Americans want free in-flight texting and cellular calls, but don't want their fellow passengers to use it

The majority of Americans would use free Wi-Fi (76.2 percent) and cellular calls (55.5 percent), and nearly half (44.7 percent) would use free text messaging services if provided on a flight, according to a new survey conducted by leading travel insurance provider Allianz Global Assistance, the company said.

The desire to stay connected is so pervasive that 40 percent of people don´t always put their phone on airplane mode and almost 14 percent of people have secretly snuck a text message or call during a flight.

The main reasons respondents* reported wanting to have free in-flight text messaging and cellular calls are to use in case of an emergency (35 percent text messaging/34 percent cellular calls) and to stay connected with friends and family (38.6 percent text messaging/31.6 percent cellular calls). Additional responses included having the ability to coordinate airport pick-up (14.7 percent text messaging/15.4 percent cellular calls) and connection to work (11.7 percent text messaging/10.4 percent cellular calls).

The primary reason that people are not interested in text messaging and cellular calls relates to their fellow passengers´ usage. In fact, 27.7 percent deemed other passengers´ usage as the factor that makes them least interested in free text messaging services in-flight. For cellular calls, 30.9 percent were least interested due to noise level, and 20.3 percent because of fellow passengers´ usage.

Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service company) is a consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, visit