The Consumer Electronics Association released some interesting data yesterday about electronic devices on planes.

• Ninety-nine percent of flyers bring a portable electronic device on a flight with them. That’s a lot of gadgets!

• Thirty percent of them have forgotten to turn off a device at some time. Whoops!

Another interesting breakdown is this:

The study found that when asked to turn off their electronic devices, 59 percent of passengers say they always turn their devices completely off, 21 percent of passengers say they switch their devices to “airplane mode,” and five percent say they sometimes turn their devices completely off. Of those passengers who accidentally left their PED turned on in-flight, 61 percent said the device was a smartphone.

I confess I’m an “airplane mode” switcher, and I remember at least one time when I left my phone on and not in airplane mode for an entire flight. I did feel kind of bad about that, and I was glad it never rang.

Four out of ten people surveyed wanted to be able to use their devices during takeoff and landing; I’m one of those. I remember one recent flight where we were asked to put away everything: electronic devices, books and magazines. I didn’t see much compliance with that request, nor were many of us watching the safety messages on the monitors.

I want to be safe in the air, and I realize that it’s easier to have a policy that says “nothing” rather than try to judge by device, but I’m just pretty sure my Kindle Touch isn’t going to bring down a plane if I’m reading while we’re taxiing. And I hate being asked to put away my book right at the climactic fight scene, which does seem to be when it happens to me.


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