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What is Airplane Mode for International Travel? What it can do and its disadvantages explained

Airplane mode is a feature that turns off all communication from electronic devices such as smartphones. Airplane mode was originally implemented to prevent radio waves emitted by electronic devices from affecting airplanes, but there are many other uses. In this article, we will explain when to use Airplane Mode, how to set communication functions for different situations, and the difference between Airplane Mode/Manner Mode/Goodnight Mode on the iPhone.

Table of Contents

When do you use Airplane Mode?


Airplane mode can be used for various purposes. Among them, we would like to introduce three examples.

Preventing expensive communication charges when traveling abroad

You can use the Internet with your smartphone overseas, but international roaming (using data communication overseas) may result in expensive communication charges.

To prevent this, turn on Airplane Mode from the time you board the plane until you return to your home country when traveling abroad. By connecting to Wi-Fi with Airplane Mode turned on, you can use the Internet overseas without worry. Please note, however, that you will not be able to use the call function.

When the battery runs low

You will probably have many opportunities to use your smartphone while traveling. The battery will run down as you look up places you want to go, use maps, and so on. If you really want to conserve battery power, turn on Airplane Mode. You will not be able to make calls or communicate, but you will still be able to use the photo and alarm functions.

At concerts and movie theaters

In concert halls and movie theaters, it is recommended to turn off your phone or set it to silent mode. Notifications and vibrations in quiet venues can be more annoying than you might imagine, disturbing people enjoying music and movies. Airplane mode is recommended because it allows you to turn off all communication-generating apps and call functions at once.

Also, some events may recommend downloading location-storing apps, which may not function properly if the phone is turned off. Since GPS functionality is still available even when airplane mode is turned on, you may wish to use airplane mode.

How to set up communication functions for different situations when traveling abroad


If you are using an Apple product (iPhone, iPad, etc.), iCloud may become a large communication volume without your awareness if it is turned on. Therefore, be sure to turn off iCloud settings.

If you want to make calls with your own phone overseas

If you want to make calls with your iPhone overseas as you do in Japan, go to "Settings" > "Mobile Communications" and turn off "Data Roaming. This setting will allow you to receive, receive calls, and SMS from your phone. Note that if you are using Android, no settings are required as it will automatically switch to overseas mode.

However, calls and SMS will be charged at international rates, and incoming calls will also be charged by country or region. If you want to avoid expensive bills, we recommend renting a smartphone with a local connection.

If you want to avoid expensive bills anyway

To avoid high communication charges when using your own smartphone overseas, we recommend setting the phone to Airplane mode as mentioned above.
Please refer to the following article for detailed information on how to set it up. (URL for precautions when using your own smartphone with rental Wi-Fi while traveling abroad)

What is the difference between Airplane Mode/Manner Mode/Goodnight Mode on the iPhone?


In addition to Airplane mode, which turns off all communication functions, the iPhone has a manner mode and a good night mode. Let's check what features and differences there are between them.

Features of Manner Mode

Manner Mode is the silent mode, which means that the phone does not emit any sound for incoming or outgoing calls or e-mails, app notifications, or unlock sounds, but only vibrations. Please note that alarm and camera shutter sounds will sound even in silent mode.

Features of Good-night Mode

Good night mode is a mode in which you can receive email and application notifications without sound or vibration. As the name suggests, by setting this mode before going to bed, you will not be woken up by notification sounds, vibrations, or screen lights... This mode is very useful for those who want to avoid being woken up by sound, vibration or screen light...


Airplane mode, when turned on, allows you to turn off all communication functions of electronic devices at once. When traveling abroad, you can connect to Wi-Fi while in Airplane Mode to use the Internet with peace of mind.
Also, depending on the situation, you can use either the manner mode, in which you receive notifications via vibration, or the good night mode, in which you can receive notifications without sound or vibration.