Poll: Wheels up, phones off
December 11th, 2013
03:20 PM ET
12 months ago

Poll: Wheels up, phones off

(CNN) - It may be the only redeeming part of cramming into airplane with a hundred strangers during holiday travel - no one can talk on cell phone. And a new national poll indicates Americans want to keep it that way.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering a proposal to lift a ban on the use of cell phones on airlines to give flyers the same access to communication services as they have on the ground.

But do travelers want to be constantly connected?

A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday indicates most Americans want silence when they fly, with 59% of those questioned saying they don't want the use of cell phones on airplanes and only 30% in favor of lifting the ban. A mute button is also strong option among those polled.

Even a majority of tech-reliant younger respondents, ages 18 to 29 years old, are against using phones on planes - 52% opposed to 39% in favor.

The FCC proposal would allow calls, texts and other mobile device services when the aircraft is flying above 10,000 feet, but not during takeoff and landing. Some lawmakers in Congress are offering legislation would keep the current ban in place.

The poll was conducted December 3-9 among 2,692 registered voters nationwide with a sampling error of plus or minus 1.9 percentage points.


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soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    No one wants to hear people speaking over each other on a plane. But if they want to lift the ban, they should strongly tax you for using your phone in flight. Why should others be inconvenienced for your convenience.

    December 11, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Donna

    If they allow cell phone use on planes then they better stock up on handcuffs and police presence. People also like to try and relax and sleep on flights and people yelling over each other on phones will be a formula for disaster and confrontation.

    To me this is just as bad as smoking on planes. You will NOT be able to get away from it. And people have just become too inconsiderate of others to think this will end well.

    December 11, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. simplefaith

    Consideration to others around you on an airplane, no talking on cell phones please. Some people are napping, reading, watching a movie, having a chatting person next to them are annoying. Keep the band on cellphones during flight. Who wants to listen to another phone conversation anyway?

    December 11, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. liberals_rule

    I don't care if you're napping or whatever, if I want to talk on my phone, I'm going to do it anyways. I already use the phones in the back of the seat for the majority of the flight, expensed to my company. It's not a big deal, get over it.

    December 11, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    Lovely opportunity to highlight GOP/Teatroll hypocrisy on the "free market." If there is no safety, health or welfare issue involved here, then this is a prime example of a decision that consumers and airlines can figure out between themselves. Amtrak provides a "quiet car." Airlines can provide "quiet flights." OR whatever. I hate being stuck listening to some mindless imbecile prattle on endlessly about their oh-so-important business affairs or their love life or whatever other personal things they want to talk about really loudly while in public on their cell phone because they get some sort of subconscious, perverse pleasure out of pretending everyone around them wants and needs to know just how interesting and important their life is, but this doesn't require regulations dictating politeness. Perhaps regulations that would assist the airline in enforcing policies it sets itself would be appropriate, such as something that specifically allows them to confiscate the phone for disobeying a quiet policy, etc., but the decision isn't necessary for the gov't to make if there's no safety, health or welfare concern. This all smacks of congresscritters who have to fly all the time wanting to make sure they don't have to listen to other people on their cell phones.

    December 11, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  6. Letting it ALL come out

    If they allow cell phone use in airplanes I will no longer feel constrained to hold back my massive gas outbursts. Cell phone users... you have been warned. You do NOT want to go down this path.

    December 11, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Absolutely NO cell phone use during flights. Flying is torture enough without being subjected to further abuse by loud and inconsiderate cell phone users.

    December 11, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. smith

    I would rather hear somebody using their cell than somebody`s 2 yr old screaming their head off.

    December 11, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |