wifi Airlines Inflight Internet Service

Connecting Online While On Vacation

While a vacation offers a chance to unwind and get away from the daily routine, many travelers want to stay connected online when they’re away from home. Some do for work, others simply out of preference.

Wifi room

Travel Study, Staying Connected is Important

A study by Travel Leaders Group fond that about 94% of nearly 2,900 U.S. consumers polled have taken or will take at least one trip for leisure this year. But 62% of those travelers make it a point to check work emails and or voicemail while they’re on vacation. And staying connected is increasingly a necessity for travelers.

Only 37.7% said that they never check in with work, compared with 51.1% in 2014.

Accessing the Internet

Travelers may have trouble getting online in some more remote wilderness or mountainous areas. For example, the National Park Service advises visitors to Yellowstone that wifi service is limited and may become overwhelmed in the summer by the number of users.

But there are plenty of places across the United States and around the world where you can stay connected, whether you need to check in with work, check on a family member or simply wish to share photos and experiences with friends and family.

Connecting on a Cruise

wifi

For example, cruise lines have been working to upgrade their internet capability. Packages and costs vary, but your travel agent can offer advice on getting the best one for your needs. Just remember that the connection speed may not always be as fast at sea as it is on land.

Royal Caribbean boasts that its wifi service, called VOOM, is the fastest Internet at sea, thanks to satellite technology that targets each specific ship, rather than trying to cover a wide expanse of ocean.

Passengers can use smartphones, tablets and laptops to text and email, as well as share photos on Facebook and Instagram, stream music and movies and video chat via FaceTime or Skype.

Norwegian Cruise Line has 24-hour Internet cafes, or passengers can use their own laptops.

Crystal Cruises offers an hour of complimentary Internet access per person per day for deluxe stateroom and penthouse passengers on the Symphony and Serenity.

In The City

wifi coffee

City centers usually offer good cell phone reception with few dead spots and are a great choice for travelers who need to get online easily. They also tend to be more wired for wifi.

Just be sure to look into an international data plan from your cell phone provider if you’ll be traveling abroad.

Almost every hotel, whether it’s in a city or resort area, will provide wifi. Some chains offer free access for guests who belong to their rewards clubs, or they may offer it for specific brands within the chain.

Hyatt hotels and resorts worldwide provide free wifi to all guests on an unlimited number of devices.

Fairmont Hotels are even compatible with Virtual Private Networks, which offer users a secure, encrypted connection. Even most airports offer wifi connections, so you can stay connected while waiting for takeoff.

If staying connected while on vacation is a necessity, your travel agent can recommend the accommodations that will work best for you.

Delta wifi on International Flights

Delta Air Lines is offering high-speed Internet access on all transAtlantic flights between the US and the UK, mainland Europe, Israel and West Africa.

Delta Air Lines

Flights from Heathrow and Manchester

From the UK, the Delta offers up to 11 peak flights from Heathrow and one from Manchester, meaning more customers can access the internet at 30,000 feet.

“Delta already offer Wi-Fi across our domestic mainline fleet and we are delighted to extend the service to our trans Atlantic customers, giving them the option to work, keep in touch or surf the web throughout their flight,” said Nat Pieper, Delta’s Senior Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “More than 93% of our international flights offers Internet access and we will continue to use technology to make our customers’ air travel experience more productive whenever they fly with Delta.”

Delta’s wifi is powered by high-speed, Ku-Band satellite technology and is available on up to 83 round-trip flights to and from 27 European cities, in addition to Tel Aviv, Israel; Accra, Ghana; Lagos, Nigeria; and Dakar, Senegal.

Free Access to Delta Studio

Customers can also enjoy free access to Delta Studio, an in-flight streaming service, which allows them to view movies and TV options direct to their mobile devices that is available in addition to the airline’s existing on demand entertainment.

Delta began installing wifi on U.S. domestic mainline aircraft in 2008. With international satellite based wifi now installed on Delta’s wide body fleet; Boeing 747s, 767s, the Airbus A330 and transoceanic Boeing 757s, the Delta Air Lines operates the world’s largest wifi equipped fleet, giving customers more options to stay connected in flight.

