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DISH Survey: Flyers Say “Keeping Kids Entertained” Is Top Benefit Of New FAA Rules On Electronic Devices

With the FAA relaxing its rules on the use of portable electronic devices, a DISH survey revealed that consumers ranked “keeping kids entertained” as the top benefit of the rule change. Meanwhile, 11 percent of travelers reported experiencing “separation anxiety” when they turn off their devices, a feeling that may become a thing of the past thanks to the ruling.

The survey showed that in addition to entertaining kids, which 26 percent of respondents ranked as most important, flyers are also eager for more time to catch up on email (24 percent) and read books (17 percent).

As airlines seek individual approval from the FAA to allow extended device use, the survey notes that more than half (56 percent) of respondents said it is important that the airline they fly most frequently be approved for extended use.

"For years, DISH customers have enjoyed TV on their tablets and smartphones using DISH apps," said Vivek Khemka, senior vice president of product at DISH. "With the FAA's recent decision, the airline experience is further improved. Consumers can now watch their favorite shows and movies uninterrupted from gate to gate, city to city."

Sentiment on current personal device use on planes ranged drastically. In addition to the 11 percent who said they experience “separation anxiety,” 44 percent said they “use it until the last possible second.” On the other side of the spectrum, 30 percent said they “can’t wait to turn the thing off for once.” Meanwhile 14 percent admitted that they usually forgot to turn off their device, even before the ruling.

These questions and others were posed to flyers in a DISH-commissioned survey conducted by Research+Data Insights. The survey was designed to track consumer sentiment in light of the FAA’s announcement October 31 regarding extended usage of Portable Electronic Devices (PED) during flight.

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