Poll: Vocal Minority of Frequent Flyers Against Congressional Ban on In-Flight Mobile Calling

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In-flight Congress Calling Poll Results

Several FlyerTalk members weren’t necessarily opposed to the ban, but were more concerned that a seemingly small issue such as in-flight calling has stolen the focus of leaders in Washington who should be concentrating on more critical matters.  “Congress has more important things to take care of than this,” said Schmurrr succinctly.

Meanwhile, Pinniped argued that actually, “this is fully in the scope of the Legislative branch and always has been. The current ban is in place via the FCC, an agency established by Congressional Act and overseen by Congress.”  Pinniped did not, however, provide a personal stance on the subject.

KevinDTW suggested that a congressional ban on in-flight phone calls “would allow airlines to placate the majority of passengers who do not want in-flight cell phone usage (including me), but relieve them of the responsibility of the decision.”

Wading through the numerous responses on FlyerTalk and via Dave Farber’s IP list, it became clear that the 75% in favor of a congressional ban were, for the most part, silent beyond an occasional and emphatic “yes!”  The 25% in opposition, however, were very vocal, and were far more likely to make their voices heard.

Indeed, the discussion on FlyerTalk was dominated by those opposed to the ban and in-flight mobile calling.  By a landslide, the most popular opinion on FlyerTalk was summed up by Ellen Ullman:  “I am not in favor of legislation, but I am in favor of airline policies not allowing cell-phone use.”  One reading the message board would have a hard time believing that three out of four people, or 663 out of 889, are in fact in favor of Congress swinging down the ban hammer.

The legislation, having been approved by the house committee, will move to the full house for voting.  It’s important to note that the calling ban provides exemptions for aircraft personnel and officials.


Results for this Frequent Business Traveler poll are based on an online survey conducted between February 13 and February 17, 2013, with a random sample of 889 adults.  Of that group, 84.9% reside in the United States, 2.3% in Canada, 2.6% in the United Kingdom, and 1.2% in Australia.  Forty-two of the 50 U.S. states as well as the District of Columbia were represented.

For results based on the total sample group, one can state with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3.29 percentage points.

The survey was designed by Basex, a market research firm.  Through organic and viral contact, we received 889 complete responses from frequent travelers.

While this group is not at all reflective of American society as a whole, it is reflective of a population that travels frequently.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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