Tag Archives: technology

JetBlue touts more flexible customer service with new technology

JetBlue says customers will soon be treated to a more seamless customer service experience.

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Delta plans biometric-based self-service bag drop

Delta is introducing four self-service bag drop machines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this summer, a $600,000 investment that allows customers to quickly, securely and easily check their own bags. One machine will be equipped to test facial recognition technology to match customers with their passport photos through identification verification, a first for U.S. carriers.

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Updated Fly Delta App Helps Customers Find Their Way, Access Trip Info – Even Offline

Delta on Wednesday released the latest version of its Fly Delta app , giving customers access to the industry’s most innovative airport wayfinding maps, and the ability to keep up with boarding pass and flight details, even when a reliable Wi-Fi or cellular connection isn’t available.

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Coming Innovations That Will Make Flying Economy (Mostly) Better

Mood Lighting

Virgin Atlantic is the pioneer in the fancy lighting space, its clubby LEDs welcoming riders and then calming them to zzz’s. Now Airbus and Boeing are in on the act, with honest-to-jeez scientifically proven light progressions that help passengers adjust to jet lag. The next step: Boeing’s projections concept, which can briefly light up the ceiling with images of your destination, a starry night sky, or (sorry) advertisements. (The manufacturer filed a patent in September.) Icelandair’s Boeing 757 has offered a Northern Lights experience since 2015. You can expect more technicolor fireworks in the future.

Virgin Atlantic is the pioneer in the fancy lighting space, its clubby LEDs welcoming riders and then calming them to zzz’s. Now Airbus and Boeing are in on the act, with honest-to-jeez scientifically proven light progressions that help passengers adjust to jet lag. The next step: Boeing’s projections concept, which can briefly light up the ceiling with images of your destination, a starry night sky, or (sorry) advertisements. (The manufacturer filed a patent in September.) Icelandair’s Boeing 757 has offered a Northern Lights experience since 2015. You can expect more technicolor fireworks in the future.

The Flying Office

You’ve been let down before. But it’s coming this time, we promise: inflight Wi-Fi so acceptable, you can even take calls from your very own phone as you glide closer to the stars. Thanks to larger but still aerodynamic mounted antennae and reliance on Ka-band systems, the internet in the sky could get 10 times faster, raising capabilities to an insane 100 Mbps. (Those speeds won’t happen on most aircraft, though.) Oh, and some terrible news: The Department of Transportation is considering letting people take phone calls midflight. “I’m going to start saving all my billing questions and help desk inquiries for the plane,” one flyer told the WSJ. Help?

You’ve been let down before. But it’s coming this time, we promise: inflight Wi-Fi so acceptable, you can even take calls from your very own phone as you glide closer to the stars. Thanks to larger but still aerodynamic mounted antennae and reliance on Ka-band systems, the internet in the sky could get 10 times faster, raising capabilities to an insane 100 Mbps. (Those speeds won’t happen on most aircraft, though.) Oh, and some terrible news: The Department of Transportation is considering letting people take phone calls midflight. “I’m going to start saving all my billing questions and help desk inquiries for the plane,” one flyer told the WSJ. Help?

In-Flight Virtual Reality

Forget that too-small seatback screen. This fall, the Californian-French startup SkyLights rolled out its in-flight virtual reality experience on the French budget carrier XL Airways. For $16, passengers can rent out a headset and 3D Hollywood films. That middle seat stinks, but pretending you’re actually in a movie theater may make it more bearable. Three other airlines are testing out the headsets, according to an airline industry group. VR games may well follow—just don’t smack the poor soul wedged in next to you.

Forget that too-small seatback screen. This fall, the Californian-French startup SkyLights rolled out its in-flight virtual reality experience on the French budget carrier XL Airways. For $16, passengers can rent out a headset and 3D Hollywood films. That middle seat stinks, but pretending you’re actually in a movie theater may make it more bearable. Three other airlines are testing out the headsets, according to an airline industry group. VR games may well follow—just don’t smack the poor soul wedged in next to you.

Toasty Seats

Ah, the familiar sweater-on, sweater-off dance. One moment, the air conditioners are blasting; another, you’re awakened from your nice nap by the trickle of sweat. Fancy seats to the rescue. Heating and cooling seats—the kind now common in cars—are on their way to private jets, and maybe even business and first class for the proles. Tech and aircraft interior experts like Panasonic, Fraunhofer IBP, and Gentherm already have working concepts, and the latter says to expert to see their seats on commercial flights in three to five years’ time. Please grace our freezing rears, already.

Ah, the familiar sweater-on, sweater-off dance. One moment, the air conditioners are blasting; another, you’re awakened from your nice nap by the trickle of sweat. Fancy seats to the rescue. Heating and cooling seats—the kind now common in cars—are on their way to private jets, and maybe even business and first class for the proles. Tech and aircraft interior experts like Panasonic, Fraunhofer IBP, and Gentherm already have working concepts, and the latter says to expert to see their seats on commercial flights in three to five years’ time. Please grace our freezing rears, already.

Spotless Lavs

Going to the bathroom on a plane may never be pleasant, but those adorable airlines really are trying. Boeing unveiled a self-cleaning lavatory concept last spring, which uses hands-free technology and UV rays to zap 99.9 percent of the bacteria you leave when you’re done with your business. Just three seconds of light, and the lav is clean enough for the next flyer. Airbus, meanwhile, is developing anti-bacterial surfaces for its WCs, and Diehl Autosystems, the aircraft interiors company, is working to separate its toilets from its handwashing stations, à la European. True luxury!

