Americans Say No to Cell Phones on Planes

A recent Travel Leaders survey reveals that 80 percent of travelers are opposed to the use of cell phones in flight
Americans say no to cell phones on planes // (c) 2013 Thinkstock
Americans say no to cell phones on planes // (c) 2013 Thinkstock

The Details

Travel Leaders Group

In a new, nationwide survey, Travel Leaders Group asked Americans across the country if they are in favor of allowing cell phone use on planes, and a vast majority (nearly 80 percent) responded that they do not want fellow airline passengers to have the ability to make cell phone calls inflight. The survey includes responses from 1,788 consumers throughout the United States and was conducted by Travel Leaders Group – an $18 billion powerhouse in the travel industry – from March 15 to April 8, 2013.

“The results are very clear. Most Americans would prefer the status quo with regard to cell phone use inflight. Because so many planes are flying at near capacity and many passengers already feel a lack of personal space within the airplane cabin, it’s understandable that they want to continue to have some amount of peace and quiet whether they are on a short commuter flight or a flight that lasts several hours,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “Hopefully officials who are studying the idea listen to what the public has to say.

Cell Phone Use Inflight

Studies are underway to determine if full cell phone use is safe while inflight and a decision on whether to allow such use (not just “airplane mode”) is expected this summer.  In Travel Leaders Group’s survey, nearly 80 percent of those polled are against allowing passengers to make cell phone calls during flight.  Here are the detailed responses:

I am opposed to it. (47.9 percent)
I am in favor as long as it is not used for conversations. (31.3 percent)
I am in favor of it. (10.7 percent)
I don't know. (10.1 percent)

Additional Statistics and Findings:

Eliminating one TSA Security Measure

With regard to TSA security screening at the airport, when asked, “Which of the following TSA security measures would you most like to eliminate?” the top responses were: “removing of shoes” (27.9 percent), “limits on liquids in carry-on baggage” (24.1 percent), and “none, do not eliminate any security measures” (19.8 percent).


Airport Security Satisfaction

When asked, “What is your level of satisfaction with airport security today?” 82 percent indicate they are satisfied or neutral with today’s security measures (62.2 percent indicate they are “satisfied,” 19.8 percent are “neither satisfied nor unsatisfied” and 18 percent are “unsatisfied”).

Coach Class Flyers

When asked, “Do you ever fly in Coach Class?” more than 94 percent of those polled said “Yes.” And of those who indicate they fly in Coach Class, when asked what makes flying in Coach most uncomfortable, the top responses were: “Lack of leg room” (49.5 percent); “seat size” (17.2 percent) and “pitch of the seat – person in front of me reclines too much” (15 percent).

Airport Wait Times

When asked, “How much extra time do you typically allow at the airport before your domestic (U.S.) flight?” the top responses were:

1 hour 30 minutes (27.5 percent)
1 hour   27.4 (percent)
2 hours 21.8 (percent)


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