Business Travelers Fear Cell Phones will Spark Air Rage

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A recent survey of frequent business travelers reveals fears that the impending introduction of cell phones on aircraft will be disruptive, anti-social and possibly even dangerous.

Airlines are already testing new technology that will enable passengers to use their own cell phones later this year, and a third of all carriers are expected to adopt the facility by 2007, but the survey by the International Airline Passengers Association (IAPA - revealed that there could be widespread opposition from passengers.

Though 90% of IAPA members who took part in the research carry cell phones when traveling, only half of the respondents said they would find it useful to be able to make calls during a flight, and many were violently opposed to the development.

The vast majority of comments received were against the introduction of cell phones onboard aircraft for social reasons. Most members expressed concerns that they would not be able to escape from the sound of phones ringing and other passengers chatting.

Indeed, 45% of respondents ranked listening to someone’s telephone calls as the second most irritating thing they could imagine on an aircraft, worse than listening to a child crying or a passenger snoring. The only thing they considered more annoying, in fact, was someone else kicking the back of their seat. A handful even claimed they would refuse to travel on aircraft that offered the facility.

Sample comments from IAPA ( members

“There is no good reason for using mobile phones during a flight. I cannot think of anything that could not wait for a couple of hours.”

“I absolutely object to the idea of voice calls and will not use airlines which permit them.”

“Nobody is nearly as important as they think they are. Continuing to prohibit their use inflight is fine with me.”

“I just don’t want loud talking on cell phones anywhere that I am.”

“People seem to survive without mobile phones on planes now, so is it necessary to have them in the future?”

IAPA Manager Government & Industry Affairs, Nancy McKinley commented, “Our research clearly demonstrates the opposition from our members to cell phones in-flight. They believe the move would be anti-social, to say the least, and airlines should take note of the fact that the majority of frequent flyers seem to revel in the fact that flying offers them an escape from the constant tyranny of the cell phone.”

“We hope that airlines will take these comments into consideration when weighing up the pros and cons of installing this facility onto their aircraft, and urge that if they do so they will create ‘quiet zones’ or ‘phone free’ times to lessen the potentially disruptive impact of such as move.”

For further information, please contact: Nancy McKinley, Manager Government & Industry Affairs at IAPA USA, or Jonathan French, IAPA Brand & PR Director at IAPA UK.


PO Box 380


Surrey CR9 2ZQ


Tel: UK (+44) (0) 20 8253 5052

Fax: UK (+44) (0) 20 8686 2129


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Notes to the Editor:

About IAPA

The International Airline Passengers Association was set up to represent the interests of frequent air travelers by providing them with special group discounts on items such as hotel accommodation, car rental and insurance, in addition to protecting and promoting their rights as airline passengers. We work in partnership with major companies worldwide to bring the best deals possible to our members.

Worldwide membership is well over 400,000 and covers over 200 countries.

What are the benefits of IAPA membership?

Membership benefits include:    

  • IAPA Worldwide Personal Accident Program – up to £1,000,000/US$2,000,000 travel insurance including terrorism cover
  • Consumer representation in the aviation industry
  • Discounts and savings of up to 50% at over 20,000 leading hotels world-wide
  • Up to 30% savings on car hire
  • Access to over 450 airport VIP lounges world-wide, through Priority Pass
  • Bag-Guard® luggage retrieval service
  • Worldwide card protection service & Emergency cash and ticketing
  • Multi-lingual customer service staff and free international reservation service – with service centres in UK, US and Hong Kong
  • Travel planning software products

For further details go to


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Jonathan French
International Airline Passengers Association (IAPA)
020 8253 5052
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