It’s not bad enough that every airplane traveler with a cell phone feels compelled to loudly tell loved ones that they’re “about to take off” or that their “plane just arrived.” Soon, travelers may be allowed to chat on cell phones during flights. But is that really what business travelers need from an industry that’s already making travel less comfortable with decreased leg room, higher fares, brown-bag lunches and long security lines?
According to a survey conducted by the International Airline Passengers Association (IAPA) of its members, 90 percent travel with cell phones, but only 50 percent say they would find calling in-flight useful. Forty-five percent say it’s the most irritating thing they could imagine, second only to having someone kick your seat. And some say they would refuse to travel airlines that allowed it.
“Airlines should take note of the fact that the majority of frequent flyers seem to revel in the fact that flying offers them an escape from the constant tyranny of the cell phone,” says IAPA Manager of Government and Industry Affairs Nancy McKinley.
If airlines don’t heed the survey results, road warriors may want to purchase a pair of noise-canceling headphones, pronto.