Restricted cell phone use on airplanes may be an enormous inconvenience for tech addicts and talkaholics, but for those who would rather not overhear all about other passengers’ personal lives as they’re barked into a phone from 18 inches away, it also creates a sanctuary. With progress toward removing these restrictions speeding up, a surprisingly survey shows that most Americans would rather not allow talking on cell phones on planes, and would like to see them limited to silent features.
The survey, commissioned by Yahoo, found that the solid majority of Americans, 74 percent, would like to see mobile phone use restricted to non-talking features like texting and games. Regionally, the feeling was especially prevalent in the west, where 83 percent expressed a need for shutting up in flight. If talking on cell phones were allowed, 69 percent of Americans would want designated areas for it aboard the plane, a sentiment especially strong among older fliers.
While passengers may reject the more irritating functions of cell phones, they seem ready to embrace their more discrete functions aboard planes. Nearly half of Americans between 35 and 44 wanted to be able to check e-mail from their phones while in flight, and a majority of younger fliers between 18 and 34, wanted to be able to text.
While in-flight calls may still be a way off in the U.S., testing has already begun in Europe, with service likely to follow shortly.