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In-Flight WiFi / JetBlue / Fly-Fi / Airline News / In-Flight Amenities / Travel Tech / WiFi / Free Stuff / Airlines / → All Tags
What were you doing on December 11, 2013? We remember what we were up to, which was being in flight over Cape Cod, testing out JetBlue's latest onboard amenity: in-flight WiFi, or, as JetBlue calls it, "Fly-Fi."
Since that day, the airline has worked to install the high-speed, Ka-band system on more and more of their airplanes and, as of this month, celebrated their 100th Fly-Fi-equipped A320. Wandering Aramean reports that all A321s are connected, all A320s should be finished soon, and even the Embraer 190s are due to be online in 2016.
What's even more remarkable than this speedy work is the fact JetBlue has continued to offer the basic Fly-Fi access for free, even though they initially stated it'd be free for at least the first six months.
The latest news is that this commitment to complimentary onboard connectivity is continuing. You get free in-flight Fly-Fi! And you get free in-flight Fly-Fi!
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Automated passport kiosks aren’t anything new, and in fact they continue to pop up here, there, and everywhere to streamline the customs clearance process. Well now there’s another technology tidbit joining the process, as Custom and Border Protection is now offering up a mobile app to help keep things moving along.
Available in both Apple and Android flavors the Mobile Passport App helps you enter details in advance, and in theory will do its best to expedite your return back into the nifty fifty. Basically the app eliminates the need for some of the traditional forms, and you’ll be able to tap, swipe, and enter your passport information electronically.
Travel Tech / Technology / Apple / Apple Watch / Airlines / Airline News / Air New Zealand / New Zealand Travel / Travel News / → All Tags
Can you hear it? That buzzing sound in your ears is the noise of hundreds of thousands of companies busily working on their Apple Watch apps.
Yesterday's formal reveal in San Francisco of the Apple Watch, as well as an updated Macbook, detailed the various version of the watches and the in-store release date of April 24. This means companies, including airlines and travel brands who are up on their technology, have little more than one month to develop their apps. .
Always happy to shout "FIRST!!!!!!" is Air New Zealand, who've already issued a release with the news that their app is done and ready to go, meaning they'll be the first airline with an Apple Watch app unless others join them on release day in April. Air New Zealand CIO Julia Raue says the airline’s developers visited Apple in California during the development of the app, so they mean business.
JetBlue / Apple Pay / Apple / Travel Tech / In-Flight Entertainment / In-Flight Purchases / → All Tags
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.
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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.
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This is the week! From January 15, the brand-spanking-new Airbus A350 begins regular commercial flights and welcomes passengers to 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.