Browsing Tag: Opinion

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.

Familiar to anyone?  Perhaps we could change this scene?

Familiar to anyone? Perhaps we could change this scene?

On a recent flight, I was getting myself situated in my seat, while boarding continued around me. I had boarded in Group 1 (thank you Star Gold) and was waiting for the other people in my row to join me.  It was about halfway through the boarding process of the fully sold-out flight that I saw something that shocked me. A passenger was carrying a giant hiking pack through the aisle, heading for their seat. I was blown away that this giant backpack somehow made it past the gate agents and on-board the aircraft. Surely this person was not seriously thinking that a giant backpack like that would pass as “carry on.”  But sadly, it had.

We are on our way. Even though I did not have a window seat, I could see outside quite well. A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400 at Narita can be seen.

Delta Boeing 747-400 tail seen from a Dreamliner – Photo: David Parker Brown

THE DETAILS

This week, Delta Air Lines announced a major change to their Skymiles frequent flier program, while many in the industry speculated was coming. The changes to the Skymiles program will see an end to their current (and, some would say, traditional) points earning process, to now be a revenue-based model.

Similar to airlines like Jetblue, Southwest, or Virgin America, it no longer comes down to how far you fly, but rather how much you spend.

As of January 2015, Delta will move from a “1 mile flown = 1 point earned” model, to a new revenue-based system where for every dollar you spend on your airfare you will receive 5 points (though they are still using the term “mile” for some reason). As with the current program, the higher your elite status, the more miles you get as a reward. By using a co-branded Delta credit card, you can earn yourself a few extra points as well.

But we wanted to share our opinions from both the perspective of a miles and points junkie (Mal) and someone who doesn’t really care about miles (David).

How many photos of a Ethiopian 787s did you see on the story about a 767? Photo: Bernie Leighton

How many Ethiopian 787 photos did you see on the story about a 767? Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

The way people across the globe are able to get their breaking news is changing. I found it very interesting how the Ethiopian flight 702 story was broken and covered.

Personally, I had just wrapped up a great Aviation Geek Fest 2014 and was tired. I decided to head to a bar with Jason Rabinowitz and Ben Granucci (other AvGeeks and some who write for sites like Airchive.com and NYCAviation.com) to have a beer and write some emails. Then I got word from one of our writers, Bernie Leighton, that he thought an airliner had just been hijacked. Jason confirmed he was hearing some rumors as well. It was game time – I switched gears and tried to start confirming what we were seeing.

As Jason and Ben went running to their cars to grab their electronic devices, I started to coordinate with Bernie and our Associate Editor, Blaine Nickeson, via Google chat about who was going to do what with this story.

Why can't we make this JetBlue Airbus A320 a bit wider? Photo: David Parker Brown.

Why can’t we make this JetBlue Airbus A320 a bit wider? Photo: David Parker Brown | AirlineReporter.com

I recently saw a comment on an older AirlineReporter.com post; it referenced a bad experience with a seat being too small.  The person posed the following: “If planes were just one foot wider, seats could be as wide as first class.  Would that kill Boeing or Airbus?”

I have seen this question come up quite a bit.  Sure, for some of you, the answer to this might be pretty obvious.  However, I don’t think that the majority of passengers really understand why this seemingly-simple change of adding more room to a plane is not simple at all.  And in the end, it is not what passengers really want anyhow.