being Charged A Huge Amount

Kiara Keane

Make sure you’ve got flight mode switched on the next time you get on a flight or you could end up with a massive phone bill.

That’s what happened to one Aer Lingus passenger who was flying to the US and accidentally left his phone signal on while it was stored in the overhead bin.

The man told the Irish Times that he was charged almost $300 (around €250) by his phone provider, AT&T, a few weeks after his trip.

The phone company said this was down to antennas on the plane that can “automatically connect with phones that are not in flight mode and run up charges – even when the phones are not in use”.

They added that these antennas “operate outside an unlimited international roaming plan” which is why the phone bills can end up being so high.

Aer Lingus confirmed that they don’t make any money from the service and that cabin crew always advise passengers to switch on flight mode before takeoff.

A spokesperson said that customers will always be asked to confirm any charges for in-flight wifi but that phones “may connect to the in-flight roaming network and the guest will be billed by their home operator for any usage”.

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