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British Airways new features to iPhone App keep flyers ‘appy’

by amit.uniyal 13. November 2014 05:18

British Airways customers possessing iPhones are now more ‘appy’(er) than before. The airline has recently introduced new features to its highly popular iPhone app. The customers making use of Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport have already started receiving ‘push notifications’ on their smartphones from the month of October itself.

The newly introduced feature is keeping the customers updated regarding the opening of their gate and the time of boarding. This has made the customers happier and allowing them to enjoy experience at the airport to its fullest.

britishairways

The airline’s iPhone app has now become the first to benefit from the new feature in iOS 8, which is currently the latest version of Apple’s iPhone software. The feature is proving to be beneficial for the customers as they are now able to find their flight status in the iPhone notification centre. This helps them keep updated even without opening the app.

According to the airline, the iPhone customers with the new app would instantly get a personalized welcome pop up message and Wi-Fi password on their smartphones as soon as they enter the Terminal 5 lounge at Heathrow Airport. With the new feature, British Airways has now become the first airline in the UK to use iBeacon technology to show push notifications based on location in its lounges.

The British Airways iPhone app since its launch has been downloaded by more than 4 million times. It is also the highest rated airline app currently available. Apart from iPhone devices, the app is also available on Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Amazon Appstore and Android.

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Tags: british airways, iphone app

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Ethiopian Airlines to begin Dublin-Los Angeles flight next year

by amit.uniyal 12. November 2014 04:50

Ethiopia’s national carrier Ethiopian Airlines has announced its plans to begin flights from Dublin to Addis Ababa and Los Angeles from summer 2015. The government recently signed a deal that will allow it to make a stopover at Dublin to allow passengers to board the flight on the way to Los Angeles from the Ethiopian capital city of Addis Ababa.

Ethiopian Airlines, which is currently the biggest airline in Africa, said that it will operate the Addis Ababa-Dublin-Los Angeles route round the year starting from next summer. The airline also said that it will start selling the tickets for travel on this route soon.

Ethiopian

Media reports said that the announcement of the new service was expected for quite some time now. However, it came to be known in July that the Ethiopian government has finally signed an agreement with the Department of Transport granting right to the airline to start flying into Dublin.

Dublin Airport Authority officials have expressed happiness and welcomed the launch of new service. The officials said that Dublin Airport will now get two new year-round services because of this.

Kevin Toland, Chief Executive of Dublin Airport Authority, in a statement said that Dublin’s position will be further strengthened as a hub for transatlantic flights with the launch of the new route.

Toland said that with Ethiopian Airlines entry into Ireland it will become easier to reconnect Dublin to Los Angeles and thereby also make African destinations greatly accessible as well. He said that the airline currently has largest number of destinations in Africa on its flight network.

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Tags: ethiopian airlines, los angeles

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Luxury from tarmac to road with American’s Cadillac shuttle

by amit.uniyal 11. November 2014 04:41

The air passengers are habitual to hopping on a shuttle bus after deboarding the flight. But, if a Cadillac is waiting on the tarmac to drop them at the departure gate, it is indeed a welcome sight. American Airlines has collaborated with the luxury car company, Cadillac to shuttle the first class passengers from the tarmac to their next departure gate or to the next airplane at Los Angeles International Airport.

Tarmac

This service is exclusively available for ConciergeKey invitation-only members. ConciergeKey is an invite-only frequent flier club. This ConciergeKey program invitation is available to the Executive Platinum members with an annual flight expenditure of 50,000 dollars or more.

Delta Airlines also uses Porsche to shuttle its premium passengers between flights since 2012 while United Airlines uses Mercedes-Benz for the private transfers since 2013.

Suzanne Rubin, president of American’s AAdvantage Loyalty Program sees this as a great opportunity to offer the ultimate luxury experience for the premium customers. The airline will chauffeur the customers from the tarmac in a Cadillac SRX, CTS or Escalade. The luxury transfer program with Cadillac is only accessible at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as of now.

The airline plans to expand the service at John F. Kennedy, Dallas/Fort Worth and La Guardia in New York by year end. This plan is yet to be approved. The American’s AAdvantage members can also earn 7500 additional miles after test driving Cadillac at a local dealer. These miles are equivalent to half of the domestic flight cost for one-way.

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Tags: , american airlines, cadillac

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Airlines that offer little perks for a perfect flight

by amit.uniyal 10. November 2014 04:30

Surprised that the table tray on your seat is broken or the carrier did not offer any amenity kit. Although, many air passenger carriers end up disappointing the passenger, there are a few airlines that are still pleasing the travelers with extra advantages to offer a unique flying experience. Some of them like Turkish Airline offer standard sweets regardless of your position in the plane while others offer exclusive perks for premium passengers like aromatherapy on ANA. Check out the 5 airlines that offer those little goodies and extras for a memorable flying experience.

Perks

Turkish Airlines: Turkish Delights and Candlelit Meals
All the passengers on Intercontinental flights are offered Turkish Delights along with Turkish coffee. The premium class passengers enjoy candlelit meals with electric candles glowing inside little lamps. They cast a soft light on the meals making it a romantic experience.

