Majority of Americans say “no” to cell phone use and pocket knives inflight

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is considering allowing certain items on onboard airplanes as part of carry-on baggage such as: pocket knives with blades less than 2.36 inches, toy bats, two golf clubs, and ski poles. In a new, nationwide survey, Travel Leaders Group asked Americans across the country if they are in favor of the change and 73 percent of those polled do not want pocket knives allowed in airplane cabins. Also, a vast majority (nearly 80 percent) indicate they do not want fellow airline passengers to have the ability to make cell phone calls inflight. The survey includes responses from 1,788 consumers throughout the United States from March 15 to April 8.

“The results are very clear. Most Americans would prefer the status quo with regard to cell phone use inflight. Because so many planes are flying at near capacity and many passengers already feel a lack of personal space within the airplane cabin, it’s understandable that they want to continue to have some amount of peace and quiet whether they are on a short commuter flight or a flight that lasts several hours,” said Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “Hopefully officials who are studying the idea listen to what the public has to say.

“The same is true for pocket knives in carry-on baggage. This is a real hot-button issue. The TSA’s rationale is that they are aligning their policy to match international rules. International air carriers have different rules for the allowable size and weight of carry-on bags – we don’t follow those guidelines. The rationale doesn’t make sense when so many consumers and flight crew members are opposed to the idea.”

Pocket Knives in Carry-On
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may allow certain items on onboard airplanes as part of carry-on baggage such as: pocket knives with blades less than 2.36 inches, toy bats, two golf clubs, and ski poles.

When asked, “Are you in favor of this change or against it?” 73 percent of those polled said they are not in favor of allowing pocket knives on planes.

I’m OK with it. 23.6 percent
I’m OK with everything except pocket knives. 18.2 percent
I don’t think these items should be allowed. 54.8 percent
I don’t know. 3.5 percent

Cell Phone Use Inflight
Studies are underway to determine if full cell phone use is safe while inflight and a decision on whether to allow such use (not just “airplane mode”) is expected this summer. In Travel Leaders Group’s survey, nearly 80 percent of those polled are against allowing passengers to make cell phone calls during flight. Here are the detailed responses:

I am opposed to it. 47.9 percent
I am in favor as long as it is not used for conversations. 31.3 percent
I am in favor of it. 10.7 percent
I don’t know. 10.1 percent

Additional Statistics and Findings:

Eliminate One TSA Security Measure: With regard to TSA security screening at the airport, when asked, “Which of the following TSA security measures would you most like to eliminate?” the top responses were: “removing of shoes” (27.9 percent), “limits on liquids in carry-on baggage” (24.1 percent), and “none, do not eliminate any security measures” (19.8 percent).

Airport Security Satisfaction: When asked, “What is your level of satisfaction with airport security today?” 82.0 percent indicate they are satisfied or neutral with today’s security measures (62.2 percent indicate they are “satisfied,” 19.8 percent are “neither satisfied nor unsatisfied” and 18.0 percent are “unsatisfied”).

Coach Class Flyers: When asked, “Do you ever fly in Coach Class?” over 94 percent of those polled said “Yes.” And of those who indicate they fly in Coach Class, when asked what makes flying in Coach most uncomfortable, the top responses were: “Lack of leg room” (49.5 percent); “seat size” (17.2 percent) and “pitch of the seat – person in front of me reclines too much” (15.0 percent).

When asked, “How much extra time do you typically allow at the airport before your domestic (U.S.) flight?” the top responses were:

1 hour 30 minutes 27.5 percent
1 hour 27.4 percent
2 hours 21.8 percent

Source: Travel Leaders Group