Mobile device usage in-flight slow to take off

Despite a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ruling allowing the use of personal electronic devices throughout flights, a majority of airline passengers still don't, according to a new study.

The research from DePaul University's Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development finds that 35.9 percent of airline passengers are now using mobile technology. But that is "only slightly more than the 35.3 percent of fliers who were tapping into their mobile devices" in 2013, notes an article at USA Today, which previewed the soon-to-be-released report.

Chaddick Institute director Joseph Schwieterman is quoted as saying that this lack of mobile device usage may be due in large part to frustration with the remaining restrictions on mobile device usage in the air. Passengers still cannot text or make cell phone calls. What they can do is listen to music, read or play games on electronic devices.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to lift the ban on making calls and sending texts and recently concluded a public comment period on that issue.

Another factor could be that passengers welcome the opportunity for a tech-free zone and prefer to have quiet private time, the article suggests.

"Flights are one of the last bastions [where] reading material is the norm," Schwieterman told USA Today. "People also use the time to sleep and chill out."

Not addressed is the issue of whether airline passengers wish to be subjected to other people's cellphone conversations in such close-quarters or to have others able to hear everything they have to say on a private call.

For more
- check out the USA Today article

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