The study was conducted by the Chaddick Institute of Metropolitan Development, at the DePaul University in Chicago, and found that iPads, Kindles and Nooks account for nearly 30% of technology used on all commercial flights. This figure was significantly higher than the penetration on intercity trains (13.5%) and curb-side buses (12.9%).
Research found that technology use on airlines increased 23.2% between 2010 and 2011 – a faster rise than experienced from 2009 to 2010 – and, as to be expected, revealed that technology usage is higher on business-orientated flights (29.9%), than on holiday-destined trips (25%).
The study went onto state that the number of WiFi-connected planes has dramatically increased in the last year. Almost 80% of Delta Air Lines flights were equipped with mobile internet capabilities in 2011, compared to 38% of American Airlines flights and 34% Southwest Airlines flights, according to the report. Gogo, a leading Wi-Fi provider for airlines, reports that 153 million passengers had Internet access in 2011, compared to just 153,000 in 2009.
The data for the study was collected from observations of 7,770 passengers on 92 air, bus and train departures around the US in December 2011.