You Won't Have to Put Your Phone on Airplane Mode on Flights in Europe Soon

You can text, call, and use data like you would on the ground.

While it's sort of rom-com-esque to romanticize that pre-take-off text to your boyfriend/girlfriend/sneaky link before dramatically shutting off your phone to outside communication, it's also wildly inconvenient. What if I have something to say and don't want to spend the unreasonable $15.99 for one hour's worth of Wi-Fi?

Now, the European Commission might be nixing that age-old airplane mode requirement, so you can stay connected (and even make calls) while in flight. According to El País, passengers in Europe will be free to call, text, and use data as they would on the ground. 

"The sky is no longer a limit when it comes to possibilities offered by super-fast, high-capacity connectivity," Commissioner of the Internal Market Thierry Breton said in a statement.

The European Commission will use a frequency band for 5G use that won't interfere with the electronic devices onboard the plane (aka why you previously used airplane mode). And while the change will reportedly go into effect in Europe in June 2023 "at the latest," the same can't be said for the US—at least yet. 

The Federal Aviation Administration currently and will continue to regulate the use of airplane mode for passengers, USA Today reports. Whether that could change based on Europe's new technology and capabilities, we don't know. 

"FAA regulations prohibit the use of certain portable electronic devices on aircraft unless the operator determined they won’t interfere with navigation or communication systems," the agency said. 

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Megan Schaltegger is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist.