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Tech & Science Why Your Phone Connection Is Slow On The Airport Tarmac

23:33  08 december  2019
23:33  08 december  2019 Source:   lifehacker.com.au

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According to these pilots, the way airports are designed is the reason why you can’t send a text message so easily. While cellular antennae generally cover large distances, chances are they don’t provide enough coverage to span the entire distance of an airport , including the tarmac .

If you’ve ever boarded a flight only to find your phone connection suddenly drop just while you’re trying to send a pre-flight text, you’re not alone. It’s a problem that plagues most passengers right before their departure or soon after landing, just when they most need a lifeline to the outside world.

a hand holding a remote control: Photo: Shutterstock© Photo: Shutterstock Photo: Shutterstock

If you’ve ever boarded a flight only to find your phone connection suddenly drop just while you’re trying to send a pre-flight text, you’re not alone. It’s a problem that plagues most passengers right before their departure or soon after landing, just when they most need a lifeline to the outside world. “Everyone seems to look at their phone immediately after landing and I can’t figure out if they’re happily online or they keep trying to refresh like me,” one traveller wrote on Twitter of his flying experience.

My longstanding theory has been that while you’re inside a plane, it’s harder to get access to a stable connection; you’re sealed in a metal box, after all. And as it turns out, this theory does hold some weight.

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Why Your Phone Connection Is Slow on the Airport Tarmac . But here’s where it can become complicated: When arriving at the airport , obviously, traveling with two boarding passes might earn you a few concerned looks from TSA or airline attendants.

But in an airport , things can go haywire, especially as you're switching from the powerful outdoor "macro" antennas that you've connected to on the tarmac to the smaller For travelers, that means that the moments after you walk inside an airport are where you're most likely to have a dropped call.

This week, in a report by writer and Loyola University of New Orleans professor Christopher Schaberg for the Atlantic, Schaberg spoke to three commercial pilots who fly for major airlines like British Airways and Delta about the reasons behind your slow phone connection while on the tarmac. (Apparently, the connection doesn’t hold up for pilots in the cockpit, either.)

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Parts Of An Airport . Airplanes move about on three (and only three) surfaces on the airport . Notice that I didn’t mention tarmac ? It’s Not A Tarmac ! Yes, why use the word “ tarmac ”, which everyone understands, when you could use ramp, apron or taxiway and then have to explain those terms

That means that although passengers who experience an extended tarmac delay at a foreign airport while flying to the U.S. may be protected against extended tarmac In the case of tarmac delay, if a passenger chooses to disembark, the airline is not obligated to let the passenger back on the plane.

According to these pilots, the way airports are designed is the reason why you can’t send a text message so easily. While cellular antennae generally cover large distances, chances are they don’t provide enough coverage to span the entire distance of an airport, including the tarmac.

As a result, and to provide sufficient coverage at its terminals at the very least, airports often use what are referred to as distributed antenna systems that work best indoors. In other words, you are smack dab in the middle of terminal antennae that only really work while in the terminal and those antennae that don’t quite reach the tarmac—and a crappy connection is the result.

Add to this the problems of your phone continually seeking an antenna to connect to and certain aircraft that impede your connection by their design (787s, in particular, because of material incorporated for their structural integrity), and you’ll find your inbox struggling to refresh.

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Or noticed that your phone can't seem to find anything to connect to in the first place? Wired took a look at why that is. But in an airport , things can go haywire, especially as you're switching from the powerful outdoor "macro" antennas that you've connected to on the tarmac to the smaller indoor

It encrypts the connection between your phone and Wi-Fi hotspot, preventing anyone else on the network snooping on your data. Speak to your carrier if you have ongoing problems. If there’s no solution, it may be time to change. 7. Your Phone Is Slow .

Is there anything you can do to fix this problem? Well, not really. But we do have a couple of suggestions that might make the experience of waiting on a tarmac a little less painful, particularly if your flight’s delayed and you’re stranded onboard. For one, stock up on your Netflix downloads well before you head to the airport.

If you’re headed to an unfamiliar destination, here’s how to save Google Map areas for offline use, so you can plan out your travel ahead of time. You might also use these saved maps to create or update an offline spreadsheet with your itinerary.

And in case you’ve finally made it back to the airport, and the connection still leaves a lot to be desired, this is how to get the absolute best Wi-Fi connection at any airport.

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