Browsing Tag: Future

One of Allegiant Air's Boeing 757s (N902NV) at Everett, WA.

One of Allegiant Air's Boeing 757s (N902NV) at Everett, WA.

Allegiant Air, based in Las Vegas, is one of those wildcard airlines. One can never really know what they might do next and that keeps things very exciting. At a recent Low-Cost Airlines World Conference, Allegiant President Andrew Levy talked about the future of the airline, which might include international destinations and a loyalty program.

According to Aviation Week, Levy is “very excited” about the posibility of international growth. Allegiant is looking at the possibility of adding flights to Mexico and Canada via Las Vegas and Orlando.

Allegiant hopes to have a fleet of six Boeing 757s to supplement their fleet of MD-80 aircraft by the end of 2012. The airline has already announced the desire to start flights to Hawaii and Levy has noted that the aircraft would have the range to fly from Las Vegas to the northern area of South America. The Boeing 757s could also be used to fly to Mexico and add capacity on domestic routes.

It appears that Allegiant could see a use for more than just six Boeing 757s. ’œIf it’s as good an asset as we think it’s going to be for our network, we’ll certainly be buying a lot more,’ Levy stated at the conference. Levy will not yet estimate a number, noting that Allegiant doesn’t know how successful the six they already have will be.

When asked about the timeline of getting more aircraft and the additional routes, an Allegiant spokesperson stated they are “targeting” Hawaii for 2012, but there are no specific timelines for the international routes.

Levy also announced the airline is looking into a loyalty program, but it will be one not like other airlines. Instead of rewarding customers for the number of flights or miles flown, it would create loyalty for the entire Allegiant brand; online packages, hotels, rental cars, etc. ’œWe don’t need a loyalty program to get people to buy our air,’ Levy stated. ’œIf you’re in Des Moines, Iowa, and you want to go to Vegas, you’re going to buy our air. What we want you to do is buy the hotel, the car and maybe one day buy hotels in places that we don’t even fly.’

Allegiant is breaking the Ultra-Low Cost carrier mold of only having one aircraft type and looking to fly some longer international routes. I can’t wait to see what this little airline from Nevada might be able to

Always a lot of American Airlines' aircraft at Dallas/Forth Worth

Always a lot of American Airlines' aircraft at Dallas/Forth Worth

I have flown a lot in my life, but I have never had a bag lost. I know I have been lucky. Talking to those who have been through it, I am glad I haven’t had to go through that.

Airlines have gotten better at not losing bags, but it still happens. American Airlines is testing out some pretty cool new technology to help bags get to their destinations and faster.

Each baggage vehicle has a computer screen which can tell workers flight status, gate changes and connections all in real-time. Workers also have hand-held computers to keep an eye on bags while away from the vehicle. At most airports, this is all done with paper, pencil and maybe a radio.

Right now, the technology is only being used at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Hopefully it will be rolled out to other airports and adopted by other airlines if successful. Let’s also hope this new technology can stop bags from having unknown fluids spilled on them!

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Source: NBCDFW Image: coneinc

Electronic boarding passes are probably the future of airline travel.

Electronic boarding passes are probably the future of airline travel. Image from Alaska Airlines.

The future is nearing. A little over a year ago I talked about electronic boarding passes becoming a reality.  Today, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are launching both a mobile-friendly website and electronic boarding passes for passengers flying from Anchorage, Boise, Denver, Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle and Spokane.  There are already 30 airports and six airlines testing out this technology: Continental, Delta, Alaska, Horizon and American. Surprisingly, Alaska and Horizon are the first non-legacy airlines to test out the new technology.

Travellers are able to check in using their mobile phone up to 24 hours in advance of their flight. They are given an encrypted barcode along with the passenger and flight information. While going through security, TSA will be able to scan the electronic ticket, check id and the passenger is good to go.

“Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air’s electronic boarding pass and optimized mobile Web site meet the needs of today’s high-tech traveler, ” said Steve Jarvis, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing, sales and customer experience. “Starting today, our customers can expedite the airport check-in process even more and get from curbside to planeside in record time.”

In the next few months, the service will be spread to other Alaska and Horizon cities. In the future, they told me we, “will see more mobile device enhancements to make travel more convenient.”

Is this the future of airline travel? I really think so. No more having to double check to make sure you have your boarding passes. No more having to track down a departure screen to see what your flight status is. The biggest problem will be remember to charge your phone before leaving. Nothing would be more frustrating than waiting in security for 30 minutes, have your phone die, having to go wait in line to get your boarding pass, then get through security again.

Personally, I haven’t been able to test out this new technology. Have any of you been able to? What are your thoughts?

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