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Most American Travelers Want To Use Wi-Fi and Cell Phones on Flights

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Sep 07, 2012 12:39 PM EDT

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Hugo Teso can use his phone to control planes using his hacker software, SIMON on the PlaneSploit app.(Photo : Reuters)

A new survey shows that flyers want to stay connected during their flights. In a world full of technology, it's no surprise that American travelers want to be able to use the internet and their cell phones while on a plane. A new survey shows that travelers want to stay plugged in during their trips.

The survey, conducted by airfare search enging, asked 500 U.S. travelers about how they feel about electronic devices on planes. They found that an overwhelming 80 percent of respondents want to be able to connect to the Internet during a flight. Additionally, 66 percent of respondents would like to be able to use their cell phones on a flight.

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Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration understand these desires. This is why many airlines already offer wireless services to their passengers. Recently the FAA announced that they will test the effect of cell phones and electronic devices on planes during takeoff and landing, so that they can determine whether or not these devices can be used at all times on a flight.

"Not only do American travelers want to stay 'plugged in' during their flights, but there is also a much higher tolerance for in-flight mobile phone use than we expected," said Warren Chang, vice president and general manager for  "It is good to see that the FAA is looking at ways to satisfy this demand through possible new allowances."

However, passengers and the FAA still understand that there may be risks involved with using a phone on a flight. Fifty-five percent of respondents are concerned about cell phone use putting a plane at risk. Despite the risk, 32 percent of people have admitted to leaving their phones on during a flight by accident or on purpose.

Despite the desire for wireless services on planes, the survey showed that Americans are not willing to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they wouldn't pay anything, while 27 percent said they wouldn't pay more than $5. These stats are understandable as airfares and fees for other things are already getting out of control.

While American travelers want to stay connected, an earlier survey showed that less than 5 percent of U.K. pasengers want an in-flight wireless connection.

In other interesting finds from the survey, 46 percent of travelers don't even know why they are asked to turn off their cell phones during flights and while many want to use phones on planes, 38 percent would be annoyed by people talking on them too loudly.




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