Report: Many Airline Passengers Forget to Turn Electronic Devices Off

You know how the flight attendant reminds you (and sometimes quite vigorously) to turn off all portable electronic devices during take-offs and landings? A lot of us forget – or just don’t do it (we’re looking at you, Alec Baldwin).

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Nearly One-Third Leave Device On

According to a new study from the Airline Passenger Experience Association (which represents a wide spectrum of companies providing in-flight fee-based extras ranging from movies to Wi-Fi) and the Consumer Electronics Association, almost one-third of passengers surveyed say they have left their electronic devices on. Here are some of the key points of the study (and note that these figures do not add up to 100% because some answered affirmative to more than one question):

  • 30% say they accidentally leave personal electronic devices on during flights
  • 59% say they always turn them all-the-way off
  • 21% say they switch them to airplane mode
  • 5% say they sometimes turn their devices off

Of those passengers who said they left their device on by accident, most said the gizmo in question was a smart phone.

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FAA Studying Feasibility of “On” Mode at All Times

As FareCompare reported earlier this year, the FAA is considering changing its regulations and allowing devices in “on” mode throughout flights – possibly by the end of the year. Although nothing is settled yet, the organizations behind the new study clearly hope it provides ammunition for a go-ahead.

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Devices Passengers Want on Planes

Fully 40% of the passengers in the survey said they want to use their devices during all phases of flight – and smartphones are still the device of choice but watch tablets play catch-up. Here are what the survey says people are using on planes:

  • 28% – Smartphones
  • 25% – Laptops
  • 23% – Tablets
  • 23% – Digital/audio MP3 Players
  • 13% – E-readers

Again, some travelers had multiple devices – which no doubt kept the flight attendants very busy.


Published: May 13, 2013