89 percent of American flyers DON’T want cell phone service in-flight

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According to a new Nielsen survey, more American travelers want to keep air travel cell phone service free and hope to keep air travel as one of the few places to be actually disconnected.

The study dives into current attitudes and perceptions before, during and after a trip revealed the majority of U.S. travelers oppose the use of cell phone calls on board and cite “nuisance, disturbance” as the main reason (89%). As technology has improved to allow charging and more online connectivity, that opposition to cell coverage has continued to grow since 2015.

The report found that among U.S. travelers, the most important in-flight factor is the cleanliness of the cabin and lavatory (96%). Other highly important factors for passengers include friendly, attentive and accessible staff (94%); wider seat spacing in all classes (93%); quality food and beverage options (92%); and console screen on the back of the seat for entertainment and information (90%). Internet connectivity (77%) is the most expected feature.

Key findings of the U.S. Aviation Trends 2017 Report include:

Booking Behavior

• When it comes to booking a mid or long-haul flight, the most important aspect for passengers in the U.S. are non-stop flights (93%), established good service on board in economy class (92%), maximum of one stopover (89%) and services offered by airlines’ frequent flier program (81%), all of which have gained a significant amount when compared to previous period.

• Regarding airline recommendations, respondents heavily rely on their own experiences (79%), but also consider the feedback they receive from friends and family (62%) as well as travel blogger reviews (27%).

• More than half of airline passengers (60%) prefer booking all–inclusive instead of paying for a cheaper priced ticket (40%), the latter having decreased when compared to the previous period.

• The most important service on the ground for passengers pre-flight is an uncomplicated delivery service for lost luggage (91%).

Pre-Flight Preferences

• The three most important aspects for passengers while waiting at the gate are timely information about delays and their reasons (96%), free charging stations for devices such as laptop or mobile phones (90%) and comfortable chairs (89%).

• When compared to the previous period, passengers are looking for online check-in options (via mobile apps/ smartphone) (57%) and online check-in via the internet three days before departure (53%), rather than the improvements in physical check-in. Online check-in opportunities are especially requested by very frequent fliers.

Inflight Image

• While inflight, respondents are most concerned with the cleanliness of the cabin and lavatory (96%). Other highly important factors for passengers include: friendly, attentive and accessible staff (94%); wider seat spacing in all classes (93%); quality food and beverage options (92%); and console screen on the back of the seat for entertainment and information (90%). Internet connectivity (77%) is the most expected feature.

• The majority of airline passengers in U.S. are opposed to airlines allowing mobile phone usage during flight (89%). The reason: passengers mind the potential nuisance and disturbance. However, the rate of passengers in favor of allowing mobile phone usage in flight is significantly higher in India (73%), China (70%), and the UAE (63%). The global average is 51%.

• The Turkish Airlines Aviation Trends Survey was conducted by market research institute Nielsen. A total of 8,150 individuals, aged 18 years and older who have flown with an airline company in the last two years were surveyed in an online poll. Respondents from China, France, Germany, India, Japan, South Africa, Sweden, the UAE, the UK and the US participated in the survey from February 16-26, 2018.

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