Lonely Planet Writer

Half of US passengers use their electronic devices to avoid airline staff

While modern travellers may mourn the loss of airline perks like free baggage check, in-flight meals and more, one survey says there’s one thing many could do without – too much interaction with airline staff. Almost half of flyers admit to using their electronic devices in order to avoid interacting with airline staff, according to new research.

Person playing game on smartphone on board airplane. Person playing game on smartphone on board airplane. Image by Steve Prezant/Getty Images

About 48% of American travellers are hiding behind their devices, according to the market research group Mintel, and millennials are most likely to do so than other generations.  About 61% of millennials admit to the behaviour while 46% of Generation X says the same, while 37% of baby boomers do the same.

But despite relying on their devices to avoid chatting with staff on a flight, about 48% of US travellers say it doesn’t matter to them if they have internet access during their flight. However, 54% admit they would like to be able to stream movies or TV shows during a flight, including 80% of millennial respondents.

It’s perhaps unsurprising that millennials are most eager to have access to streaming services or in-flight Wi-Fi – another recent survey found that the demographic is most willing to switch from their preferred airline if another has better Wi-Fi.

However, another survey found that once they arrive at their destination, millennials are actually the most likely to unplug from technology while trying to enjoy their vacation.

Overall, 26% of Americans have flown in the last each year, according to Mintel, and while technology continues to be integrated into travel, 62% of Americans say they think flying is getting to be more of a hassle. Despite that, 54% of travellers agree that they like flying, and 21% do not.