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You are a little braver—and maybe daring—than we are, as for the most part we will be staying put during the madness that is the Thanksgiving travel week. However, if you’re planning to be on the move this week there’s a few travel tech goodies that might just help the journey go that much more smoothly—or at least a little better.
The folks over at Verizon are getting into the holiday season, and by doing so they are giving away some stuff. It’s all part of a new holiday that they have basically made up, as apparently now the day before Thanksgiving will be known as Connection Day.
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We've been following the development of in-flight Wifi since its initial takeoff, but most recently, we've been focused on airlines that have begun to roll out free Wifi. JetBlue was the first American carrier to make the leap, and just a month ago Nok Air became Asia's first airline to let passengers surf the Web for free.
Last week, Dubai based Emirates entered the discussion. The airline's President Tim Clark said that free Wifi is something we will eventually see become standard throughout the global airline industry, as it is definitely a service that customers want. In response, Emirates has been spending about $20 million a year on the installation and operation of in-flight connectivity, he said.
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Did you know that today, October 29, is National Cat Day? Well it's also International Internet Day, which is a perfect coincidence if we don't say so ourselves. On this day in 1969, the first electronic message was sent over ARPANET. It's this network that developed into the internet we know and use today, no matter where we are traveling in the world.
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Good news for United flyers, as the airline is bringing its WiFi capabilities to even more planes. Now the cramped legroom and narrow cabins of all those United Express regional jets will be slightly improved, since they're next to have the switch flipped on in-flight WiFi.
Installations will start sooner rather than later, and the fleet is expected to be finished at some point next summer. All in all they’re looking to install the wires, cables, and antennas on over 200 planes. WiFi of course will be a great option, but the up in the air connectivity should also work for their snazzy streaming service too—check out our thoughts on that.
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Just about a year ago, Virgin Australia launched their cool new wireless BYO-device entertainment system. It was thought that this would be the wave of the future, as more travelers armed themselves with iPads.
Now we're excited to announce United has begun testing a similar system on this side of the Pacific. On a recent flight from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale, we were lucky to score a plane equipped with beta-test of this technology.
As a regular passenger, we received an email from United two days before departure, with the info that we'd be on a plane with this system. The email was similar to their webpage explanation, and it detailed how we could trial the entertainment choices by streaming them to our own iPad, iPhone, or laptop. By simply downloading the free application from the Apple App store, we would be able to enjoy hours of movies and television shows from gate to gate.
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They have announced that their cabin connectivity is now available across their fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft, and that’s a good thing, since they have like 24 of them criss-crossing the globe.
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Never heard of Nok Air? You're about toa lotas the low-cost, Thailand-based airline embraces innovation to soar beyond other airlines, while still keeping ticket prices low and flights fun. We've even flown 'em, but this time around we dispatched special correspondent Kinny Cheng to check out their latest news: the arrival of free in-flight WiFi.
A lover of spectacles, Patee Sarasin, the outspoken CEO of Nok Air, stood and addressed the room overflowing with journalists. His big announcement would mark a first in Asia, and certainly a revolutionary development for Nok, which describes itself as “Thailand’s homegrown premium low-cost airline.”
That announcement? Free In-Flight WiFi. Not only would Nok be the first in Asia, but they'd join a precious few carriers (like JetBlue and Norwegian Air) willing to let their passengers surf the net for free at altitude.
Japan is in the process of providing free Wifi for travelers all across the country, and today one of the country's airlines has launched connectivity at 35,000 feet.
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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.
We’ve been enjoying the wonders of in-flight WiFi for a few years now, but unfortunately those travelers doing their thing in the skies above Europe have not had the same pleasure. Thankfully it looks like things are about to change, as there are plans to flip the switch on some new—and speedy—in-flight connectivity across the pond.
Inmarsat is the company behind the new travel technology, and it sounds like their aiming to have things up and running by the end of 2016. Connections will have speeds in the 4G range, so things should be improved when compared to what we have here at home. All in all setting up the network should cost around $550 million, and that includes new satellites, new towers, and other bits and pieces related to the transmission process.
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We’ll have to wait a little bit of time, as there’s still some of this and little of that to figure out; however, it looks like Air Canada will start doing the WiFi thing aboard their North American fleet as early as May.
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When Delta merged with, gobbled up, or joined forces with Northwest Airlines, the carrier acquired a whole bunch of Boeing 747s. Slowly but surely things have been upgraded and updated to incorporate new levels of flying fun, and recently one of the final pieces was put into place—in-flight WiFi.
This isn’t just an option in and around the lower 48, as the in-flight WiFi on these 747s in Delta’s fleet are able to stream, download, and surf across continents and oceans. The very first flights were those heading over to Narita International Airport in Tokyo, as flights from both Los Angeles and Atlanta were able to flip the switch to this kind of up in the air connectivity.