British travellers are more likely to pick up their mobile phones inflight to send an email or browse the web than to make a call from the aircraft cabin.
More than three quarters of travellers surveyed by AeroMobile, a leading mobile phone operator for the aviation industry, said they would use mobile-enabled internet access to check emails, browse the internet or update their Facebook or Twitter status at 30,000ft.
More than half (55 per cent) would opt to send a text message and a quarter would use an instant messaging service, but fewer than a third (17 per cent) would make a call inflight.
Almost half of respondents said that inflight mobile services would help them alleviate the boredom of long hours spent in an aircraft cabin and over a third are looking to their own mobile devices to keep them entertained.
Almost half of people questioned said they expect inflight mobile connectivity to become standard in the next few years and over a third believe an airline with an inflight mobile service is cutting edge.
“The results of this survey certainly reflect our experience at AeroMobile,” said Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.
“In 2013 we saw close to an 80 per cent increase in the number of travellers using their mobile phones in the aircraft cabin and data usage on our network went up ten-fold. We also saw a 50 per cent increase in SMS traffic.”
The AeroMobile network allows passengers to roam just as they would abroad. The company has live roaming agreements with over 250 mobile phone operators worldwide, including EE, O2, Vodafone and Three in the UK.
The service is available across eleven airlines including Virgin Atlantic, Etihad, Emirates and Lufthansa.