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Back in October we discussed the ways in which Apple Pay would make life easier for travelers, namely allowing us to leave the credit cards at home while we shopped from traditional vendors. But now JetBlue has gone and surprised us with this news--starting next week, JetBlue will allow passengers to use Apple Pay to take care of their in-flight food and beverage purchases.
To make this all work, JetBlue is giving their flight crews iPad Minis to handle transactions. And obviously, passengers can only use Apple Pay if they have it enabled on their iPhones.
For now, Apple Pay will be available on coast-to-coast JetBlue flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco in mid-February. More Apple Pay flights will be added in March, with all JetBlue flights having Apple Pay by June.
JetBlue is also promising to allow guests to use Apple Pay within the JetBlue app later this year. And supposedly, when the Apple Watch comes out this spring, passengers can use that too to pay for their snacks and drinks.
Right now, JetBlue is the first airline to accept Apple Pay in-flight, but we have a feeling that won't last for very long.
Who do you think will be next airline to accept Apple Pay? Put your guesses in comments below!
Travel News / Travel Tech / Crimes / Argentina Travel / EZE / Buenos Aires Travel / AEP / iPhone / Smartphones / → All Tags
Argentina is a beautiful country, but the reception for visitors arriving to Buenos Aires can be confusing thanks to a small section of the customs form. The Declaration of Mobile Phone requires travelers to list the brand, model, series, and any accompanying digital accessories of their personal mobile phone, with no explanation why the customs officers might need this information.
The document comes straight from the AFIP (Administracion Federal de Ingresos), and their website does say, at the very bottom, that this portion of the form needs to be completed, no matter your citizenship status or how you're entering Argentina.
We'd been to Argentina before, but never before by way of Buenos Aires' Ezeiza (EZE) Airport, and a past visit actually saw us robbed of our Nikon DSLR. It was after that unfortunate incident that we heard about and read more on Argentina's strict importation laws and high import taxes, which breeds desire for black market consumer electronics and the petty crime that fuels the trade.
Travel Tech / Technology / Cruise Travel / Ships / Carnival / Cunard / Azamara Club Cruises / Royal Caribbean / Quantum of the Seas / Azamara Journey / Budget Travel / Travel News / → All Tags
You know that old idiom, “everything happens in threes?” Well, it absolutely applies in the case of WiFi on cruise ships this season. At-sea connectivity is a notoriously sore spot in the cruise industry, since the standard satellite systems bring embarrassingly low bandwidth at a shamefully high cost. In most cases, we’re talking $0.75 per minute. For real.
Several years ago it was normal to be charged ~$300 just to keep up some minimal internet access for emailing and some social media-ing on a 7-day cruise, and as of 2014 not much had changed...other than the passengers’ desire for more time online at a better price.
Then along came Royal Caribbean’s “smartship” Quantum of the Seas and its lower cost, lower orbit, higher bandwidth satellite technology, includinggaspunlimited plans.
In-Flight WiFi / United / United Airlines / WiFi / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / Airlines / Airline News / → All Tags
Wow—it’s been years and years since United first put WiFi on a muthafunking plane, but now that it's 2015, United is finally set to offer WiFI on their regional jet fleet. The cramped legroom and claustrophobic conditions will feel less so, as you’ll be tweeting, streaming, and posting from here to there.
Aircraft like the E170, E175, and CRJ700 will be heading into the hangar, as Gogo InFlight’s ATG-4 advanced air-to-ground is to be installed, hopefully by summer. Not only can travelers expect the usual WiFi offerings, but these planes—thankfully—will also score a slice of what United calls their “Personal Device Entertainment” giving access to movies, television, and other goodies right from your own mobile screen.
New Airplanes / Airbus / A350 / A350-900 / Qatar A350 / Lists / Qatar Airways / Qatar Travel / Doha Travel / DOH / Travel Tech / Seats / Economy Class Travel / Business Class Travel / Photo Gallery / In-Flight Comfort / → All Tags
This is the week! From January 15, the brand-spanking-new Airbus A350 begins regular commercial flights and welcomes passengers to the enjoy everything Airbus has been working on since 2004.
As far its place within the range of the newest aircraft out there, the A350-900 is larger than a 787-800, smaller than an A380, and due to replace the A330 for some of the airlines adding it to their fleets. It costs $295 million each, and there's some 700 orders on the books for the plane. With those numbers, more and more travelers will soon find themselves walking down the jetway to board a plane they've never before experienced.
