Fliers Want Phones and Free Wi-Fi

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A new survey of travelers shows 80 percent want in-flight Wi-Fi and two thirds want to use their phones.

A new survey by Fly.com quizzed 500 travelers about flying with Wi-Fi and cellphones. The results are more funny than illuminating…

  • 55 percent of respondents were concerned that using cell phones in-flight was a safety risk…
  • …but 32 percent admitted they had broken the ban on in-flight use
  • 59 percent don’t understand “airplane mode” phone settings…
  • …but 46 percent don’t know why airlines want them to turn phones off
  • 48 percent would use phones to “keep friends and family informed of flight progress”…
  • …but 38 percent think that if cell phones were allowed, the most annoying thing would be people talking too loudly

The survey found a majority of people want access to their phones and the Internet while flying, but about half would not be willing to pay for the latter – and more than a quarter would not pay more than $5.

By the way, the Federal Aviation Administration has admitted there’s no evidence that cell phones are a flight risk, while the wireless industry says phones use totally separate radio frequencies and that planes have shielding from interference, anyway. (And if you don’t understand airplane mode, Wikipedia can help.)

Stacy Johnson

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