BlackBerry on an Aircraft, couple queries...
After reading this thread here:
I had a couple of questions. Mostly a personal experience kind of thing from people who have successfully used a BlackBerry on an aircraft with the radios off. For starters, I am mostly worried about flight attendants seeing it and causing a fuss since it looks like a cell phone and they might not realize the radios can be powered off. Has anyone had that happen and how did you handle? Any one else is more than welcome to chime in recommendations as well please.
Also, how many people have thrown caution to the wind and broken FAA rules and just left their BlackBerry on full capability, or even more daring used it? :)
I think most everything you ask is answered in the thread you referenced. One, don't worry about it. Today, on most flights you are advised when you can turn on your electronics. Most flight crew know a BlackBerry can used with the radio off, and see them hundreds of times each day.
Turn off the radio (manage connections) before you power down the device when the aircraft shuts its doors. Then, when you turn it back on in the air, the radio/data will be off.
Throwing caution to the wind and breaking FAA rules and aircraft policies would be stupid nowadays, considering an Air Marshall would likely be escorting you off the aircraft if you do so blatantly and in their face after being asked not to.
Some flight attendants aren't up to date on being able to turn off the cell antenna, but most these days are. It's tended to be the crews out of the midwest that have seemed to be unaware. I fly mostly west coast flghts.
I've never had an issue on United, but on Southwest some will say they can only be used in "airplane mode" or with the radio turned off. Others will say they can't be turned on at all. The back of the magazine where it lists the approved devices says cell phones are ok in "airplane mode" so that's always a backup if you get confronted about it. But you can point to it and ask for clarification ahead of time and they'll look kinda silly to say that no you can't after it's stated in writing that you can.
Luckily there's a nice "off" showing in the corner so you can point to that. I've never had a problem although I've never turned it on when the attendant has said it can't be turned on at all.
Wirelessly posted (By Super Blackberry)
I forgot to turn mine off one time and when I remembered I looked at it and I had no service, I guess you are to high above the towers to get a signal?
Regardless of what "truth" is when using these devices in airplane mode, the fact of the matter is that the attendants can tell you to do whatever the he** they want and you have to be a good obediant sheep.
I was just on a flight last weekend and used my BB to listen to music and watch a movie and the flight attended didn't say anything to me. Of course I'm on the west coast where most of them are up to date and probably see BB's all the time.
I've never had a problem flying anywhere in the US, east coast, east to west, etc.
Had one jump on me yesterday...
FA: What is that? Are you texting?
ME: It's a book. I'm reading a novel.
FA: Is that in airplane mode?
ME: Of course.
FA: oh... Ok. (wandering off back up to the galley)
ME: Shaking head... blondes... sheesh... :razz:
I always dutifully power down when it is announced to do so although once or twice I have had to be prompted as I tried to get a last minute e mail to send but I always do it if for no other reason that I don't want to be the dummy whose phone goes off just about the time the plane begins its take off roll. That must be embarrasing for those folks-I hear at least one a week.
When I power down I always turn off the radio first so that I can power up and work with it during the flight and I have never seemed to have been noticed by crew.
Now, that said, twice recently after powering off-which usually occurs at the gate when the cabin door is shut, sometime during the take off roll, my BB vibrator bumped me. First time I embarrasedly jerked it out of the holder to turn it off (thinking I must have forgotten, and trying to beat the first ring after the initial vibrator bump) only to find it already off. The same thing happened to me within days on another flight with just about the same timing. This time, with the earlier experience in mind I knew that I had turned it off.
Anybody got any ideas what would make a BB vibrate when it is off?
A calendar alert or alarm will do so.
Wirelessly posted (7250)
I've been able to use a Mobitex and GSM device while in the air over Canada. However, I've never been able to get CDMA reception while at cruising altitude.
Using cells in airplanes doesn't interfere with airplane systems. Rather, it will interfere with the capacity on cellular networks.
I don't use calendar alerts nor alarms on the BB. My calendar alerts are on my corporate calendar but my BB syncs with my personal calendar which I don't use since use the corporate calendar. I still can't figure it out. I used the alarm once but that was overseas about a year ago. I haven't used it since.
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