I agree this is probably what happened. Also remember that this was 3 iPhones and not one.1) I bet anything they had it in Standby Mode, not actually turned off. Sadly enough a lot of people do not understand the difference.
2) Why didn't they just set it into Airplane Mode if they were overseas? I'm assuming they only took it to listen to the iPod function so turn Airplane Mode on thus turning off all radios. Saves battery life as well as makes sure stuff like this does NOT happen.
To my knowledge airplane mode only disables the phone portion. Wifi, and some other functions would continue, like auto clock updates and other goodies.I would think that putting the phone into 'airplane mode' and leaving it there would ensure that there was no chance of it trying to communicate with the outside world. Sounds like that would take care of the issue.
my assumption is that the airplane mode would disable any form of transmission of signal from the phone which could interfere with the airplanes operation. That would seem to disable edge wifi etc. Could be wrong of course.To my knowledge airplane mode only disables the phone portion. Wifi, and some other functions would continue, like auto clock updates and other goodies.
I'll experiment with that and report back. Not that I don't believe you guys. But I know when my Razor phone was off, or on Airplane Mode. It was still working. The only way to truly shutdown a new generation cellphone is to remove the battery.Airplane mode definitely disables all wireless transmissions from your phone, including WiFi.