Air passengers say no to mobile and internet on planes
Fewer than five per cent of air passengers want to see the introduction of in-flight mobile and internet access, says a new study.
Search engine Fly.com, which canvassed the opinions of more than 1,300 frequent fliers, also found that more than 30 per cent of people would actively avoid travelling with an airline offering such services.
Most passengers said they didn't want to be disturbed by other people talking loudly on phones mid-flight, and the overwhelming majority said they didn't want to be interrupted by emails and social networking sites while travelling.
More than 62 per cent said they were also concerned about the safety risk posed by the use of mobile phones on flights, despite reassurances from airlines that they do not present any threat.
Aaron Ritoper, general manager of Fly.com in the UK, said: 'These results really highlight the perception UK travellers have that connectivity on flights could be more of an interference than an enhancement.
'Naturally airlines will need to ensure appropriate measures are in place so that people respect other passengers' space and keep their communications discreet.'
Ritoper said he believed that passenger perception would change as services were introduced, pointing out that the use of mobile and internet services on trains are now widely accepted.
But he said that consumers may be concerned that internet or mobile phone use could be prohibitively expensive and present another channel for airlines to raise additional revenue from passengers – similar to the baggage charges that are consistently met with hostility from the British public.
This concern was reflected in the survey results: more 85 per cent of Brits said they would not pay more than £5 per flight for internet access and less than one per cent would be willing to add more than £10 to the cost of their flight for this service.