And what an experience. Thanks to technology, modern materials, and a refreshing re-focus on passenger comfort, the Airbus A350 is about to silence many of the most common complaints in air travel. Here are just a few:
New Airplanes / Airbus / A350 / A350-900 / Qatar A350 / Qatar Airways / Qatar Travel / Doha Travel / DOH / Travel Tech / Seats / Economy Class Travel / Business Class Travel / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
It's not every day that an airline welcomes an airplane so new that no one else has it yet. That was, however, the case this week as Qatar Airways celebrated the arrival of the first Airbus A350. Come next week, anyone can fly on the plane and, with over 700 orders for the aircraft (80 just from Qatar Airways), this will hardly be the last you'll hear of it.
Why is Qatar Airways’ A350 so special? Put quite simply, the airline has it first. The A350 rolled off the runway at Airbus’ Toulouse factory to land at Doha and begin its service, as Qatar Airways is the “Global Launch Customer” for the type; they’re debuting the plane, setting the bar, and offering an experience unavailable anywhere else.
In addition to its body of advanced materials and engines that are the cleanest yet, the Airbus A350 also brings onboard humidification systems (no more dry eyes and skin!), an air management system that filters the entire cabin of air every 2-3 minutes, improved cabin temperature levels (no more “too hot” or “too cold”), and seats designed specifically for Qatar Airways and their heightened standards for both luxury and comfort.
Speaking of the seats...
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Booking a plane ticket to a new city is, for the most part, fairly easy. It's the arriving in that city which can be a headache, figuring out how best to explore and get around. Fret no more, because that's all RideScout's specialty.
This newish mobile app, available for both Apple and Android devices, helps travelers get from point A to point B faster and smarter using some GPS technology and an easy-to-use interface. RideScout gathers together all the ground transportation in the area and presents it as simply as possible, including directions, estimated cost, and arrival times, ensuring that you get where you need to go by cab, public transport, car-sharing, or biking.
Dani Grant, founder of Hackers NY, published a short, to-the-point Medium post this morning, alerting the public to a serious issue in the security of mobile boarding passes. And you don't need to be a hacker to understand it:
On Delta, you can change the URL of your boarding pass and get someone else’s boarding pass. Even if they’re on a different airline. You can check in as them and change their seat.
Holiday Travel / Christmas Travel / Airports / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / ORD / Chicago Travel / Airport News / → All Tags
If your electronics and mobile doodads aren’t behaving this holiday season there’s a new way to get things repaired and fix while on the go. Best Buy is sending their Geek Squad unit into the airport, as the brave women and men will be stationed at Chicago-O’Hare for the next few weeks.
When your phone just isn’t keeping up its end of the bargain make your way over to Terminal 3 near the Concourse H food court. There you’ll find the Geek Squad, and that’s where they will be providing tech support for free through December 23.
Airline News / Alaska Airlines / Airlines / Economy Class Travel / In-Flight Entertainment / IFE / Travel Tech / → All Tags
Instead of a cosmetic rebrand, Alaska Airlines is investing millions to update their entire in-flight experience with huge benefits for the economy traveler.
Alaska Beyond begins rolling out across Alaska Airlines' 737 fleet from today through 2015, and it consists of several updates:
United Airlines / United / Airlines / Airline News / Travel Tech / Tech Travel / iPhone / Apple / iOS / Flight Attendants / → All Tags
Sometimes it seems like everyone around you has the newest, best smartphone, and soon that feeling will include all the flight attendants onboard United Airlines. The carrier just announced that they’re ordering a boatload Apple's freshest offering to aid with in-flight service efficiency.
United was sold on the awesomeness of these little—well, big—devices, as the carrier is bringing the iPhone 6 Plus to 23,000 flight attendants. It's not a holiday present, however; the iPhones will be used to record retail transactions and other purchases aboard flights. Access to corporate email, intranet sites, and even policies and manuals will also be accessed through the new phones. United is even ditching the traditional printed safety manuals, as everything will now be right on the screen.
Travel Tech / WiFi / At-Sea WiFi / Cruise Travel / Royal Caribbean / Quantum of the Seas / Ships / Cruise Fees / O3b Communications / → All Tags
So maybe you've heard that there's a new WiFi scene on the high seas. Updated technology is finally allowing cruisers to log on from the Lido deck, and Royal Caribbean is the first big line to unleash the action.
Royal Caribbean's CEO insisted that the WiFi be available for free to everyone onboard the November pre-inaugural cruises of their newest ship, Quantum of the Seas, but RCCL has now nailed down solid numbers on how much they'll charge for the service.
The RoyalCaribbeanBlog noted WiFi rates and packages from the ship's frequent 8-day Caribbean sailings out of New York City and although the rates do hit three digits for the larger unlimited packages, they still represent massive savings over the exorbitant standard pricing of older systems.
The majority of cruise ships still utilize older systems, charging $0.75 per minute or offering packages like 8 hours for $168. These prices now decrease to as low as $65 for an entire day, and gone is that medieval by-minute option.