Pro-Tip Tuesday: Messaging your ‘Mate on a Plane

This one’s going to have terrible photos, people. Also, it’s random. What? You got a video yesterday..

If you’ve ever had the privilege to take a plane ride, but the simultaneous misfortune of being seated separately –or maybe coincidentally bumped into your friend you haven’t seen in for_ever on a plane– AND you have bluetooth on your smartphone, here’s a solution to messaging each other after they close the doors and you are required to turn to airplane mode:

Use Airdrop!


Friend(s) within 30 feet on a plane*

2 iPhones**

Steps: (steps 2-4 cribbed from Apple’s website)

  1. After you switch to Airplane mode, turn your bluetooth on in Control Center (this one ).
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center.
  3. Tap AirDrop.
  4. Choose one of these options:
    • Off: Turns off AirDrop.
    • Contacts Only: Only your contacts can see your device. <—THIS ONE.
    • Everyone: All nearby iOS devices using AirDrop can see your device.
  5. Create a new note using Notes: draw, paste photos, write text (see Apple for further detail on Notes usage).
  6. Send the note to your friend via Airdrop (see this icon ).
  7. Your friend clicks ‘Accept’, unless the find the message offensive.
  8. Your friend takes the note, adds more content, and sends it back via Airdrop.

Novelty Rating: 4 of 5
Likelihood of Repeat: 100% this was my recent method of messaging with K_____ on our 9+ hr overseas flight recently, and the shenanigans shall continue.
Lesson(s) Learned:

*According to random internet sources, 30 feet(about 9 m.) is the approximate range for bluetooth to work.

** Sorry friends, I’ve only tried this with iPhones.

If you have a non-iPhone and have recommendations for what relatively straightforward app works with bluetooth to share across devices (same devices, or across platforms), please share in the comments below!

Last Saturday's overseas flight messaging shenanigans. Airplane food tastes better out of a real bowl for me.
Last Saturday’s overseas flight messaging shenanigans. Airplane food tastes better out of a real bowl for me. Each note builds on the last one so they all look like repeats based on the first line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *