After actor Alec Baldwin was thrown off a plane for using his iPad, a poll by Holiday Extras has revealed that he’s not alone in breaking the rules – nearly six-and-a-half-million people flying into and out of the UK in the last 12 months did so too.
The research has been unveiled following claims from the US Federal Aviation Authority that the use of such devices for American Airlines pilots is safe, so perhaps the 73% of travellers who obey the rules and keep their gadgets turned off when they fly needn’t bother.
The UK’s leading travel add-ons provider asked nearly 2,000 holidaymakers whether they hit the off button when they flew, and three per cent of those polled said they didn’t. With 216 million commercial airline passengers flying in and out of the UK in the last 12 months, this amounts to 6.48 million people breaking the rules in just one year.
Added to this, a further 21% of travellers said that although they do turn off their phones, they don’t feel leaving them on would actually do any harm.
Seamus McCauley, editor-in-chief at Holiday Extras, said: “Holiday Extras deals with more than six million UK holidaymakers every year, so our audience is pretty typical of UK air passengers.
“Of course safety comes first and if there’s a legitimate reason to turn these devices off, it’s important people comply.
“But if nearly six-and-a-half million people have flown in or out of the UK with electronic devices turned on, and none of those planes have fallen out of the sky, maybe now is the time to look at reviewing those rules and let people leave their phones and computers on if they wish.”
Notes to editors
Holiday Extras. polled 1,933 travellers in December.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) claimed that 216 million passengers flew into and out of the UK last year:
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Katie-Jo Flynn, James Harris, Melissa Geddes.