Delta: wifi on International Flights & attendants get new Phablets

WIFI ACCESS ON INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS

Delta Air Lines will launch international wifi service on flights 283 and 295 equipped with Ku-band satellite wifi on Boeing 747-400 aircraft departing Los Angeles International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Narita International Airport in Tokyo.

Delta Kiosk

Delta kisok

Early check in at Delta kiosk at the Atlanta Airport

Customers can access wifi service with introductory pricing options that begin with one hour passes for laptop users as low as $14.00 and $8.00 for mobile users or a flight pass option, which will keep customers connected throughout their flight, starting at $24.95 for laptop users and $14.95 for mobile users. All of Delta’s 747-400 aircraft will have wifi installed by mid-2014.

Delta has three of 16 747-400 aircraft complete which also operate between Detroit and Seoul-Incheon; Detroit and Nagoya, Japan; Detroit and Tokyo-Narita; New York-JFK and Tel Aviv as well as New York-JFK and Tokyo-Narita.

The new international service uses satellites for global connectivity to offer coverage internationally and will compliment Delta’s existing air-to-ground service already provided by Gogo for aircraft flying within the domestic U.S.

DELTA FLIGHT ATTENDANTS TO SWITCH TO PHABLET

Delta Air Lines will equip more than 20,000 flight attendants with handheld Nokia Lumia 1520 phablets, which will serve as their on-board manual and in-flight sales device as well as a platform for future, more personalized in-flight customer service by this fall.

The Lumia 1520 features a larger format, 6-inch screen and will replace the smaller Lumia 820 already in the hands of Delta on-board professionals.

Providing electronic access to the more than 500 page, five pound On-Board Manual carried by every flight attendant is expected to save more than $1 million annually in reduced fuel and printing costs while providing on board professionals a more intuitive way to access essential information.

In addition to its functionality as an in-flight sales device and replacement for the on-board manual, the Nokia Lumia 1520 phablet, running Windows Phone 8.1, will, as it develops, enable flight attendants to take customer meal orders, receive detailed information about their flight and provide information for personalized service, including customers’ frequent flyer status and potential need for special services during flight.

Delta Double Skymiles & Passport Controlled Kiosks

Delta Offers Double Miles between SEA and SFO, LAX, LAS

Delta will offer SkyMiles members the opportunity to earn double miles from Seattle to San Francisco, Los Angeles or Las Vegas on all Delta-marketed and Delta or Delta Connection-operated flights through Oct. 31, 2014. SkyMiles members may register by Dec. 31, 2013 at delta.com/seattledoublemiles to be eligible for the promotion prior to travel.

Business travel at the Delta kiosk in the Atlanta Airport

Registered SkyMiles members may earn unlimited bonus miles during the promotional period for travel booked prior to Dec. 31, 2013. Members may begin or end their travel in any city to earn bonus miles on flights from Seattle to San Francisco, Los Angeles or Las Vegas. There is more information on Double Sky miles.

Complimentary wifi Service on Delta Shuttle Flights between LAX and SFO through November 22, 2013

Delta is offering complimentary access to Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi on mobile devices aboard Delta Shuttle service between Los Angeles and San Francisco through November 22, 2013. Delta began hourly, nonstop Delta Shuttle service between Los Angeles and San Francisco International airports on Sept. 3, 2013. The Delta Shuttle is tailored to business travelers while adding a California perspective to its popular New York-based shuttle product.

Delta Debuts Holiday-Themed Safety Video

Delta is spreading cheer and humor with a new holiday edition of the in-flight safety video. Featuring Delta employees, a 777 and even a surprise celebrity appearance. To view the video, click here.

Delta Adds Automated Passport Control Kiosks to Simplify International Arrivals at New York-JFK

Delta is pleased to have installed 40 Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks in an effort to further reduce wait times for international arriving customers at New York-JFK airport.

The APC kiosks are now activated and provide arriving U.S. citizens the convenience of scanning their passports and completing an electronic version of the U.S. Customs Declaration Form so that Customs Border Protection (CBP) officers can quickly and efficiently complete entry requirements.

WIFI Upgrades, Airline Fees, Electronics, In Flight Study

Delta flatbed in business class.

