Over the years there have been vague rumours of it mucking up the controls, or other rumours of it interfering in the plane’s ability to stay up in the sky, but the pilot had a different point of view.
If mobile phones aren’t switched to flight mode then they cause interference in the cockpit. Rather like phoning in to your favourite radio talk back channel at 3am while you mistakenly leave your radio on in the background, tuned to the same station.
No, I’m not in an old-person’s home. Why do you ask?
If there’s just one or two then it’s not such a problem. Multiply it by however many passengers you can fit on your local airliner-in cattle class at least-and you can see their point.
I’ve never actually questioned this request before because if I’m told to do something, I do it. Mein fuhrer.
That’s mostly a lie. If I’m told to do something and I’m in a tin can full of people that a person on a salary so low they qualify for a government rebate is attempting to propel into the air and keep there by magic or “physics” for at least a couple of hours, I do it. Without question.
And if the only reason I’m doing it is so that impoverished pilot who thought he was getting into a glamorous career (ha-ha) doesn’t end up with a headache, so be it.
I was only following orders.