A little while ago I was reinstalling opensuse 42.2 on a hewlett packard G62 laptop and couldn’t get my wireless to work. I discovered a problem that might easily be overlooked. The G62 has a wireless switch (f12) that turns wireless on and off. When it’s on, a small blue led turns on (on the f12 switch). When it’s off, a much brighter reddish orange led turns on the f12 switch. Naturally, I had turned off the wireless, thinking I had turned it On. I hit the f12 switch once more and voila! I had wireless.
That button is common to many if not practically all HP laptops for at least the past 4 years or so, and something to know if you’re a brand new HP laptop owner. On mine, there is no light when enabled, but is an orange glow as you describe when “Airplane mode” is on.
Be sure to explore all the other buttons and their multiple functions, depending on the keyboard layout there can be more surprises in there, particularly when an alternate function has been enabled and then weird, unexpected things start happening.