Airline passengers are split over using mobile phones during a flight

By Bloomberg News, July 17 2018
Airline passengers are split over using mobile phones during a flight

Whether you regard your next flight as a chance to kick back and relax or a valuable window to catch up on lost work may depend on where you live, according to a survey of 8,000 passengers in 10 key travel markets.

While airlines seem determined to keep passengers connected 24-7, most people from France, Germany, Japan, Sweden, Britain and the U.S. are happy to have their phones rendered unusable while en route, the poll suggests.

Indian, Chinese and Arab passengers, by contrast, are generally keen to make calls.

Some 69 percent of Germans reckon it’s not necessary to be permanently available, compared to just 12 percent of Indians and 18 percent of Chinese, according to the survey.

The risk of disturbance was cited as the chief concern surrounding inflight phone links, with Japanese travelers most worried. Many Asian flyers said they’d pay for connectivity even if the flight cost much more.

While Eastern passengers may be keen to work – or chat – they’re also most concerned about the contents of refresher packs handed out by airlines.

Travelers from the United Arab Emirates, China and India said having a toothbrush and eye mask was important or very important, compared with only 38 percent of Swedes.

Fewer than one-third of respondents in any country wanted a shower, spa, wellness service or fitness equipment on board.

Generously sized seating is regarded as a priority on long-haul flights, especially for Americans, with 59 percent of U.S. respondents ranking 'bottom space' and legroom as very important. Better seating is also the single-biggest priority for people when considering the future of air travel, the poll suggests.

Among other findings the survey by Nielsen suggests:

  • fast, free Internet access is globally desirable but especially popular in China, South Africa and the U.S.
  • the British are the most likely to be bothered about waiting in line at the airport check-in, while Swedes are the most chilled
  • having a range of inflight films, music and audio-books on offer matters most to customers from the U.S., India and the U.A.E
  • Japanese flyers are the least keen on hearing updates from the pilot, whereas people from India and South Africa lap up progress reports

The survey was commissioned for Turkish Airlines’ annual Global Aviation Trends report.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 443

Couldn't think of much worse on a flight with those that are "keen" to make calls chinwagging at the top of their voices throughout the flight.

Imagine a red-eye flight and being interrupted by mobile phones continuously ringing - no thanks.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 177

There is an article in the Nee York Times today talking about the Joy of Missing Out. How the author had their inflight internet cut out and how they became so productive. It is why I dislike the idea of mobile phones and even internet whilstc flying. It is my last enforced haven from continual communication.

15 Feb 2018

Total posts 43

It’s a sad world we live in that some deem it necessary that we are available all the time. Personally, I would value not being available for a few hours in a plane, and I detest mobile phones, and being a captive listener to the persons private conversation.

17 Jul 2018

Total posts 3

I believe the same etiquette that exists for cinemas should apply to once you are on-board a commercial aircraft, phones off or to plane mode! It will save a lot of unnecessary angst amongst your fellow passengers if one has their phone constantly ringing throughout a flight, not to mention then having to listen to the following conversation!

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

11 Mar 2015

Total posts 191

unfortunately this is another big revenue raising for the airlines hence it's only a matter of time before they will all allow it making the flight miserable for those who don't want a loud idiot shouting for ten hours next to them-maybe a few airlines will keep it off so will fly with them-should only be allowed on board at designated areas with soundproofing

23 Feb 2015

Total posts 261

I think it actually, over time, represents an overhead that will be built into fares (on full service airlines that is), as it will be provided a standard feature.

While anti competitive, it would be great if all of the airlines stopped the race to the bottom and all agreed not to provide sufficient bandwidth to allow VOIP etc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Apr 2011

Total posts 106

Random shouting passengers: "I'm on the plane"

No thanks!

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 388

yes, it's sufficient to hear that as the starter for a conversation on the train. Some can't speak quietly either.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2018

Total posts 69

Truly.. blood will be spilled if I have to put up with some jabbering jackass on his/her phone when I have paid to be up the front on a flight.

I had the experience 2 years ago of some "so called leading company executive" when we landed in Melbourne.. I was 4a, she was 4b and pulled out 3 mobiles..husband was 4c he had two. She then went thru all messages and answered two calls then went thru everything on the third when we had pulled up at the gate with the door opened.. I politely asked her to move twice and got the response "I have to answer this very important call".. my response was either move or my size 12's will crush that phone.. she scrambled to move saying that I would be reported to the cabin manager..

Got a tap on the shoulder as I was going out.. it was a pilot from the airline.. he words were.. "don't worry I will sort it out"

Interesting she is now before the courts re company rorting..


17 Sep 2015

Total posts 388

One of the best posts on ABT for some time. Good on you.

05 May 2016

Total posts 619

If the survey was of First Class passengers I expect the demand for things like a shower etc. would be a lot higher. Surveying passengers flying Economy/Premium Economy/Business about whether they want a shower onboard is pretty pointless as there's no way airlines could provide showers for that many passengers.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 388

A difficulty in surveying first class passengers is that many airlines have discontinued it, or never offered it, so the percentage of the travelling public who travel in that class is extremely small. Hard to locate without access to passenger diagrams (manifests.)

20 Apr 2015

Total posts 9

Phone calls on planes? No. No. Just ... no. Oh my dog, no.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jul 2015

Total posts 219

Nightmare. I cherish my time when disconnected. The phone is used only to watch films on it and to clean up the the clutter that builds up. Absolutely hope this does not happen

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1024

text/SMS/MMS, fair enough.
Voice? no, no, no.

14 Aug 2019

Total posts 4

Split is not the word I Use I say NO - recently flew Dubai to Rome- Flight attendant told passenger in seat in Front to turn off mobile phone while taxing out - she went to sit down and he turned mobile back on and continued talking to his kids on whats App it looked - very loud conversation and sharing the phone screen with his partner this went on for most the flight - lucky daylight flight but ver annoying I hate to be the guy next to him - Rules need to be made and policed  bad enough having screaming babies now we have this - trains in Europe have carriages with no phone so Airlines need to do something 

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