Almost 70% of US airline passengers used an electronic device in flight: Survey

Almost 70% of US airline passengers admit to using a portable electronic device (PED) – such as a smartphone or tablet – in flight, according to a study by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

According to the study, 69% of passengers admit to using a PED during flight, with four in ten passengers choosing to use their devices during all phases of flight, including take-off and landing.

Around one-third (30%) of passengers say they have accidently left a PED turned on during a flight, with the device in question being a smartphone in 61% of cases.

When asked to turn off their electronic devices, 59% of passengers say they always turn their devices completely off, 21% say they switch their devices to “airplane mode,” and just 5% say they sometimes turn their devices completely off.

“Airline passengers have come to rely on their smartphones, tablets and e-Readers as essential travel companions,” says Doug Johnson, vice president of technology policy at CEA.

“Understanding the attitudes and behaviours of passengers that are using electronic devices while traveling will help the [US Federal Aviation Authority] make informed decisions.”

“This study showed us that most travellers are using their PEDs as often as possible while traveling, and many would like even more opportunities to use their devices,” APEX executive director Russell A. Lemieux says.

“The data in the study reveals important insights into actual passenger behaviour, which we hope the FAA will find useful as it deliberates on this issue,” Lemieux said.

The most commonly used PEDs during flights are smartphones (28%), laptop computers (25%), tablets (23%), MP3 players (23%) and e-Readers (13%).


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