Turning Airplane Mode On

Does Airplane Mode Block Calls? (Answered + Details)

Have you ever wondered what actually happens to calls when you turn your phone on airplane mode?

Airplane mode is meant to stop all cellular connections to and from your phone, to avoid interfering with the sensitive systems aboard aircraft.

So, does airplane mode block calls, and what happens if someone calls you while you’re on airplane mode? And how does leaving Wi-Fi on affect all of this?

In this article, we’ll be answering all of these questions and more!

Does Airplane Mode Block Calls?

Turning Airplane Mode On

Yes, airplane mode blocks calls that would normally come through from your cellular carrier. Additionally, you will not be able to place calls through your carrier while airplane mode is turned on.

This is because airplane mode prevents all connections to your phone’s cellular network, which all normal calls are routed through.

Unfortunately, this is an inconvenient necessity while on flights. Interference from your cellular waves can prevent an aircraft’s systems from operating the way they need to, making the pilot’s job harder at best, and becoming dangerous at worst.

While we’d hope that this issue would have been improved as the years go by, it appears that the rollout of 5G has caused even bigger problems for pilots – making airplane mode more necessary than ever.

Fortunately however, there may be some ways to still place calls, even while airplane mode is on.

More on that in a minute!

What If The Phone Is Still Connected To Wi-Fi?

Did you know that you can turn Wi-Fi back on with many phones (including iPhones), even if airplane mode is enabled?

While flight crews may ask you to patiently wait before doing this, it is possible to manually turn Wi-Fi on, without disabling airplane mode.

Although this won’t restore your connection to your cellular network, it does allow you to reconnect to the internet should a signal be available.

This means that as long as you have an adequate internet connection, you can still place calls using alternative services – they just won’t go through your carrier.

Some examples of these services include:

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Instagram
  • FaceTime
  • Whatsapp
  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • Discord

…and more! If your phone supports Wi-Fi calling, you may be able to place calls through your regular Phone app to other capable numbers as well.

Pretty neat!

So, What Happens If You Receive A Call While On Airplane Mode?

So, we now know that certain messaging and calling services will still allow calls to come in while on airplane mode, as long as they are done through Wi-Fi rather than through your cellular network.

But let’s say somebody places a regular call to you – what happens, both on their end, and on yours?

What Happens For The Caller

To start out, let’s look at what happens for the person that’s calling.

When they place a call to you, the phone will not ring. Instead, the call will be sent immediately to voicemail, where they’ll be able to leave a message.

This is the exact same thing that happens if someone were to call you while your phone was turned off. Your cellular provider is unable to reach your phone, so they send it straight to voicemail without it ringing even once.

Keep in mind that in today’s day and age, we don’t tend to leave our phones off for long. People may not know if you simply declined their call, you blocked them or you have do not disturb mode on.

So, you may want to get in touch with them as soon as you have signal again!

What Happens For The Receiver

If you’re the one receiving the call, your phone will not ring when the call is placed.

Additionally, there will be nothing to indicate that you even received a call until you’re able to reconnect to your cellular network, and they can provide that information to you.

When you reconnect, you should receive a notification on your phone that you have a missed call, along with who it’s from.

Additionally, if the person left a voicemail, this will be delivered shortly after reconnecting as well.

So, thankfully you will be able to see any calls that you missed while airplane mode was on!


Airplane mode is a necessary inconvenience, as it helps to prevent interference with aircraft systems. Unfortunately, this means that you won’t be able to place or receive calls through your cellular network until airplane mode is turned off.

However, if you leave Wi-Fi on, you are still able to place calls through internet-based services like Facebook Messenger or FaceTime, as long as you have a connection to the internet.

I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. If you have any question about airplane mode, ask them below and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Wishing you the best,

– James McAllister


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