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Easyjet passengers allowed to use gadgets on flights
Apr 16th, 2014 by elisa

Easyjet passengers are now allowed to use personal electronic devices throughout their whole flight, including during take-off and landing.

Gadgets such as laptops, tablets and mobiles must be placed in ‘flight mode’ and mobiles cannot be used to make or receive calls or texts.

The move follows recent recommendations from the European Aviation Safety Agency, which have allowed for restrictions on the use of gadgets onboard aircraft to be relaxed.

Peter Duffy, Easyjet’s group commercial director, customer, product and marketing said: “We know that portable devices are an important part of our customers’ journey with us so we are pleased they can now use their electronic devices onboard in ‘Flight mode’ for the duration of their flight with us – we think this will be a popular change.”

Three more airlines sign up for inflight wi-fi
Apr 10th, 2014 by elisa

Three further airlines have signed up to OnAir, an IT system that allows for an inflight phone connection and wi-fi.

Kuwait Airways will fit 12 new aircraft and its fleet upgrades with Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir delivered from December. TAAG Angola Airlines will introduce the technology on its new fleet, and Sri Lankan Airlines, which is also due to join the oneworld alliance on 1st May, is installing the system on six new aircraft as it renews its long-haul fleet.

OnAir, which is owned by SITA, the IT solutions provider to air transport, has regulatory approvals from over 100 countries as well as more than 375 roaming agreements.

Passengers will be able to use wi-fi, as well as phone, text, email and use their apps as usual from their phone. For Internet OnAir, passengers will log on and enter their credit card details before surfing the Internet just as they would at a wi-fi hotspot on the ground. Passengers using Mobile OnAir will have charges included in their monthly phone bill, as they would if they were using international roaming.

Track your flight stats
Apr 7th, 2014 by elisa

Want to know how many times you’ve flown around the world? A new online tool by British Airways shows customers how many times they would have flown around the world according to the total miles they’ve flown with the airline.

‘My Flightpath’ is available to members of the British Airways Executive Club and displays a timeline of all their flights since they joined. Members can also see where they’ve flown to, where they fly to most, and how many miles they’ve travelled.

Included in the site is ‘My Passport’ which awards stamps to customers when they reach certain milestones in their travels, such as the number of countries they’ve visited or number of miles flown. The stats can also be shared via social media.

Ian Romanis, head of customer engagement, said: “We wanted to give customers something that would help them to capture the magic of flying and we’re sure they will enjoy sharing their travelling milestones with their friends.”

Anyone with a BA booking can join the club free of charge and start tracking their stats.

“Earth stations” for high-speed travel Wi-Fi
Feb 19th, 2014 by elisa

Ofcom has approved plans for high-speed wi-fi on planes and ships, allowing for speeds of up to ten times faster than currently available.

Late last month, the communications regulator announced the plans for the use of “earth stations” on moving vehicles. These devices can supply internet connection by linking to a geostationary satellite. They have been developed to track satellites more closely and provide a more reliable connection, even on fast-moving trains and planes.

Philip Marnick of Ofcom, said: “We want travellers to benefit from superfast broadband on the move at the kind of speeds they expect from their connection at home.

“Today’s decision means that operators of trains, boats and planes will soon be able to begin the process of making these valuable services available to their passengers.”

Earth stations on aircraft or ships will need to be licensed by Ofcom, while those mounted on land-based vehicles will not need such a licence. The regulator said that it is working on providing the licences to ships and aircraft from this month, with the first commercial use of the technology to begin later this year.

US ban on laptop use during take-off lifted
Jun 26th, 2013 by elisa

The ‘outdated’ ban on passengers using laptops during aircraft take-off and landing is to be lifted in the US

The Federal Aviation Authority of the US will formally unveil its findings in September, but it is believed that the use of laptops, iPads and electronic readers during taxi, take-off and landing do not interfere with navigation systems in the way once thought.

Mobile phones must remain switched off, however, as they were not a part of the research.

The findings from the study could lead to a worldwide relaxation of the rules which stop passengers from using such devices. The Civil Aviation Authority said it would be interested in viewing the study before considering whether to do further research on the subject.

A spokesman said: “We will look at the FAA study and if we think we need to do more work, we will. It’s very important that we are all joined up and if we can learn something in the UK, we will look at what they’ve done.”

He added that there is still research and anecdotal evidence that electromagnetic interference by mobile phones can cause concern during critical points such as take-off and landing. He said that they would also need to be sure that there is not a cumulative  effect of the use of electronic devices on a full aircraft.

Ryanair introduces new CAPTCHA system to thwart screenscrapers
May 21st, 2013 by elisa

Ryanair has made another step towards thwarting screenscraper websites by rolling out a new CAPTCHA security system on its websites.

The airline has been battling against ‘unauthorised’ websites that display its lowest fares for a long time now. In 2010 it won a landmark case against website, Atrapalo, in the Commercial Court in Barcelona; allowing Ryanair to advertise its low fares exclusively on its own website.

The new security system requires customers to verify their booking by typing in some simple words or answering a question. The airline has put its own marketing spin on the CAPTCHA codes with words associated with its branding such as ‘low fares’, which it  claims will make booking ‘more fun’.

Ryanair’s Robin Kiely said: “With helpful travel reminders, words of wisdom and some simple brain teasers, Ryanair passengers can look forward to even faster access to the lowest fares, while the CAPTCHA facility also improves consumer protection, preventing passengers being ripped-off by unauthorised screenscraper websites mis-selling Ryanair’s low fares.”

Ryanair trialled the system on UK and Irish websites and has now rolled it out across all markets.

Passengers don’t want to pay for inflight wi-fi
Apr 22nd, 2013 by elisa

According to a recent survey, passengers are not willing to pay extra for wi-fi on flights. Some even believe that internet access is fast becoming a human right – see the full story on Duneroot.

Flybe offer online check-in at point of purchase
Dec 7th, 2012 by elisa

No more forgetting to check-in online as Flybe claims to be the first UK airline to offer passengers the chance to check-in at the point of booking online.

The initiative will launch next week (11th December) and will initially be introduced at nine of the airline’s airports – Birmingham, Belfast City, Exeter, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Jersey, Manchester, London Gatwick and Southampton.

This development means that an electronic boarding pass will automatically be sent to a passenger’s smartphone or e-mail 15 or 36 hours prior to departure.

Passengers at the other 17 airports will continue to use automated e-mail check-in only.

These developments are fast becoming the norm as only recently Virgin Atlantic announced that it would be using electronic boarding passes on the iPhone and iPod Touch.

 

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