The days of planes as tech-free spaces are numbered (at best). Approximately 40% of people already don’t turn their phones to airplane mode on flights, says a new study from . Nearly 14% of people admitted to having snuck in a text message or call during a flight.
Going forward, people are ready to up their use of tech on planes as it becomes (more) available. More than half (55.5%) of the Americans polled expressed that they would make phone calls on planes if they were allowed to do so, while nearly half (44.7%) would use free text messaging services (which already exist). Perhaps less surprisingly, 76.2% said they would use free Wi-Fi in the sky if offered (which of course it is on many flights).
As to why people would not want Wi-Fi in the sky, 40% noted that they feel more obligated to work when they have Wi-Fi. On the other hand, potential emergency situations and the ability to stay connected with friends led the list of reasons people cited for wanting Wi-Fi on flights. Further down the list, social media and streaming services were cited as reasons to stay connected by 22.4% and 22.1% of people respectively.
“Despite talk of the need to unplug and a desire to digital detox, we’ve found that many Americans do want to be connected while in flight,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Airlines have recognized this and are beginning to cater to this customer desire by offering free in-flight text messaging and Wi-Fi, and we anticipate they will continue to do so as technologies advance. In the future, passengers may even be able to make phone calls on flights, which could lead to new airline design and sources of revenue, like quiet cabins, which 46% of Americans would consider paying extra for if airlines did allow phone calls.”
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