One-third of airline passengers confess to leaving gadgets on inflight

Ever forget to turn off your phone while flying? You’re not alone.

According to a new joint study released last week by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), almost one third of fliers don’t heed the on board, pre-take-off warning, “Please turn off all personal electronic devices, including laptops and cell phones.”

In the study, Portable Electronic Devices on Aircraft, almost one-third (30 percent) of respondents reported they have accidently left their portable electronic devices (PED) turned on during a flight. Of those passengers who accidently left their gizmos turned on inflight, 61 percent said the device was a smartphone.

“This study showed us that most travelers are using their PEDs as often as possible while traveling, and many would like even more opportunities to use their devices” Russell A. Lemieux, APEX executive director said in a press release.  “The data in the study reveals important insights into actual passenger behavior, which we hope the FAA will find useful as it deliberates on this issue.”

Four in 10 passengers would like to use their gadgets during all phases of flight, including take-off and landing, according to the study. Currently, FAA rules mandate passengers turn electronic devices off below 10,000 feet in order to mitigate interference with the aircraft’s navigation systems during critical phases of flight.

The report was conducted through a telephone survey of 1,629 US adults between Dec. 14-18, 2012, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.43 percent. Results of the study were shared with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as it reviews its policies for inflight PED use.


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