Men are twice as likely to ignore this important piece of safety advice when flying

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Why do you really have to turn your cell phone off at the beginning of the flight – or put it in “airplane mode”? Well, here’s one answer: there’s a risk, but not a very big one, of the devices interfering with aircraft’s communication systems, mostly between the pilot and the ground.

Still, it remains a divisive issue amongst passengers. How unfair is it that your neighbor has their cell out and is playing games – or is even boldly talking on the phone during takeoff – when you’ve properly stowed yours? All Home Connections, an authorized AT&T retailer, used Pollfish to administer a survey of 1,000 Americans to see how people really use their phones, games, computers, and other devices on airplanes.


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What they learned: one in 15 respondents don’t turn their phones off or put them on airplane mode when asked by flight attendants. Men are almost twice as likely than women to ignore instructions about turning off their phones.

Of the people who do turn their cell phone off, 82.5% do it because they worry that leaving them on could negatively affect the flight.

One in five of people 18 to 24 years old think that leaving your phone on could cause the plane to crash. Probably not!

There should be consequences

As the air thins, devices get annoying and people seemingly forget how to use the “silence” button or headphones. Around one in three Americans say that if you are playing music, movies, or games without headphones on an airplane (which drives 83% of passengers crazy), the device should be confiscated for the duration of the flight.

Almost 20% of people think that there should be a fine for people who talk on their phone when the plane is grounded – it bothers 63% of people. Fair enough – leave your narrations about your complicated travel plans for a less crowded space, buddy.

Millennials are the police of the friendly skies

More than any other age group, the 18- to 34-year-olds were more in favor of no punishment for playing music, movies, or games without headphones or using a bright screen during “lights out” (which bugs 64% of passengers.)

Millennials might not support punishment for annoying phone habits on airplanes, but around one in 10 of 18- to 34-year-olds have confronted someone about not turning their phone off on an airplane—the most of any age group.

Planes are loud, crowded, and unfriendly enough. This summer, why fly when you could walk?