Stats: One Third of Americans Have Filmed Fellow Passenger Without Permission

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Over a third of Americans have taken footage of other passengers on a plane without their permission, according to a new study from flight comparison research site What’s more, it was uncovered that 1 in 12 of those who have recorded other passengers during a flight, documented them engaging in sexual activity.

The study polled 4,376 Americans over the age of 18. All respondents said they had boarded a flight at least once in the past 12 months.

Participants were initially asked whether they had ever taken a photo or video of another passenger, whilst aboard a plane, to which 91 percent of respondents said that they had. When respondents were next asked if they had ever taken a photo or a video of someone without their permission, over a third (36%) admitted that they had.


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When these respondents were asked if they had ever been caught in the act of recording or taking a photo of someone without their permission, 27 percent said that they had. Of these participants, 22 percent admitted the person then confronted them, 31 percent said that the person ignored them but the majority (47%) said the person in question “looked embarrassed.”

Relevant respondents were then asked what it was they had recorded their fellow passengers doing with the top five results appearing as follows:

  1. Sleeping – 38 percent
  2. Doing something unhygienic (e.g. picking their nose, resting their bare feet on an arm rest etc.) – 21 percent
  3. Arguing with someone – 13 percent
  4. Getting kicked off a flight – 9 percent
  5. Engaging in sexual activity/leaving the bathroom accompanied – 8 percent

When relevant participants were next asked why they had recorded a fellow passenger without their permission, “to share with followers on my social media channels” topped the list (39%) followed by “they were doing something funny/embarrassing” (23%) and “I was bored” (17%).

Wanting to find out just how many of these respondents uploaded an image or video of someone without their permission to the Internet, relevant respondents were questioned as to whether they had shared their footage online, to which 65 percent stated they had.

Of these participants, 39 percent admitted they regretted posting the image or video and later deleted it with the majority (79%) citing guilt as their reason for doing so.


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