Confirmed: Lots of Folks Are “Forgetting” to Turn Off Their Phones Before Takeoff

Published on May 9, 2013
by Ina Fried

Sure, everyone hears the announcements to turn off all electronics before takeoff.


But not everyone listens. And it’s not just that one guy you see blatantly ignoring the flight attendent’s request. A new survey from the Consumer Electronics Association finds that 30 percent of people admit to at least occasionally forgetting to turn off a device, most often a smartphone.

What’s more, lots more folks admit that when they do turn off their device, they are really only putting it in “airplane mode,” which turns off the cellular radio but leaves the device on.

And, of course, that’s what people will admit to in a survey.

The poll comes as the Federal Aviation Administration is pondering whether to change its electronics policies. Oh, yeah, and FAA, you are already letting pilots use iPads in the cockpit, so let’s not pretend the Kindle in 32B is going to affect things.

“Airline passengers have come to rely on their smartphones, tablets and e-Readers as essential travel companions,” CEA Vice President of Technology Policy Doug Johnson said in a statement. “Understanding the attitudes and behaviors of passengers that are using electronic devices while traveling will help the FAA make informed decisions.”

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