Emirates: Toys for little ones
Emirates Airlines has a lot to offer for the little ones. "Fly with Me Monsters" collection offered by Emirates includes magnetic sketching toys, seat-belt critters and blanket buddies draped in soft fleece blankets. Children can also opt for any of the four monstrous characters—Camus, Wagga, Tezz and Jimbob.

Singapore Airlines: Learning apps and 3D games
Singapore Airlines offers a range of multiplayer games and 3D video games. A Berlitz Word Traveler language-understanding tool can help the customers improve their language skills. A b-Smart Culture Quest app can help customers explore neighborhood traditions or use Soundview Executive Book Summaries for listening to business journals.

ANA: Aromatherapy cards
Deep breathing and fresh aroma enhances your flight experience. All Nippon Airways (ANA) offers two aromatherapy cards to first class and organization class passengers. They can inhale the fragrance or put the cards in the pocket for a long lasting scent. The "Relax" card helps you sleep better with its lavender blend, whereas the "Refresh" card gets rid of the end of flight fatigue.

Hawaiian Airlines: Island specialties
The Hawaiian indulgence begins as soon as you board the flight. The flights that depart just before 10 am offer free Mai Tais on North America to Hawaii routes. The passengers also get to try Koloa Beach rum punch, guava cookies, passion fruit-orange-guava juice and AlohaMacs chocolate. Hawaiian specialties including coconut cookies, regional popcorn and toffee-coated macadamia nuts are available for purchase.

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Tags: emirates airlines, singapore airlines

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More airlines and routes being added to airports in South Florida

by amit.uniyal 8. November 2014 04:20

These days Fort Lauderdale International Airport and Miami International Airport are quite busy as both of them are adding new routes and airlines. Here’s a brief glimpse on what all is happening at the two airports presently.

Orlando

Ecuador’s airline TAME recently started daily flights between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and its capital city Quito starting from October 17, 2014. The airline is operating flights on the route with the help of a 140-seat Airbus A320 aircraft. This will be the airline’s first ever nonstop flights between Ecuador and Fort Lauderdale.

American Airlines has decided to begin flights from Miami International Airport to four cities in the United States. The airline will be launching new flights to Salt Lake City, Kansas City, San Antonio and Austin from Miami starting from March 5, 2015. The flights on these new routes will be operated utilizing a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines has announced it will be introducing flights to four U.S. cities from Miami in December this year. The airline stated that it will begin flight operations to four cities within the U.S., which includes Chicago, Denver, New York and Philadelphia. It will begin Miami-Philadelphia service from December 20, 2014. The airline also indicated that it will begin twice daily flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The airline will be connecting Denver and Miami with 10 flights every week. The daily flights to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from Miami will be operational from December 21. Frontier Airlines will now become the first domestic low-fare operator to begin flights from Miami since 2012.

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JetBlue Airways offers most comfortable coach seats, says poll

by amit.uniyal 7. November 2014 01:36

A recent poll published its results outlining that JetBlue Airways is the best airline in the United States to offer most comfortable coach seats to its customers. Alaska Airlines also fared well in this regard. However, major legacy carriers were left behind in the race failing to keep pace with the low-cost carrier like JetBlue Airways.

Jetblue Airways

According to the poll conducted by a prominent U.S.-based travel research website, 21 percent of the respondents responded favorably about JetBlue Airways. The poll asked the respondents to vote for the domestic airline which offered most comfortable seats in the economy class.

The poll indicated that that JetBlue Airways with 21 percent votes was ranked as the best carrier to offer most comfortable coach class seats. Among other airlines who made it to the top four included Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Frontier Airlines. The report said that Alaska Airlines emerged second with 17 percent, Hawaiian Airlines was third with 14 percent votes, and Frontier Airlines was placed in the fourth position with 13 percent votes. A travel expert giving his opinion on the poll said that the legroom matters the most and even 1 or 2 inches are enough to make a difference.

JetBlue Airways is renowned for providing more legroom in its economy class to the customers than any other domestic carrier in the United States currently. The airline offers a seat pitch of 33 inches. However, other carriers provide only 31 inches of seat pitch on their Boeing 737 aircrafts. Spirit Airlines offers a seat pitch of only 28 inches.

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Musical playlist to match specific dishes on British Airways now

by amit.uniyal 5. November 2014 03:01

British Airways has come up with a new idea to keep its long-haul customers entertained while taking their in-flight meals. This is nothing but innovation at its best!

UK’s national carrier British Airways will start offering its customers an entirely new flying experience. Come November, and the airline will start providing a curated musical playlist matching specific dishes aimed at keeping the passengers entertained while enjoying their meals onboard their aircrafts. According to the airline, the soundtrack will work wonders and even enhance the flavors of the meals.

British Airlines

British Airways came up with the new idea after considering a study by Oxford University which outlined that the taste perception can be influenced by music. The study further said that music can also make food up to 10 percent more salty or sweet. The study also indicated that during a flight the passenger’s sense of taste diminishes by 30 percent.

