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Brazil is about to get a little early Christmas present. The country's third largest airline, Azul, started by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, has announced it will begin flying between the United States (Fort Lauderdale and Orlando) and Brazil as early as next month.
Our friends at The Flight Deal have discovered an unbeatable Azul deal for December, from Fort Lauderdale to Brazil, for $193 one-way in Economy or $510 one-way, in Business Class (reclining, not lie-flat), taxes included.
We're been a bit hesitant to promote the deal, since it's definitely going to be a headache for travelers who aren't completely confident in their ability to "hack" budget flights. In order to take full advantage of the Azul flight deals, you'll need to book through their Portuguese site, hunt-and-peck for valid dates, use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, already have or obtain a Brazil visa ($160+ pp), be okay with arriving to an "alternative" airport, and be prepared to either pay much more for the return flight, or book a one-way home on another airline using frequent flyer miles.
Scared? Don't be. Just keep in mind that this is the infancy of budget flights between the US and Brazil, so the situation will only improve.
What to know to grab this deal:
In-Flight WiFi / United / United Airlines / WiFi / Tech Travel / Travel Tech / Airlines / Airline News / → All Tags
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.
In-Flight Entertainment / United / United Airlines / Airline / Airplanes / In-Flight WiFi / iPad / Travel Tech / → All Tags
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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Yesterday, Will.i.am took to Twitter to complain about United Airlines but he didn't receive much sympathy from his fans.
The rapper arrived at the airport 45 minutes before an international flight from New York to China, only to find his seat had been given away.
Standard economy seats on United
Three times this week have flights been disturbed by passenger fights over the right to recline, and three times this week have the situations proved petty. Alas, it's a hot topic and the details of that initial confrontation (which was so bad as to divert the plane) continue to leak.
Our friend Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press spoke with Mr. James Beach, better know to the internet as "Knee Defender Man," who, though repentant for some of his actions once the issue escalated, states that he still plans to use the Knee Defenders on future flights.
The article manages to tell a clearer story of what exactly happened in that United flight from Newark to Denver, which diverted to Chicago because of the argument. It's well worth a read, especially as Mr. Beach's explanations only serve to dig his hole deeper. Take, for example, this:
United / United Airlines / Airline News / Airlines / ORD / Checked Baggage / Luggage / Baggage / → All Tags
Practice your sticker skills before heading off to the airport, as one of the country’s largest carriers is going the DIY route when it comes to baggage tagging.
United Airlines just started offering self-service bag tagging over at Chicago-O’Hare in an effort to speed up the check-in process at the airport. The airline’s angle is that it provides more options for customers looking to do things for themselves, and it will free up agents to help out those flyers that have questions or need a little more assistance.
People are crazy. That is the one thing to keep in mind as we start in on this week's tale of ridiculous behavior on an airplane.
Sunday's United flight 1462 from Newark to Denver was forced to divert to Chicago-O'Hare after a mid-air argument erupted over legroom. The two partiesa man and woman, both coincidentally aged 48 came to harsh words over the man's use of "Knee Defenders" to prevent the woman seated in front of him from reclining.
Knee Defenders (pictured in use, above), are a $21.95 pair of doohickies designed to fit between a meal try and the seat it's attached to, which inhibits the recline of said seat. They are unofficially prohibited by airlines, and Knee Defender itself recommends doing the decent thing of providing a "courtesy card" to explain the use of the devices to the effected parties. Alas, it is apparent that such common decency was absent on this United flight.
On the tail of the news from our sis HotelChatter that Hyatt has begun offering Uber's services from within its own app, United announced yesterday that it would also partner with Uber to help its customers get to and from the airport.
Uber's services will soon be embedded in United app's menu or in the "My Reservations" card on a current reservation. Here, still within United's app, information on Uber rides will be displayed, including types of available vehicles, estimated wait times, and prices. Once a customer selects a ride, they will automatically be transferred to the Uber app to complete the transaction. Or, if the person does not have the Uber app, to the Uber website to sign up for an account.
Mobile Apps / United / Airline News / Travel Tech / Passports / → All Tags
Two days ago, when checking in for a flight from Denver to Guatemala City on the United app, we were unable to obtain a mobile boarding pass and had to check in at the desk upon arriving at the airport.
The reason for this is that a passenger's passport must be verified before a boarding pass - regardless of whether it's paper or mobile - can be issued on international flights. Surely, you're familiar with the self check-in kiosk that makes you scan your passport, and that send you to the desk agent when it malfunctions.
We’ve seen our share of airline safety videos, and once again there’s another carrier releasing a refresh and upgrade of their pre-flight entertainment. This time it’s United, and we have to say we’re pleased with their latest presentation.
United / United Airlines / Animal Travel / Nature Travel / Travel Technology / Environment / → All Tags
Chances are we've all seen a David Attenborough documentary or two, and listened as he discussed how specific animals move, live and act in their natural habitat. The reason this information is known is mostly due to animal tagging and tracking. Basically, putting small GPS sensors onto animals to track their migration and possibly help prevent the endangerment of the species plays an important part in conservation and research.
Now, United will play a new role in this animal tracking with their installation of radio receiver antennas on their aircraft. They'll be able to pick up signals for animal tags while they fly around, which seems like a perfect idea since the airline criss-crosses any part of the planet 5,300 times per day.
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There’s another carrier adding a little craft beer to the beverage cart, and this week it’s United bringing a hometown favorite right into the cabin.
Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery has been tapped—ha—to send over plenty of 312 Urban Wheat Ale over to United Airlines. The sudsy stuff will be offered up on flights across the globe, and the ale will even be available in United Club locations across the United States. It sounds like things should be on the menu beginning on July 1.
It’ll be $8 for those in the back of the plane, and those up front in business and first class can score some free of charge. If you’re enjoying a little while awaiting your flight you can expect to hand over $3 for a drink in the United Club.
Best of all there’s going to be a little bit of an in-flight happy hour on Tuesday—we’re guessing July 1—to welcome the new beer to 35,000-feet. Passengers flying between Chicago and Houston on United Flight 312 will score a beer for free.