iPhone Tip: Enabling WiFi in Airplane Mode

I’ve decided to leave my laptop at home for an upcoming trip to Europe, so I’ll be using my iPhone for Internet acesss. I looked at AT&T’s international data plans, but none of them look apealling, so I’ll be sticking with WiFi.

To make sure I’m not charged roaming fees I’m going to keep my phone in airplane mode, but the problem is that automatically disables WiFi.

Well, as it turns out, the workaround is painfully simple… just turn it back on (duh). The WiFi slider automatically toggles to off when you enable airplane mode, but you can turn it back on without disabling it.

On a side note, I wrote this entire post on the subway using WordPress for iPhone in offline mode. Pretty cool, huh?

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  1. When I called AT&T they said that they “couldn’t guarantee” that I wouldn’t get roaming data charges even with my phone in airplane mode. Did you encounter that? Does that make any sense?


  2. Hi Christina,

    I haven’t gone yet, but that doesn’t make sense to me. If it’s in Airplane mode the radio should be off, so it should never connect to a foreign network.

    You may also want to go to Settings > Network > Data Roaming and make sure it’s set to off. That way even if Airplane Mode was disabled it wouldn’t try to send background data when you’re roaming.


  3. Just an update on this… I kept my iPhone in Airplane Mode with WiFi enabled throughout my trip and (as expected) did not see any roaming charges on my bill when I got home.

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