Keeping in view the importance of study and its relation to in-flight meals, British Airways hired the services of a leading chef named Mark Tazzioli. He played a crucial role in concocting a meal that could be greatly enjoyed by a passenger onboard the aircraft while listening to music from a special playlist.

According to British Airways, the special menu has been named “SoundBite”. It will be accompanied by 13 tracks on the airline’s “Rock and Pop” audio channel and would be available to the passengers on long-haul flights. The British dishes can be enjoyed while listening to Lily Allen’s “Only We Know”. Similarly, famous song "Scream (Funk My Life Up)” by Scottish singer Paolo Nutini can be enjoyed while savoring the Scottish salmon hors d'oeuvre.

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Qantas Airways introducing new benefits for elite frequent flyers

by amit.uniyal 4. November 2014 02:52

Qantas Airways has indicated that it will be introducing new benefits for its frequent flyer program members belonging to the most elite tier. The airline has acknowledged them for their outstanding loyalty and decided to reward them. The airline’s move is also simultaneously aimed at encouraging those frequent flyer program members possessing lower loyalty card status to consider booking more flights in future in order to be at the top-tier level.

Qantas Airlines

A spokesperson of the airline in a statement said that the spouse or de facto partner of its Platinum One members would be provided a complimentary Platinum membership. Among various other benefits to be provided to Platinum One members include earning double points in Qantas-operated restaurants, free membership in Qantas Golf Club, free phone bookings, and switching to an earlier domestic flight without paying any charges whatsoever.

According to Qantas Airways, the members of the airline’s most elite tier belonging to the invitation-only Chairman’s Lounge include celebrities, politicians and corporate leaders. However, the Platinum One members are currently in fewer numbers when compared to the elite tier members. The Platinum One membership is open to all members of the public who fly frequently, especially in the premium classes.

Lesley Grant, Chief Executive of Qantas Loyalty, said that the airline strongly feels that there is a paramount need to ensure that the frequent flyer program remains quite attractive and people be given more incentives for upgrading to a higher tier. Grant said that the current changes are being implemented after receiving feedback from the Platinum One members.

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Qatar Airways wins Best Middle East Airline award for 2014

by amit.uniyal 3. November 2014 01:55

Qatar Airways was recently presented with the “Best Middle East Airline” at the recently-concluded 2014 Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards conducted at Hong Kong. The airline won the award for the fifth time consecutively. Prominent aviation and travel industry professionals attended the gala award ceremony.

Qatar Airways

The Doha-based 5-star airline is presently operating a total of 38 flights every week to mainland China and Hong Kong, both of which it considered as most valued markets on its network.

The Business Traveller Asia Pacific Awards is presented annually and is currently in its 23rd year. The awards are given in above 50 categories.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive, said that the airline is extremely proud to be once again a recipient of Best Middle East Airline award for the fifth consecutive time. He said that it is a matter of great privilege that the airline has been consistently recognized for its efforts in providing enhanced travel experience and five-star service to its customers.

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways also emerged a winner by bagging the “Best Business Class Airline” award at a recently-held ceremony in London during the presentation of the Business Traveller Awards 2014. The airline won the prestigious title for the second consecutive year. Apart from this, the airline also made it to the finals in various other categories as well. These include ‘Best Cabin Staff’, ‘Best Middle East Airline’, ‘Best Economy Class’, ‘Best Long-haul Airline’, and ‘Best Airline’.

Earlier, the airline was also given the “Best Business Class Airline” by Skytrax during the Farnborough Air Show held in July this year.

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U.S. airlines in a Wi-Fi race to keep passengers connected

by amit.uniyal 31. October 2014 01:51

Business travelers know only one thing. It’s only WORK for them whether on the ground or in the air. For business travelers connectivity matters particularly when they are above 30,000 feet in the sky on their flights. It’s important for them to keep connected and fulfill their official chores of writing emails, answering SMS, doing research or setting up last minute meetings. And, the crucial role of in-flight Wi-Fi here comes into real play!

U.S. Airlines

Gogo, a leading in-flight Wi-Fi service provider on U.S. carriers admits that Wi-Fi is crucial in air, but its uptake is only among 6 percent customers who prefer using the service whenever it is available. This is particularly true with some business travelers, particularly workaholic type, who are loyal users and swear by in-flight Wi-Fi.

Considering the importance of in-flight Wi-Fi, there are many U.S. carriers who have already adopted the service or are in the process of adopting it for the benefit of their customers. Major U.S. carriers such as American Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines are already providing Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi to their respective customers.

Both American Airlines and US Airways, who have now merged to form American Airlines Group, have installed Wi-Fi on 832 out of 984 aircrafts in their fleet. Some 15 of these Wi-Fi enabled aircrafts are presently serving on international routes. Virgin America is the pioneer among domestic carriers in the United States to have equipped its fleet with in-flight Wi-Fi. It was the first and continues to be the only U.S. carrier to offer Wi-Fi connectivity on all its domestic routes. Southwest Airlines has made 80 percent of its fleet Wi-Fi capable. The airline’s Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 series aircrafts in its fleet have been made fully Wi-Fi capable.

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