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Things might soon be a little safer for Fido and Fluffy, as Uncle Sam is changing up the reporting requirements when it comes to what happens to pets on planes. The rules aren’t really changing, but at least having a better knowledge of what’s going on might benefit both animals and their owners.
The US Transportation Department just added a whole bunch of extra airlines which must report further on animals up in the air—especially the bad things like critters who were lost, hurt, or (ugh) those who died during their travels. There are now 27 airlines that have these reporting requirements, and before that it was just 14.
We’ve seen electronic boarding passes and other unique ways to hop aboard your flight, and now Air France is adding their version of some newfangled technology to the boarding process.
The carrier’s new boarding business is all about near field communication—or NFC—as they’re partnering up with a local mobile provider to get the technology up and running. Basically passengers using Orange mobile smartphones will be able to touch here, tap there, and wave their device in order to make their way through the airport.
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Remember when Ryanair announced a few years ago that it was going to experiment with "standing seats" on its flights? The airline said it would be able to offer tickets at extremely low prices, but ultimately the idea got shot down by a regulator, mostly due to concerns over seat belts and safety.
Despite those questions, we found the idea peculiar yet intriguing, especially for commuter flights of an hour or less, say, from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, Philadelphia to New York, New York to Boston, etc. Would it be so bad to stand for 45 minutes if the cost was significantly less? A new study released this week has once again brought up the concept, finding that airlines that remove seats in favor of a "standing section" could fit 20% more passengers and offer significant discounts on tickets - as much as 44%.
There's some potentially exciting budget news coming from north of the border, thanks to Canada's newest low-cost airline and its super cheeky name. Jet Naked Airlines plans to take to the skies soon, saving Canucks a few 'loonies' along the way.
The airline is actually considered an ultra-low-cost carrier as, just like Spirit and Frontier, it will charge for every little thing you might need to take a flight, including carry-on baggage. Boeing 737s will do zipping between provinces, and Jet Naked is promising ticket prices about 40% less than Air Canada or WestJet.
Southwest officially began its much anticipated service outside of U.S. borders yesterday to three destinations in the Caribbean, taking over AirTran's former routes to the Bahamas, Aruba, and Jamaica from Atlanta, Baltimore, and Orlando.
Later this year, flights to Mexico City will begin on August 10th and to Punta Cana on November 2nd. The new routes come as part of Southwest's acquisition of AirTran, and the plan is to eventually serve 96 destinations in six countries. We're sure other nonstop flights will also be announced to the Caribbean and Mexico as things progress.
Don’t expect to be cuddling up with the latest in in-flight blanket technology anytime soon, but the folks over at British Airways are testing out a new wool blend in the cabin—complete with embedded electronics.
Basically it’s a mood ring but in blanket form, as the thing has tiny little LEDs inside of it that change colors to blue or red depending on someone’s feelings. Travelers wear some kind of band thing on their heads, and then their feelings and what not are transmitted to the blanket over Bluetooth. Blankets that are blue reflect cool and comfortable travelers, and those that change to a shade of crimson indicate that there might be some stress going on—or that they need a refill on their drink.
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We’ll admit that this isn't exactly the most exciting piece of airline news, but if you’re traveling over the next few days we figured you’d like to know what’s going on with your airplane.
Carriers like American Airlines are busy checking out some of their Embraer E190 jets, as a couple bits and pieces might be loose. Engine pylon bolts might not be as tight as they should be, and the airplane manufacturer has recommended that airlines go ahead and check things out—you know, just in case.
Air France realizes that passenger load fluctuates, and since their product is perishable (once a plane takes off, those unsold seats are lost revenue) , they’re hit the chalkboard to brainstorm creative solutions for maximizing passenger comfort while still flying full planes.
The result are new business class cabins across their long-haul fleet, with the unique ability to change up the cabin class when premium travel slows. These seats can be switched into economy class seats, ideal for periods like the summer when tourist and budget traveler numbers to Europe are high and the expense accounts are more likely to stay home.
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Virgin Atlantic used the occasion of its 30th birthday a few days ago (the airline flew its inaugural flight on June 22, 1984) to announce where it will be sending its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner when it joins the fleet this fall: Boston. Appropriately enough, the airplane will be called “Birthday Girl."
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There’s another carrier adding a little craft beer to the beverage cart, and this week it’s United bringing a hometown favorite right into the cabin.
Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery has been tapped—ha—to send over plenty of 312 Urban Wheat Ale over to United Airlines. The sudsy stuff will be offered up on flights across the globe, and the ale will even be available in United Club locations across the United States. It sounds like things should be on the menu beginning on July 1.
It’ll be $8 for those in the back of the plane, and those up front in business and first class can score some free of charge. If you’re enjoying a little while awaiting your flight you can expect to hand over $3 for a drink in the United Club.
Best of all there’s going to be a little bit of an in-flight happy hour on Tuesday—we’re guessing July 1—to welcome the new beer to 35,000-feet. Passengers flying between Chicago and Houston on United Flight 312 will score a beer for free.
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WiFi is scheduled to arrive is set to arrive at Nok Air sooner than later, and it sounds like Thaicom are the folks behind the in-flight Ku-band technology. Installations are moving quickly, and the system could be up and running as soon as this July or August. The plans are to start with six planes as soon as possible, and after that they’ll move into installations for 30 more.
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There’s many flavors of Tiger Airways from which to choose, as the low cost airline offers up a few different options while holding down headquarters over in Singapore. However, now there’s one less option, as over in Indonesia the carrier known as Tigerair Mandala will no longer be climbing to cruising altitude as of July 1.
Apparently the cash and fare funds weren’t exactly pouring in, and after thinking things over it was decided that it would be best to just shut things down. In a statement they provided the following reasoning and rationale, as to why things would no longer be heading up in the air. “Mandala wouldn't be able to sustain its operations and the airlines key shareholders decided to cease funding the carrier."