U.S. flyers want in-flight Internet service

Being able to connect to the Internet while flying is desirable to 80 percent of U.S. travelers, and 66 percent want to be allowed to talk on their cell phone in-flight, according to airfare search engine Fly.com. The company's survey of 500 U.S. travelers revealed that despite their desire to communicate, respondents do not want to pay much, if at all, for in-flight Wi-Fi. Nearly half of those surveyed are not willing to pay anything at all, and an additional 27 percent indicated they would not pay more than $5. The survey also showed that 55 percent of flyers are concerned that in-flight cell phone usage might endanger aircraft safety, and 32 percent of those surveyed have broken the FCC's in-flight cell phone ban by either intentionally or unintentionally leaving their handset on during a flight. The U.S. survey results were quite different from the results of Fly.com's earlier European survey, which established that less than 5 percent of U.K. passengers want in-flight wireless connectivity. The U.S. study supports the Federal Aviation Administration's recent move to take a look at allowing more liberal use of portable electronic devices on planes, said Warren Chang, vice president and general manager for Fly.com, which is owned by Travelzoo."It is good to see that the FAA is looking at ways to satisfy this demand through possible new allowances," he said. For more on the U.S. survey, see this Fly.com release.

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