Sixty-one percent of international air travellers would use their mobile phones on flights if they could, according to a survey carried out by Skyscanner.
Currently, a third of air passengers turn on their phones, smartphones or tablets as soon as the plane touches down on the tarmac, as current restrictions on in-flight cellular communications require that they be off or in sleep mode.
But the well-established habit of turning off your device during takeoff and landing could soon become a thing of the past. The US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is now working to loosen these restrictions, as it has concluded that mobile devices no longer present a security risk on planes.
A number of airlines already offer a WiFi connection on flights, which can currently only be used after takeoff and before landing. British Airways and American Airlines are among the carriers offering a WiFi connection to passengers for an additional fee, and Air France-KLM is currently running trials on a similar service before bringing it to all of its flights at the end of this year.
But according to the Skyscanner survey, 75% of respondents are not interested in paying extra for a WiFi connection, which is generally offered at between $15 and $30 per hour or per day.
For this study, Skyscanner surveyed 1,000 international passengers in the first weeks of October 2013.