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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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The folks over at the airline have just made a pretty big order over at the Apple Store, as they’re spending $120 million on new iPads and other gadgets to modernize bits and pieces of the airport experience. It sounds like the focus will be within Terminal C, as airline officials certainly recognize that their home at the airport is a little tired and certainly less than welcoming. We’re not so sure that travelers can be tricked by a little touch screen trendiness, but we shall see.
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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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We’re not quite ready to name a Jaunty winner for biggest mover and shaker of the airline industry for 2014 just yet, but Alaska Airlines seems to be making a case for the title each and every week. This time they’re introducing further technology at their destinations, specifically a way to check-in for flights with just your finger.
Alaska Airlines is checking out how to use fingerprints for your reservation, calling it “e-thumb” technology. It’s not just to get on the plane either, as if things go well they’ll put biometrics to use to credit cards for stuff like onboard purchases. Right now the testing seems limited to using the technology—and your thumb—to gain access to the airline lounge.
We’ve seen creative uses for phone booths in the past, as they’ve been turned into mobile charging stations over at the airport—among other ideas and other places. Now some of the iconic phone booths in London are getting a 21st century makeover, and once again it’s all about keeping devices charged and ready to go.
New green-hued phone booths are called Solarboxes and, for right now there’s only one; however, plans calls for at least a few more to be switched on in the coming weeks.
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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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American Airlines was one of the first carriers to bring tablets into the cockpit, and now they’re taking the electronic devices one step further.
The carrier recently announced that flight attendants would also be ditching paper manuals in favor of electronic materials. American airlines just got the go ahead from those in charge of making the rules to utilize some new Samsung tablets, and it’s all in an effort to save fuel costs—an estimated million dollars or so per year.
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On your next trip out of town keep an eye out for some charging stations at a few major airports. Sure it’s not worth scoring some airfare just to check them out, but we can’t complain when someone is doing something to make the travel experience that much better.
In total there’s 169 brand new charging stations doing their thing, as they’ve been installed over the last couple weeks at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Miami International Airport. Look for them in areas where plenty of travelers are coming and going—think spots like the gate areas, the restaurants, and the shops.
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We have been there and you probably have been too, as there’s that situation when it’s time to go and you can’t find the gate agent. Well one airline wants to ensure it’s aware of the gate agents’ location at all times, as they’re hooking them up to a little bit of a tracking device.
Japan Airlines is teaming up with Nomura Research Institute to show off what they can do with an iBeacon and a smart watch. The test run is already underway, as they’re trying things out over at Tokyo-Haneda within Domestic Terminal 1.
Have you seen any of these HappyOrNot Machines in your travels? Apparently these little feedback kiosks have been kicking around at airports across the globe, as well as everywhere else from pizza places to other retail locations.
It’s all part of the plan to gather thoughts and opinions regarding the airport experience, as officials look to improve upon the traveler experience. There’s usually a question, and then some simple smiley faces—or sad faces—and corresponding colors to share your feelings.
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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The best new thing in airport parking garage technology has now arrived over at Germany's Dusseldorf Airport, and we're totally jealous of the locals who get to use it when leaving their cars behind.
Basically, the system is a robot valet that takes care of parking your car. It even has a cutesy name, Robot Ray. It doesn’t exactly drive your car into an available parking space - it actually lifts it up (think forklift) and carries it over to the appropriate spot.