Upgrading Inflight wifi

Inflight wifi junkies know that when a lot of their fellow passengers are online, service speed plummets. Some research indicates just having 10% of passengers online can hurt internet speeds. But airlines are moving from air-to-ground to satellite technology to improve the inflight experience.

Southwest Airlines has quietly installed satellite-based wifi on more than 400 of its aircraft—about 75% of its fleet—and is adding movies and on-demand TV shows. Jet Blue Airways has begun the installation and certification process for its satellite wifi this month. And United Airlines has started offering satellite-based wifi on some of its international wide-body aircraft.

It is also offering it on two aircraft flying domestic routes and is charging more for the satellite service. United offers wifi on about 20 of its aircraft now and expects most of its fleet to have satellite wifi by 2015.
(Source: press releases and industry interviews)

Southwest Introduces Early Boarding Option

Southwest Airlines has introduced a fourth way for passengers to improve their boarding position with its new $40 early boarding option.

Southwest does not assign seats but boards its passengers by groups—A, B and C. However, Business Select passengers always have the coveted A1-15 boarding slots. Now, when those are available, ticket agents can sell them for $40 to other travelers, 45 minutes before the flight departs.

Southwest passengers have other ways of getting a better chance at getting the seat they want. For $10, they can buy EarlyBird boarding, which automatically checks passengers in 36 hours before departure, 12 hours before general boarding becomes available. The earlier you check in, the better your boarding position, so travelers can also move up in the boarding line by checking 23 hours and 59 minutes before their departure.
(Source: interviews)

Changing Airline Fees

Having trouble keeping up with all the different fees airlines charge? Well, it’s not surprising, given the fact that airlines changed those fees more than 50 times last year, according to Travel Nerd, which developed an airline fee comparison and shopping tool.

More than half of the fee changes were for baggage, but a significant number of fee changes were for services such as selecting seats, priority boarding or changing tickets. It found that ultra-low-cost carriers Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air accounted for 18 of the fee changes.
(Source: Travel Nerd)

FAA Studies Use of Portable Electronics In Flight

The Federal Aviation Administration is studying the use of portable electronics in flight, considering whether or not to let passengers keep their devices on during takeoff and landing.

The question is whether or not electromagnetic interference from devices poses a safety threat to aircraft navigation or communication systems. There are other concerns—such as whether handhelds could become projectiles during an aborted landing.

The group is not looking at cell phone use because that falls under the authority of the Federal Communications Commission.
(Source: FAA press release)

Third Quarter Domestic Airfares Up 1.8%

Third quarter domestic airfares were up 1.8% over a year earlier according to the Department of Transportation’s latest figures. Not adjusted for inflation, the $367 third-quarter fare is the fifth highest since the DOT started tracking fares in 1995.

However, third-quarter 2012 fares were $243 in 1995 dollars, down 18.1% from the average fare of $297 in 2000, the inflation-adjusted high for any third quarter.
(Source: DOT)

Airlines news wifi aviation bio fuels & performance

Atlanta Arport Clock tower

Airlines’ On-time Performance is Best in Two Years
U.S. airlines reported their best on time performance in two years in April, according to the Department of Transportation’s latest figures.

Just over 86% of flights arrived within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival time, the best since November 2009. And, airlines are getting better at keeping track of your bags. April’s mishandled baggage report was down to 2.63 reports per 1,000 passengers from 3.3 in April 2011 and 3.09 in March 2012. Airlines also reported no tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights or more than four hours on international flights. (Source: DOT press release).

U.S. Air Passenger Traffic Up Slightly
The number of passengers U.S. airlines carry continues to increase, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Transportation.

The first three months of 2012 continued the growth trend of 2011, when system and domestic load factors hit an all-time high. U.S. airlines carried 2.8% more passengers in the first quarter of 2012 than in the first quarter of 2011. That meant that overall, passenger numbers were up 1.4%. The March 2012 passenger total was 3.6% above March 2010. Delta Air Lines carried the most total passengers.

Southwest Airlines carried more domestic passengers. United Airlines, which merged with Continental Airlines, carried the most international passengers. (Source: DOT press release).

U.S. Air Capacity Dips
Airlines might be carrying more passengers, but they’re flying fewer seats as U.S. carriers continue to trim capacity. In March, domestic capacity decreased by .6%t and capacity system wide was down .3%.