Going to the bathroom on a plane may never be pleasant, but those adorable airlines really are trying. Boeing unveiled a self-cleaning lavatory concept last spring, which uses hands-free technology and UV rays to zap 99.9 percent of the bacteria you leave when you’re done with your business. Just three seconds of light, and the lav is clean enough for the next flyer. Airbus, meanwhile, is developing anti-bacterial surfaces for its WCs, and Diehl Autosystems, the aircraft interiors company, is working to separate its toilets from its handwashing stations, à la European. True luxury!

Premium’s All About You

If you’re going big, go selfish, too. That’s the concept behind a new premium class concept from the aircraft interior specialists at PriestmanGoode. “The concept is all about creating a bespoke environment for the passenger,” the design firm says, which is a little precious—but also intriguing, yeah? Each single, double, or ensuite cabin contains its own particular materials, colors, and finishes, like the hippest of boutique hotels. This lush space is also modular, so an airline can reconfigure its cabins to fit the needs of each flight’s fancy passengers. Futuristic, sure, but the firm says custom greatness is not too far off. “We are already creating tailor made interiors for some of the leading airlines in the world,” says Nigel Goode, the firm’s director. 

 

If you’re going big, go selfish, too. That’s the concept behind a new premium class concept from the aircraft interior specialists at PriestmanGoode. “The concept is all about creating a bespoke environment for the passenger,” the design firm says, which is a little precious—but also intriguing, yeah? Each single, double, or ensuite cabin contains its own particular materials, colors, and finishes, like the hippest of boutique hotels. This lush space is also modular, so an airline can reconfigure its cabins to fit the needs of each flight’s fancy passengers. Futuristic, sure, but the firm says custom greatness is not too far off. “We are already creating tailor made interiors for some of the leading airlines in the world,” says Nigel Goode, the firm’s director. 

Supersonic Returns

It’s been a bleak 15 years for supersonic air travel, after the 2000 Air France Concorde crash and a non-performing business model left ultra-fast airplanes covered in dust. But Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space venture has teamed up with Denver startup Boom Technology to promise a prototype Mach 2.2 airplane in 2017. (That’s twice the speed of most passenger jets and 330 mph faster than the old Concorde, for those playing along at home.) NASA announced last year that it’s working on its own, much quieter supersonic jet. Welcome back, raw power.

It’s been a bleak 15 years for supersonic air travel, after the 2000 Air France Concorde crash and a non-performing business model left ultra-fast airplanes covered in dust. But Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic space venture has teamed up with Denver startup Boom Technology to promise a prototype Mach 2.2 airplane in 2017. (That’s twice the speed of most passenger jets and 330 mph faster than the old Concorde, for those playing along at home.) NASA announced last year that it’s working on its own, much quieter supersonic jet. Welcome back, raw power.

Security Tweaks

The very smart folks at Northeastern University’s Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT) Center have a plan for your next security check, and it involves…walking. Their millimeter wave scanner concept uses the same tech that scans your bod now, but at speeds of up to 300 people an hour, instead of 100. Ideally, you’ll never have to break your stride, much less dig that errant makeup kit from the bottom of your bag. While we’re waiting for this fancy system, though, expect to see more automated security points like the kind the Transportation Security Administration installed in select airports this fall, which push and organize bins themselves.

The very smart folks at Northeastern University’s Awareness and Localization of Explosives-Related Threats (ALERT) Center have a plan for your next security check, and it involves…walking. Their millimeter wave scanner concept uses the same tech that scans your bod now, but at speeds of up to 300 people an hour, instead of 100. Ideally, you’ll never have to break your stride, much less dig that errant makeup kit from the bottom of your bag. While we’re waiting for this fancy system, though, expect to see more automated security points like the kind the Transportation Security Administration installed in select airports this fall, which push and organize bins themselves.

More Options—For Better or Worse

They will show you the world—right after you pony up for that seat that actually reclines. More and more airlines are differentiating their products nowadays, offering not just coach and first class, but premium economy and business, too. Oh, and basic economy, the hot, new thing from United Airlines. In its bid to compete with budget carriers like Spirit and Frontier, United now offers passengers the ability to forego a carry-on, their seat selection privileges, and accruing elite status miles, all in the name of a better deal. Airlines love to copy each other on fee structures, so soon, basic might be the baseline.

They will show you the world—right after you pony up for that seat that actually reclines. More and more airlines are differentiating their products nowadays, offering not just coach and first class, but premium economy and business, too. Oh, and basic economy, the hot, new thing from United Airlines. In its bid to compete with budget carriers like Spirit and Frontier, United now offers passengers the ability to forego a carry-on, their seat selection privileges, and accruing elite status miles, all in the name of a better deal. Airlines love to copy each other on fee structures, so soon, basic might be the baseline.

By Aarian Marshall

Source: Wired

 

Travel expo’s innovations focus on faster check-in experience

SINGAPORE — Electronic bag tags, a bag-check robot and a biometric solution for ticketing and screening were among the innovations on display at the Future Travel Experience Asia Expo held here in late October.

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