Virgin American's RED where you can order food and drink right at your seat.
In an age where almost everyone has an Debit or Credit Card and that airlines are charging for more things on flights than just movies and alcohol, it seems obvious that airlines should be taking credit cards in flight.
Going cashless has many benefits (not having to have cash on the plane, don’t have to ask for change, encourages people to spend more, etc), but some flight attendants are worried what happens if the card reader doesn’t work? And there are concerns that the credit cards will slow down service.
Although airlines that have already implemented the service show there is a learning curve, but once learned, service can actually pick up.
Virgin America probably has the coolest system where you can order items on the entertainment module in the seat back and actually swipe your credit card there.
Current American cashless airlines:
* United Airlines: Since late April
* American Airlines by June 1
* Southwest Airlines
* Sun country Airlines
* Frontier Airlines
* Alaska Airlines
* MidWest Airlines
* Virgin America
There could be more — there doesn’t seem to be a full list of airlines and I tried to search down as many as I could.
Although the additional charges might be bothersome, at least most airlines are making an effort to make paying them easier. Image: NotCot.com
Does Southwest Airlines giving out free drink coupons help them to acheive #1 status?
According to the Customer Service Satisfaction Index, airline passengers feel the airlines are doing a 3.2% better job in customer service compared to the year before.
Although fees are up, the numbers of passengers are down. This means less lines, fewer bumped people, and more room since you might have no one sitting in the center seat.
Southwest Airlines was #1 for customer satisfaction for the 16th year in a row with it’s highest rating ever. The biggest gainers were Delta Airlines, US Airways, and Continental who improved by margins of 6.7% to 9.7%. American Airlines saw the largest decrease (3.2%) and United Airlines ended with the lowest overall score for the year.
It will be interesting to see if the airlines can keep this positive trend going, since hopefully by next year we’ll have a strong economy and fuller planes (and lines). Source: USA Today Image: tsmyther
Southwest Boeing 737 winglet overlooking LA
A 47 year old woman on a Southwest Airline’s flight from Florida to California ran into some trouble texting messaging someone while on her way to her seat.
She states that a flight attendant approached her and “rudely” told her to turn off her phone and buckle up. The woman states she totally complied and turned it off immediately and sat down. She continues saying the flight attendent returned and harassed her 6 more times before leaving the gate, not listening to her showing him that she turned off her phone.
He suposidly came back to her twice more while the plane was on its way to the runway and he decided to throw her off the plane. The flight was then returned to the gate, the woman was arrested, and the flight continued on.
Personally this seems like a bunch of hogwash and someone found a lawyer who likes publicity. First off a flight attendant can’t control what the plane does. The pilot would have to be informed of the situation and make the call to return to the gate. Then police are not going to just arrest this woman if she really did nothing wrong.
Of course Southwest Airlines is not commenting at this time, but I am sure they are looking forward to comment and set the story straight. Source: Tennessean.com Image: Krobie
We can do silly things to get that internet!
On the ground we live in a world of easy communication. Access to the internet is pretty much everywhere, from Wi-Fi, to phones, to city-wide free wireless access. However, the technology has seemed to take a while to find a foot hold in the sky.
It would seem to make sense. People are willing to pay to use the internet at hotspots on the ground (even at the airports) why hasn’t the technology taken off (heh) in the air?
Connexion by Boeing used to be the beacon of hope. Here was a big name (you probably have heard of Boeing if you are reading this blog) that was to provide internet access to passengers on planes. It went online on May 17, 2004 and only lasted until December 31, 2006. Boeing stated, “the market for this service has not materialized as had been expected.”
Prices varied from $9.95 per hour to $29.95 for unlimited access. Even though this might be a little too pricey for some, it would seem cheap enough to provide enough entertainment, communication, and business productivity for those who are dropping at least a few hundred on a ticket.
So, where is the beacon of hope now? One of the brightest beacons is Row 44. It was also created in 2004 around the same time as Connexion, but unlike Boeing it is still around and with a hopeful future.
Row 44 currently has plans to set up trial runs on Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines. Unfortunately there was been a little delay due to competition for FCC approval. However they are on track now for testing to start in early 2009. The beauty for those of us in North America, is we might have a chance to use the system (Connexion was not in N. America).
One way or another, I have faith that sometime in the near future we will have seamless internet connection from the ground into the air. Many people have already made it clear they don’t want to be sitting next to someone for a few hours talking on their cell phone (including myself), but I know I would love to be entertained (and gosh maybe even write an airline blog) at 30,000 feet in the air.