According to this page, the use of mobile phones and tablets are allowed during flight. However, I had once been disallowed from using them after take-off.

I also knew that some airline already provided passengers with Wi-Fi during flight(source).

Also I remember the flight that disallowed me to use mobile during flight was a flight to mainland China.

Could anybody explain this?

  • Was that time bad weather? Instrument approach may be used so no electronic equipment is allowed
    – Him
    Aug 23, 2015 at 18:54
  • I remember no, the weather was quite good. I'm now at Cathay Pacific lounge because the flight is delayed by 8 hours, so it will depart at 08:40 hk time.
    – JCCM
    Aug 23, 2015 at 18:58
  • Cx/ka flight from/to china often delay
    – Him
    Aug 23, 2015 at 19:01
  • Hkg to nrt. I dont think that should delay... they said the captain was sick. We were almost forced to take a taxi to a hotel for an hour from hotel. We were pretty lucky, though.
    – JCCM
    Aug 23, 2015 at 19:02
  • Which hotel????
    – Him
    Aug 23, 2015 at 19:02

1 Answer 1


There is nothing strange about this. Depending on flight conditions or other restrictions, various services on flights have been disabled before.

For example:

  1. Meal service is stopped if the flight is going through turbulent weather.
  2. People are restricted to move around the cabin during normal flight.
  3. Cabin lights may be turned on during night time flights.
  4. The ICE (information, communication, entertainment) systems may be switched off.

It depends on what the crew feel is impacting the safety of the flight.

Once a colleague of mine was asked to turn off his laptop while the plane was sitting at the gate, with the engines turned off by the crew. He was as baffled as I am because normally in this scenario you are allowed to use electronics and radios.

However, he was asked to do so by the crew on the instructions of the captain.

Specifically for the use of mobile phones and wifi, this depends on the aircraft being flown. On Emirates, for example, the system is available on all their A380 aircraft, but only some of the 777-300s because these are the older aircraft in their fleet.

I am not aware of any restrictions specific to China regarding mobile use on commercial flights; but as a general rule you are only allowed to use the mobile phone if the crew allows you to do so.

  • Cx does not provide any onboard wifi at this moment
    – Him
    Aug 23, 2015 at 18:47
  • For several airlines, wifi service are stopped when the planes are in china airzone, even when both departure and arrival are not in china
    – Him
    Aug 23, 2015 at 18:55

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