The ups and downs of flying with your phone

Traveling can be stressful. Luckily, you’re not alone: you have your phone to keep you company! (Oh, uh, and your traveling companions, and the 500 other people crammed on a plane with you, too.)

But sometimes traveling with your phone is even more stressful than traveling without it.

Will you have enough battery life? Do you have time to download this app before the flight takes off? Is this airport really crowded, or are you just really bad at texting and walking? Here’s what it’s like to fly with your smartphone—good and bad.

Trying not to use your phone in the terminal

Will there be an outlet on the plane? Probably not.

Stop texting me, mom! You're wasting my precious in-flight entertainment minutes! (And yes, I remembered to pack my toothbrush.)

Loading up on webpages for the flight

Will there be Internet on the plane? Maybe not. Time to pre-load a bunch of webpages—too bad you only think of this three minutes before boarding.

Finding (and occupying) the only outlet for miles around

Did I just unplug an ATM to charge my phone? Why yes, yes I did.

Finding Yelp reviews for airport restaurants

The SmashBurger in Terminal 3 has better reviews! Oh right, but I’m trapped here.

Getting real-time notifications about flight status

Walking over to a monitor to see whether your flight is delayed is so 2005.

Using your phone as your boarding pass

Theoretically this means you should breeze through boarding, but realistically you only save 2 seconds.

Not turning your phone off on the flight

Take that, airlines!

Dealing with crappy in-flight Internet on your tiny phone screen

Because it’s like $10 cheaper to get in-flight Internet on your phone than it is to get it on your laptop, for some reason.

Beating all 495 levels in Angry Birds

The Internet service up here sucks. Time to play games! Oh wait, most of the new games require an Internet connection. Time to play five-year-old games!

Turning your phone on the second the plane touches down


How popular you feel upon arrival

When 3,726 notifications come flooding in, all at once.

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