With the busy holiday travel season underway, you may be thinking about ways to maximize your time on your flight with your smartphone. Just be careful that the “airplane mode” is switched on or you might be feeling a little less holiday cheer when the bill comes.
Aer Lingus told that travelers are advised to put their phones into airplane mode for safety reasons, or they can choose to pay and register to use in-flight Wi-Fi. Leaving it on, however, could connect to the flight’s roaming network.
The unnamed passenger told The Irish Times that he left his phone on in the overhead compartment while travelling to the US and ended up with almost $300 (£235) in charges from his provider AT&T – the bill for which he only received weeks later.
The charges were racked up by “antennas installed on the plane that operate outside an unlimited international roaming plan,” AT&T told the Irish Times. The antennas can “automatically connect with phones that are not in flight mode and run up charges – even when the phones are not in use.”
But it’s not just roaming on flights you need to worry about – leaving your phone on while at sea might incur sizeable fees too.