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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.
“Ok Google, show me my trip.”
Say these words into your smartphone, and watch what happens: The world around you melts into a swirl of Technicolor. Suddenly you’re standing on a lunar landscape that resembles the merged imaginations of Salvador Dali and Willy Wonka. A winged unicorn appears, your spirit guide, and motions for you to mount his back. You take flight across a starry sky, leaving a ribbon of rainbow in your wake.
Sorry, just kidding. It’s not that kind of trip.
Jaunted Interviews / Cruise Travel / Ships / At-Sea WiFi / Quantum of the Seas / Royal Caribbean / Travel News / WiFi / Travel Tech / Technology / O3b Communications / Allure of the Seas / Anthem of the Seas / Oasis of the Seas / Caribbean Travel / → All Tags
"This changes everything."
That's the boasty slogan of ads on TV commercials and even plastered on bus shelters around NYC, referring to the newest cruise ship now sailing: Royal Caribbean's Quantum of the Seas.
The Quantum calls itself a "Smartship," deploying fresh technology from bow to sternin some cases, technology that's never before been seen on a cruise ship, including at-sea WiFi faster than the usual slower-than-stalagmites connection and dedicated apps to help plan your cruise time in real-time.
Between riding the North Star and peeking into multi-level suites, we managed a moment with Bill Martin, Chief Information Officer for Royal Caribbean to discuss faster speeds, better satellites, and what all this means for the bottom line of your cruise folio:
Twenty-five years ago, Estonia, the independent nation, didn’t exist. It was a country stuck behind the Iron Curtain, controlled by the Soviet Union. This week, Estonia launched into a technological forefront by declaring anyone—as long as you’re of age—the chance to become a resident, an e-Resident, that is.
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.
Travel Gear / Carry-on Luggage / Checked Luggage / Fugu Luggage / Kickstarter / Travel Tech / Luggage / Baggage / → All Tags
Don't think so? Take a flight without it some time, perhaps on a quick overnight with just a messenger bag, and you'll quickly find that luggage is its own particular brand of torture. Travelers with it are less agile, earlier exhausted, responsible for extra fees, potential crime targets, and forced to spend more time at the airport dealing with it. Then there's the whole separate nightmare of if it's delayed or gone missing.
2014 marks the 100th Anniversary of commercial flight, and it's shocking to think how little the baggage situation has changed in that century. Adding wheels and decreasing weight have seemingly been the most pervasive advances in the luggage industry through the decades, and the most passionate arguments occur over "carry-on only or checked?" and "two-wheel or four-wheel?" rather than contemplating why we're still dragging our belongings behind us like wayward hobos.
There is some hope, however; a company called Fugu Luggage has taken to Kickstarter to seek help producing what may be a breath of fresh air in the stodgy old luggage industry. It literally utilizes air to expand from a compact wheeled carry-on into a durable checked bag, complete with interior organization and "omniwheels."
Picture it: You and your friend are seated aisles away from one another on a plane. The devastation sets in. How are you going to pass the next few hours? The stranger to your left seems uninterested in your running commentary on the sub-par in-flight movie options and relative attractiveness of each flight attendant. This is serious.
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From yoga rooms and prayer rooms to wineries and food trucks, airports sure are thinking outside the box lately. Now, the folks over at San Fransisco International Airport have done the most San Francisco-y thing ever and created a new concept room for travelers to spend a few final minutes brainstorming and networking on the ground before boarding a flight.
A special space called Converge is now set aside for SFO passengers to come together and exchange ideas about technology, start-ups, the shared economy, "disruption," travel, politics, and ways to change the world. While the room is not limited to these ideas, the airport thinks these are good ideas to start. The #Converge brainstorming room is designed to create more of a community for those flyers who might feel lonely on a long layover, or who maybe just seek fresh input. Kitted out with free wi-fi, tables, chairs, power outlets, a white board and a magnetic chalk board, the #Converge room actually sounds like it might also be useful for "digital nomads" in transit.
United Airlines / United / Airlines / Airline News / EWR / Airports / Airport News / iPads / Travel Tech / Tech Travel / → All Tags
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.
Last week, the 2014 World Travel Market Industry Report was released to the public. In short, it is an annual global survey of exhibitors and buyers that highlight travel trends, including who’s buying what and who’s going where and how they’re going about doing it. Like any industry report, it is to be analyzed and regarded as a single, general resource amongst a sea of information, but it is fun, and often useful, to step back and consider some of the major themes brought forth by the report.
The thing that jumped out at me has to do with the ever-emerging and ever-growing segment of peer-to-peer travelers. If an attitude of “ew, I don’t want to sleep in someone else’s bed” ever existed amongst travelers, it has certainly been silenced to the point of a whisper. Preference for vacation rentals, including the rooms to rent found on sites like AirBnb, have grown incredibly in the past decade.