Americans Prefer Silence For In-Flight Mobile Use

    May 21, 2008

Limited mobile phone use on airplanes may be an inconvenience for some people, but for those who want peace and quiet it is something they welcome.

A survey, commissioned by Yahoo and conducted by Harris Interactive, found that the majority of Americans, 74 percent, favor mobile phone use being restricted to non-talking features like texting and games.

Regionally 83 percent in the West were in favor of limiting cell phone use to silent features only. If talking on cell phones were permitted, 69 percent of Americans would want a designated area for plane passengers to talk. Seventy-six percent of older people favor designated areas for talking compared to 64 percent of younger people.

Forty-three percent of 35-44 year olds would want to be able to check their email on their mobile, while 62 percent of 18-34 year olds would want to text and 29 percent would want to instant message.

"There is an increasing debate about the use of mobile phones on airplanes," said Bruce Stewart, vice president and general manager, Connected Life Americas, Yahoo!.

"This new survey overwhelmingly proves the desire of consumers to stay connected to the people, information, interests and passions that are important to them while in-flight, but they don’t want to be forced to listen to the conversation of the passenger sitting next to them."