Shanghai Woman Fined for Used Cell Phone Plane Use

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Last updated April 12, 2019

A Shanghai woman who was using her old cell phone on a plane and refused to turn it off even after being asked to by police has been fined 1500 yuan (US $233).  The woman, whose surname is Yang, was using the cell phone during flight even though regulations insist that all cell phones be switched off during that time in order to avoid the possibility that the signal from the cell phone will interfere with the plane’s signaling system.  When the crew of the plane, which was flying from Shenzhen to Wuhan at one o’clock in the morning on Thursday, told Yang to turn the cell phone off, she refused, saying she had changed the cell phone to the so-called ‘flight mode’, which she insisted blocked signals from the phone and thus would not interfere with the flight of the plane.

“With the flight mode switched on, I can neither receive calls nor text messages, so what trouble will it cause to the plane’s signaling system?” Wang demanded, going on to ignore the crew’s order and continuing to watch videos on her cell phone instead.

Yang was given over to Wuhan Police after the flight was over, where she was eventually fined 1500 yuan for disturbing order and flight regulations.  The incident has sparked heated debate on the internet, particularly as to why cell phones with flight mode should still be forced to be turned off.