This is an ongoing trend; in late June both Delta Air Liens and United Airlines reduced their total seats by about 1 percent, anticipating slackening demand after Labor Day. (Source: DOT press release, news reports).

Delta to Offer In-flight WiFi on Its International Fleet
Delta Air Lines, the airline that has more planes equipped with WiFi than any other domestically, said that it will start offering in in-flight Internet service on its long-haul international fleet in early 2013.

Once it completes installing WiFi on all of its international aircraft in 2015, it will have more than 1,000 planes with WiFi. Lufthansa now offers WiFi on some transatlantic flights; Virgin Atlantic is introducing it later this year. (Source: Delta, Lufthansa press releases, news reports).

Aviation Continues to Work on Bio fuel Development
KLM flew the longest commercial bio fuel flight ever to the Rio+20 sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro late last month. It’s part of an ongoing aviation industry effort to develop use of bio fuel.

Lufthansa just wound up a six-month trial in which it used a 50-50 blend of bio fuel and regular fuel on its planes. Air New Zealand has flown bio fuel test flights and is working on developing bio fuel production in New Zealand.

British Airways said it plans to use a fuel derived from waste by 2015, while Virgin Atlantic said it will use fuel derived from waste gases by 2014, cutting its carbon footprint by 50 percent.

European carriers, bio fuel producers and the EU commission last year signed a pact to produce 2 million tons of bio fuel by 2020. In the U.S.A., United Airlines, Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP, the Chicago Department of Aviation and the Clean Energy Trust have formed the Midwest Aviation Sustainable Bio fuels initiative. Its goal: to promote bio fuel development in a 12-state region. (Source: press releases)

Importance of wifi & Loyalty programs

Hotel Guests Love Free Wi-Fi, Don’t Care About Turn-Down Service Wifi for business travelers.
Two recent surveys show that wifi is what counts for travelers. A Hotels.com survey found that free wifi is a major factor when choosing a room. And a Trip Advisor survey found that wifi and breakfast included in the rate are the top two amenities guests look for when choosing a room.

Guest loyalty plans were a third factor. Loyalty programs are very important for those who travel 25 times a year or more, according to a Starwood Preferred Guest survey. Nearly three-quarters of these travelers said that they have taken extra trips to maintain their status in such programs. Losing their status scares more of them (65%) than the thought of losing their luggage (12%) or missing a flight (11%). (Source: press releases)

Car Rental and Rail

Business Travel Group Lobbies against Unfair Car Rental Taxes
So-called inhospitality taxes continue to rankle business travelers and the head of the Global Business Travel Association recently testified before a House Judiciary hearing in support of a bill that would end discriminatory taxes on rental cars.

The bill says that excise taxes on car rental consumers are unwarranted and would enforce a permanent halt on any new taxes. Michael McCormick, the GBTA’s executive director and COO, said that such taxes impose a burden on travel services that are more than a general sales tax. Congress has enacted similar protections against such taxes on airlines, trains and buses. (Source: GBTA press release)

Business Travel: Major Economic Driver

Business travel appears poised to continue to grow despite economic uncertainty, according to the latest Business Travel Quarterly Outlook for the United States from the Global Business Travel Association. The report found that business travel was stronger than expected last year, and that growth should continue.

  • Trip volume was up 3.1%; travel spending was up 8.3% for the quarter.
  • For the year, total person trips will hit 445 million; total spending will hit $252 billion, 2.1% and 7.6% increases, respectively
  • The GBTA is forecasting that business travel spending will increase 4.6% this year, although person-trips will decline by .8%.
  • Prices will increase more slowly this year than last year. Travel price inflation should be 2.2% in 2012, compared to 4.3% last year.
(Source: GBTA press release)

Business travel forecast for hotels wifi

Hotel Revenues Expected to Go Up
Projections for U.S. hotels for the next several months are downright perky when compared to economic news overall.

Hilton Beach Resort Barbados

Committed occupancy is up 4.8% and average daily rates are up 4%. That´s according to TravelClick´s October 2011 North American Hospitality Review. TravelClick is a technology provider for hotels worldwide.

