Tags: quiet | phones | poll | flights

Poll: Air Travelers Want Quiet, Not Cell Phone Calls

Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013 11:02 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Air travelers want the ban on in-flight cell phones to continue — but believe texting should be allowed, according to a poll conducted on the Federal Communications Commission's plans to revise its rules.

The Huffington Post/YouGov poll showed 49 percent of Americans don't want cell phones used on planes at all, while 31 percent want them allowed.

But while poll respondents don't want to be forced to listen to their neighbor's conversations, they think the time has come to end the complete ban on digital connection with the ground. By a margin of 63 percent to 22 percent margin they say that if the FCC deems texting is safe, they'd accept it.

Commissioners are expected to decide at their Dec. 12 meeting whether to lift the 22-year-old restriction.

Experienced flyers, according to the poll, say they want the ban to continue, by a 53 percent to 29 percent margin over inexperienced fliers. Frequent flyers also rejected cell phone use, by a 61 percent to 23 percent margin, as did older poll respondents.

People younger than 45, however, were evenly split on whether to allow cell phone calls.

The plan isn't getting much support even from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who said last week the agency was considering allowing cell phone use on planes, although he wasn't in favor of a change.

The ban initially was imposed because of fears that mobile calls could interfere with ground-based communications. It since has been found that cell phones on planes don't pose that type of threat.

However, experts warn that passengers would not want to listen to their neighbors' calls, and the union representing flight attendants says passengers reject cell phone use and do not want the FCC to change the rules.

In addition, Delta Airlines has said it will keep its own in-flight cellphone ban, regardless of any FCC change. Other airlines could take a similar approach, reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The poll was conducted on Nov. 23-24 among 1,000 United States adults.

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