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2015: 290,939
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,212,540


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In-Flight WiFi: So Complicated. Very Satellites. Much Dollars. Wow.

WiFi is becoming common, but doesn't mean it isn't complex - Photo: Jason Rabinowitz

WiFi is becoming common, but doesn’t mean it isn’t complex – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz

A few weeks ago, Gizmodo ran an article claiming to rank and explain every major U.S. carrier’s WiFi system. At Routehappy, a big part of my job is to do exactly that. I need to know exactly what WiFi system is installed on every airline fleet and subfleet in the world, how it performs, what its limitations are, and how it ranks in the overall ecosystem. When I read through this article, I couldn’t help but notice it contained a few errors.

It’s a very complicated ecosystem, but not so complicated that it can’t be figured out. While the article does a great job of explaining how in-flight WiFi works and the technology behind it, I felt it was necessary to clear up which airlines currently offer what systems. Gizmodo’s 1-9 ranking is unchanged.

Below are excerpts from the original Gizmodo article, with my comments added under each.

Continue reading In-Flight WiFi: So Complicated. Very Satellites. Much Dollars. Wow.

United Airlines is Updating Their Gate Experience

Updating the United Gate area means that they can have seating that can be enjoyed by everyone - Photo: United

Updating the gate area means seating that can be enjoyed by everyone – Photo: United

On my recent trip to Chicago with United to experience their new United Club cuisine, we were shown something that the airline had been working on. Something that would have been obvious to so many, but that not so much to others. United has been working on many different ways to improve their boarding experience.

We have all had a bad boarding experience. A delayed flight, people massing at the gates (gate lice), no order at all, bad communication, and confusion. Airlines all board aircraft in different fashions, and each airline has someone (or a team) of people, who are consistently re-evaluating how the boarding process can efficient. Some new methods work well, others are silently stopped and never spoken about again.

But what is sometimes forgotten about in the boarding process is what that gate area looks like, how it is handled, and how passengers actually feel about it. United has decided to take a look at all of these factors and decided on trying a new boarding experience — one where even passengers had some role in the decision-making process.

Continue reading United Airlines is Updating Their Gate Experience

Hawaiian Airlines Revitalizes Their Boeing 717 Fleet

Hawaiian Airlines is streamlining their 717 Cabins. Photo - Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is streamlining their 717 cabins – Photo: Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines is now the second-largest operator of Boeing 717s in the world — with a fleet of 18 (tied with QantasLink — Delta is number one). Even though it is a smaller fleet, the airline operates five different configurations of the aircraft type, which they use to fly inter-island.

To simplify, the airline has decided to standardize each aircraft with 128 new seats and also update some of the design elements of the cabin.

“These new, modern design elements rejuvenate the interiors of our Boeing 717s while allowing us to deliver a consistent onboard experience for our guests,” said Peter Ingram, chief commercial officer for Hawaiian Airlines.

Continue reading Hawaiian Airlines Revitalizes Their Boeing 717 Fleet

How to Upset Someone With a Fear of Flying

Boarding onto a 777 flight - Photo: Alan Light | Flickr CC

Boarding a 777 flight – Photo: Alan Light | Flickr CC

“You’re a travel writer,” people say to me. “But you’re afraid of flying? How does that work?”

It doesn’t. A terrible experience happened to me, where a flight from Lagos, Nigeria, to Accra, Ghana, kept losing altitude for 30 minutes straight. Storm clouds surrounded us, and I couldn’t see anything. The captain didn’t come on the loudspeaker to say there would be turbulence, or sorry for the inconvenience, or that we were totally safe and not crashing to the ground due to a terrible malfunction. People were screaming the entire time. I was about to vomit when finally I saw a village through the thick, white clouds and realized we were safely landing.

I’ve never been the same since. I’ve gotten better, sure — I usually have to fly in order to travel — but I’m not totally cured. Not many people are sympathetic to this fear, however, and it sucks. I find these are good ways to upset someone who has a fear of flying.

Continue reading How to Upset Someone With a Fear of Flying