Cities showing the most growth in occupancy this year are: Detroit, Charlotte, Houston, Seattle and Philadelphia. Those with declining occupancies are: Minneapolis-St. Paul, Denver, Dallas, Honolulu and Phoenix. Hotel demand for the first quarter of 2012 is up 15 percent. Markets showing strong first quarter growth are Indianapolis, Detroit and Chicago. (Source: TravelClick press release).

Rail Amtrak Adds Free WiFi to 12 More Trains
Amtrak has added free AmtrakConnect wifi service to 12 East Coast trains. Trains that carry nearly 60% of all Amtrak passengers now have free wifi. These routes include trains running between Virginia and Boston; New York, Albany and Buffalo and between New York, Philadelphia and Harrisburg.

Other routes that now have free wifi: New York-Charlotte; Boston-Portland; New York-Rutland, Vt.; the New Haven-Springfield shuttle and Washington-St. Albans, Vt. wifi is now also available on cars with hotspot window stickers on Adirondack, Maple Leaf, Palmetto and Pennsylvanian routes.

Wifi was already available on Acela Express trains and on Cascades service in the Pacific Northwest. (Source: Amtrak press release).

Business Travel Cost

Business travel costs will inch up next year because of the demand for face-to-face business contacts and a shrinking supply of airline seats, hotel rooms and other travel products, according to the annual Global Business Travel Forecast. Travel is essential to business, but companies are being more cost conscious than ever.

  • Airlines will continue to trim their fleets, so airfares will probably increase in the low to middle digits.
  • Business class airfares will probably increase the most.
  • Hotels should be able to hang on to the single digit gains they made this year for business travel rates.
  • Mid to upper scale hotel rates will probably increase slightly in North America.
  • There will be regional differences, as businesses seek to capitalize on business opportunities in emerging markets such as Latin America and Asia.

The travel industry is trying to regain pre-recession pricing and profitability in the face of economic anxiety, says Christa Degnan Manning, director of Expert Insights Research for Global Business Travel. (Source: press release).

Aviation Taxes, Consumer Protection Rules & WiFi

Aeromexico

Aeromexico

Travel Industry Opposes New Aviation Taxes
Both the aviation industry and travel and tourism industries are opposing the President Obama’s plan to impose $3.5 billion annually in new taxes on airlines and their passengers to help pay off the country’s budget deficit. A major bone of contention: an increase in the Aviation Passenger Security Fee.

The proposal would up it to $5 per flight. It had been $2.50 per flight segment, for a maximum of $5 per one-way trip. The fee would then increase by 50 cents each year through 2017, maxing out at $7.50. Fifteen billion dollars of the new taxes would go into the General Fund for debt reduction, with any money beyond that going toward the Transportation Security Administration´s (TSA) discretionary appropriations.

The Air Transport Association says fee increases will force airlines to raise fares or reduce service, which will mean fewer jobs. According to the ATA, federal taxes and fees in the United States account for $61, or 20%, of the cost of a typical $300 domestic round-trip ticket.

The U.S. Travel Association, a travel industry advocacy group, also opposed the tax, saying that any increase in travel fees should be invested directly into the national travel system and infrastructure. The travel industry in general has taken the position that governments are responsible for national security costs, not specific industries. (Source: ATA and USTA press releases).

Airlines Lose Bid to Delay Implementation of New Consumer Protection Rules
Three low-cost carriers lost their legal challenge of new Department of Transportation consumer protection rules scheduled to go into effect Jan. 24.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia denied Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airines and Allegiant Airlines’ attempt to block a rule that would require them to include all taxes and fees in the fares they advertise instead of breaking them out separately. The airlines say that they differentiate themselves with low fares and want consumers to know how much of what they pay goes to taxes.

Airlines also asked the court to review a ban on raising airline prices after consumers buy their ticket. And they protested the new rule requiring airlines to let consumers cancel a flight without penalty within 24 hours of booking that flight.

Many airlines, already do this; including American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines and US Airways. But Spirit says that consumers will abuse this and the result will be higher ticket prices. The court denied the airlines´ challenge, saying that they had not met stringent requirements for such as stay. (Source: court documents).

