News for the Hospitality Executive
May 23, 2012 -- A large majority of travellers would rather
mobile phone use were not permitted on planes, a new survey from flight
comparison site Skyscanner
A surprisingly high proportion of people, 86%, said it would be "annoying to have to listen to other people's conversations." Only 1% of respondents said they would pay more to fly with an airline that offered mobile calls.
The overwhelming result comes just after Virgin Atlantic announced it would be the first British airline to allow mobile phone calls during flights on its London to New York route. Calls made in-flight will cost GBP1 a minute and sending a text will be 20 pence, significantly more than when on terra firma, meaning that business users are likely to be the primary market for the new facility, at least to begin with.
Sam Baldwin, Skyscanner Travel Editor commented: "In a world where we are now almost always 'on call', it seems people don't want to say good-bye to their last sanctuary of non-connectivity. Flying allows us to switch off for a few hours, both from our own calls, and other people's.
"However, Virgin's move into onboard mobile is the beginning of the end of the no-phone zone. I think it's inevitable that within a few years, making mobile calls at 30,000 feet will be commonplace on all airlines."
Even though many people welcome improvements in general internet connectivity allowing them to jump online in more and more places around the world, there appears to be a markedly different attitude when it comes to mobile phone conversations in confined spaces.
If mobile use were available onboard, 48% said they would send texts, 35% said they would surf the web, 10% would send email, while only 6% would actually make and take calls.
Skyscanner is a leading travel search site providing instant online comparisons for millions of flights on over a thousand airlines, as well as hotels and car hire.