Phones on Planes are Okay - Just Don’t Use Them to Talk

Phones on Planes are Okay - Just Don’t Use Them to Talk

Originally posted on December 16, 2015

Go ahead, settle into your business-class seat, plug in your phone and check work email or watch a movie - just don’t make any calls.

U.S. business travelers think airplane passengers should be able to access a variety of Internet-based services on their mobile devices while in flight, but they don’t want to hear their seatmates talking, according to the Q3 GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™, in partnership with American Express.

A majority (64%) of 845 U.S. business travelers at small, mid-sized and large companies polled in the survey agree that passengers should have full use of Internet-based apps on their mobile devices while they’re in the air but not be allowed to use the phone for talking. Today, travelers can use phone for a variety of Internet-based services, including texting, checking email, logging into cloud-based work apps, streaming music, or watching movies or TV shows.

However, an equal number (64%) don’t believe people should be allowed to use cellphones to make calls while in flight, and 58% are not incentivized to book a flight with an airline that allows passengers to talk on mobile phones en route.

In addition, slightly more than half (51%) think having designated rows for talking on phones is a bad idea, and only 14% are all for it.

More air travel trends

Other air-travel trends from the Q3 report:

Business travelers prize convenience over other factors when booking flights. Asked what they take into account when making airline reservations, 35% of business travelers chose convenient schedules, followed by price (28%) and rewards points (21%).

Travelers want employers to pay for airline extras. Given a choice, travelers would like their company’s travel policies to cover paying for: baggage check fees (25%), inflight Wi-Fi (20%), extra leg room (17%), and priority access through airport security (14%).

Age groups want the same airline amenities, but not in the same order. Millennials, GenXers and Baby Boomers all rank free checked bags as their most-desired airline amenity. However, Millennials and GenXers put free Wi-Fi next followed by flexible rewards points, whereas Boomer travelers rank flexible rewards points above free Wi-Fi.

Most travelers are satisfied with air travel booking choices. When it comes to making airline reservations 57% of all travelers are pleased with the options they have to choose from, including 60% of boomers, 57% of GenXers, and 53% of Millennials. Women are slightly more satisfied with airline booking options than men, 60% v. 55%.

Read the complete report here for more insights on business travel and what this means to your company.

The GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™, in partnership with American Express, fielded June 22-30, 2015 to business travelers within the U.S. through an online research panel. Overall, 845 respondents qualified for the study (their primary residence is located in the United States, they are employed part- or full-time, and they have taken four or more business trips in the prior 12 months). The margin of error is +/- 3.4% at the 95% level of confidence.

The content in this published material is provided for general informational purposes only and does not constitute investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. Please contact your investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advisor regarding your specific needs and situation. American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“American Express”) do not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in these materials. American Express does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of these published materials.