Airlines Lose Bid to Delay Implementation of New Consumer Protection RulesAirlines Lose Bid to Delay Implementation of New Consumer Protection Rules
One in five users of Gogo inflight internet service say that they’ve switched carriers because they´d rather be on flights with inflight internet service, according to a survey of 7,000 Gogo users. Inflight Wifi is particularly important to business travelers, according to Gogo, which provides inflight Wifi to eight airlines. Three airlines have Wifi on their entire domestic fleet: AirTran Airways, Delta Air Lines and Virgin America. Five more have it on select aircraft; they are: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways. (Source: Gogo press release).

Pace of Air Travel Growth Starts to Slow
As expected, passenger air travel growth began to slow in August, according to numbers just released by the International Air Traffic Association. Passenger demand was up 4.5%, less than the 6% July increase.

North American carriers reported the weakest performance with growth of just 2.9%, which was partly a result of equally slow growth in capacity. This is a sharp downturn from stronger growth earlier in the year, as reflected in the 5.6% year-to-date demand expansion. However, North American carriers had the highest load factor at 86.1%. (Source: IATA press release).

Airline news: Oil cost, wifi & Tarmac delays down

Delta Airlines


U.S. Airline Revenues Are Up—But Oil Costs Hurt
Passenger revenues for U.S. carriers were up 13% in February, the latest figures available from the Air Transport Association, marking the 14th consecutive month of revenue growth for a core group of U.S. airlines.

Miles flown by paying passengers were up 2.1%, while the average price to fly one mile rose 10.8%. International markets remained especially strong, with passenger revenue growing 17%, led by a 27% increase in Pacific revenue. Domestic revenue grew 11.5%, fueled in large part by a 10.5% increase in yield. Figures are based on data from seven major U.S. carriers and 20 regional carriers. (Source: ATA press release).

Air Traffic is Up, But Still Below Pre-Recession Levels
Air traffic was up 2.9% in December 2010 over December 2009 according to the latest figures from the Department of Transportation.

The December 2010 passenger total was 2.1% above that of two years ago in December 2008 but still remained 3.6% below the pre-recession level of 60.8 million in December 2007. The number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines increased 2.4% in 2010 over 2009 to 720.4 million. The number of passengers declined 3% from the full year 2008 to the full year 2010. U.S. airlines carried 2% more domestic passengers and 5.9% more international passengers in the full year 2010 than in 2009.

In December, Southwest Airlines carried more total system and domestic passengers than any other U.S. airline. (Source: Department of Transportation).

Triple Digit Oil Prices Could Crimp Business Travel Growth—But Not Stop It
Short-term oil price spikes might slow business travel growth but shouldn’t stop it, according to a study by the Global Business Travel Foundation. It found that because business travel pays off, companies will continue to invest in it even if rising fuel costs make travel more expensive.

Even if oil hits $200 per barrel, business travel and the number of trips taken would continue—although high oil prices would hurt the rate of projected business travel growth over time. (Source: GBTA press release).

No Tarmac Delays of Longer Than Three Hours In February
No airline passengers sat on the tarmac for more than three hours in February, down from 60 flights in February 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

February was the tenth full month of data since a new rule prohibiting carriers from keeping planes on the tarmac for more than three hours went into effect. Large parts of the country saw severe weather during February, and airlines canceled 4.9 percent of their scheduled domestic flights, compared to 5.4 percent in February 2010 and 3.9 percent in January 2011.

The number of canceled flights with tarmac delays of more than two hours increased only slightly, from 289 between May 2009 and February 2010 to 331 between May 2010 and February 2011. There were 19 canceled flights with tarmac delays of more than two hours in February 2011, down from 21 in February 2010. (Source: DOT).

United Continental Expands Wi-Fi Service to More Than 200 Aircraft
United Continental Holdings, Inc., is adding Wi-Fi service to more than 200 domestic Boeing 737 and 757. It’s using LiveTV’s Ka-band technology, which offers offer higher transmission speeds for more extensive onboard connection capabilities, including browsing content-rich websites, sending and receiving e-mails and downloading files. The airline will start offering the new service next year. Right now, United offers in-flight Wi-Fi on 14 aircraft. (Source: United Continental Holdings press release).