What Happens When Someone Calls You on Airplane Mode

Ever wondered what happens when someone calls you on airplane mode? Does the call get through? Do you get a notification? Here’s the short and quick answer, followed by a more in depth explanation below:

If someone calls you while your phone is on airplane mode, you will NOT get the call or any notification of it. The caller will hear a message saying that your phone is not available right now.

What happens when someone calls you on airplane mode – Detailed

The reason you can’t receive phone calls while your phone is on airplane mode is quite simple, and obvious. Your phone needs to be connected to a cellular network in order to get calls and texts, if it’s not connected, no calls will go through.

no cellular network connection when airplane mode is on
When airplane mode is ON, there is no cellular network connection

However, the caller will be able to leave you a voice message, and once you get your cellular network back on, you will be able to hear it.

When you turn on airplane mode, your phone is disconnected from cellular networks so it can’t be reached.

The only way for you to still get calls or at least notifications about calls and texts if by using third party apps like WhatsApp that work over the internet and not over cellular networks.

Here’s how to still get calls while on airplane mode

  1. Using WiFi to get calls over the internet
  2. FaceTime call will work too
  3. Leaving a voice message

Using WiFi and third party apps to call you.

If you use WiFi you can still get calls. Apps like WhatsApp work over the internet so if you still have WiFi connection it will work just fine. Today even on flights you can get WiFi so you can theoretically can talk on the phone while you’re on a flight.

FaceTime will work too

FaceTime calls are video calls made over the internet as well. FaceTime is an apple feature on iPhones, but it’s basically just a video call. So it will work on airplane mode.

FaceTime call via wifi when airplane mode is on is possible

Leaving a voice message

A caller can still leave a voice message when he tries to call you, even if he hears the message that your phone us unavailable right now, he will be prompt to leave a message.

Will the missed calls show up on my call logs when I disable airplane mode

NO. Calls that were rejected due to your phone being on airplane mode, or in any other situation where you don’t have cellular network will not show up in the call log.

Only when the caller leaves a voice message you will get a notification about that message when you go back on a network.

Is airplane mode and Do not disturb the same thing?

NO. Do not disturb is simply a feature on your iPhone that blocks calls, texts and alerts from showing up while you are on that mode, but they do come through and will show up once you disable Do not disturb.

When you’re on airplane mode, they will not show up later as they didn’t even went through, again for the reason you are not connected to a cellular network while on airplane mode.

What other situations cause your phone to not receive calls

If you’re not on airplane mode and not getting calls, the only explanation is that you don’t have cellular network reach, or your sim card is damaged.

Mobile phones such as iPhones and others work by connecting to a cellular tower somewhere close enough to them to pick up their signal and transmit it via cellular networks ( like 3G, 4G or 5G )

The sim card on your phone is a small card like electronic device that helps identifies your specific number and device and if you take it out your phone will not be able to connect to a cellular network.

NOTE – Sometimes your sim card works fine and your phone is NOT on airplane mode and you still don’t get calls, why is that? Well, sometimes you may be just out of the reach of the nearest cellular tower and your phone can’t connect so essentially you won’t get any calls and texts even though everything seems to be working fine.

You can check if you are connected by looking at the network icon usually found on the upper right corner of your screen.

1 line indicates low or no connection

2 lines indicates an average connection

3 lines or up indicates a good connection and you should not have any issues.

example of cellular bars on iPhone

Sum up

So to summarize what we learned here:

  • Calls will not show up on phone while in airplane mode
  • Calls will not show up on call log as well
  • To get calls or texts while on airplane mode you should use third party apps that work via the internet and not cellular networks.

If you gained value from this post, here are a few other related posts you might enjoy:

How to turn on airplane mode on MacBook
You can’t really do that, let us explain why and what you can do

How to stop calls on iPhone without blocking
What if I want to disable incoming calls but I don’t want to block anyone – here’s what you can do

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About the Author: Adam Wishmore

Adam Wishmore is an apple geek, there is no other way of putting it. Since the first generation iPhone hit the market to the latest Macbook pro, Adam knows everything there is and how to fix everything on apple devices. Find me on Facebook