Friday, May 10, 2013

Many air travelers never turn off their electronics: Study

As with cell phone radiation and its effects on humans, there seems to be little agreement on whether or not portable electronics really need to be shut down during takeoff and landing. A new study, released on Thursday, says the point may be moot: Many passengers never bother to turn off their devices during a flight.

While most passengers, 67 percent, said they always ensured that their devices were off on a flight, the study, released by the Airline Passenger Experience Association and the Consumer Electronics Association, said that as many as 30 percent of all passengers said they had -- at least once -- accidentally left a device on during takeoff or landing. Four percent were unsure.

In addition, when asked if they always turn their devices off when instructed to do so by airline staff, many -- 21 percent -- said they often only switch to "airplane mode" rather than fully turning off their devices. 59 percent, however, said they do turn their electronics off, while five percent said they only did so "sometimes."  The rest were unsure or stated that they do not carry-on electronics.

As you might assume, the device most often left on is a cell phone, the study found.

Doug Johnson, vice president of technology policy at the C.E.A., said in the study:
Airline passengers have come to rely on their smartphones, tablets and e-Readers as essential travel companions.
The APEA and CEA study also found that 40 percent of those passengers surveyed would like to use their devices during all phases of a flight, including takeoff and landing.

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