|In question 7 of the survey, participants were asked to describe their feelings toward cell phone use in planes in one word. The Wordle (above) is a visual representation of the text data, where the words that were most frequently cited are given the most prominence. // Illustration by GGA|
With the end of the public comment period for allowing cell phone calls on planes, an online survey by the Global Gateway Alliance (GGA) found that a majority of residents in the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania metropolitan area are against allowing in-flight cell phone calls.
More than 66 percent of those surveyed say the Federal Government should not allow passengers to make calls during flights, while 34 percent disagree. When asked to describe their feelings towards cell phone use in-flight, the most commonly used word was “annoying”, followed closely by “no”.
“The people have spoken loud and clear that cell phone calls have no place on flights. The Federal Government should pay close attention to these findings as they consider whether to lift its long-time ban,” said Joseph Sitt, GGA’s founder and chairman.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to consider lifting its ban on in-flight cell phone use in December of 2013, following an October 2013 ruling by the Federal Aviation Administration that passengers' use of portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing did not pose a threat to the safety of the aircraft. The FCC included a public comment period for travelers and industry officials to weigh in on in-flight calls, which ended February 14.
Along with the FAA ruling, a similar ruling by EU aviation officials has sparked airlines on both sides of the Atlantic to begin allowing passengers to use portable electronic devices during all phases of the flight. Most recently, LOT Polish Airlines lifted its restrictions on using devices during takeoff and landing.
According to the GGA survey, while respondents oppose cell phone calls, they do favor other activities involving a personal mobile device on a flight:
- Send or receive emails: 74 percent
- Play music: 73 percent
- Send or receive texts: 70 percent
- General Internet use (other than social networking websites): 70 percent
- Play games: 68 percent
- Play videos (other than video games): 59 percent
- Send or receive instant messages: 56 percent
- Use social networking websites: 53 percent
- Send or receive photos: 47 percent
- Purchase products or services: 45 percent
- Take photos: 42 percent
- Play podcasts: 42 percent
- Send or receive videos: 31 percent
- Record videos: 23 percent
- Make or receive phone calls: 21 percent
The online survey was conducted of 256 residents who live in the New York airspace, consisting of the New York metropolitan region, New Jersey and the Philadelphia area. Suverymonkey.com conducted the survey between February 3 and February 5, 2014. The sample was representative of a wide demographic, including 46 percent men and 54 percent women.