The FAA told Bilton it will take a “fresh look” at whether some devices can be used safely and how a policy could be framed. Smartphones aren’t included in the review.
The current personal electronics rule dating back to 2006 (described in this FAA circular) canceled one that banned use of personal electronics and shifted responsibility completely to the operators.
It allows airlines to offer fliers the use of certain devices but only if the airline can prove each allowed device won’t interfere with the plane’s performance. As Bilton and the FAA point out, that hasn’t happened.
Why haven’t the airlines stepped up? To challenge the policy, each one has to test each device on each kind of plane it operates. (...)
It’s pop-up galore these days, but this one caught our eye: From Apr. 4–17, British Airways will host FlightBA2012 in Shoreditch. The event is a culmination of last year’s airline-sponsored search to find three “Great Britons,” rising stars from different creative fields. Their mentors? Celeb chef Heston Blumenthal, YBA Tracey Emin, and actor/writer/director Richard E. Grant.
USA Today Travel | Boeing has inspected five 787 Dreamliners for a flaw in the fuselage that the company recently discovered, the new head of the 787 program said Monday. Reuters reported that the company remains on schedule to build 10 planes per month by the end of next year.
The company is inspecting the first 55 787s built before it discovered the problem and will make any necessary repairs, Larry Loftis said before a groundbreaking ceremony for a new delivery center, according to Reuters.
The 787 is a more fuel-efficient plane. So far airlines have ordered about 870 of them, Reuters reported. But the plane is about three years behind its original schedule.
BBC News | Spain's fourth-largest airline Spanair has collapsed, leaving more than 20,000 passengers stranded across Europe and Africa.
The Barcelona-based firm stopped operating on Friday and more than 200 flights were abruptly cancelled.
The Spanish government is taking legal action and said Spanair could be fined 9m euros (£7.6m; $11.9m) over the collapse.
In 2010, Spanair reported an operating loss of 115m euros.
It’s no secret that I’m an avid Bollywood aficionado—one of my goals in life is to lead the T+L staff in an Indian-inspired flash mob someday. But it looks like FinnAir’s ingenious flight attendants beat me to the punch: in honor of India’s Republic Day today, the entire crew of a Helsinki—New Delhi flight surprised delighted passengers with a choreographed routine set to the 2007 hit “Om Shanti Om.” Not a bad way to spice up a long trip!
Now that’s my kind of in-flight entertainment.
Sarah Khan is a copy editor at Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter @BySarahKhan.
Staying on top of your many mileage, hotel, and rental-car programs is one of the biggest headaches for frequent travelers. Ditto figuring out whether or not you’ve accumulated enough points to book a first-class ticket for your next big getaway. But luckily, online mileage trackers have stepped in to help, letting travelers input their various member ID’s and passwords to conveniently consolidate all of their programs in one place. Besides displaying your latest balances, these services also notify you of all upcoming expiration dates, which is essential for keeping (and amassing more!) points.
Each site has its own edge: MileBlaster is particularly good at tracking your miles and alerting you whenever your points are about to expire, while AwardWallet smartly provides users with a convenient wallet-size card listing all of their loyalty numbers. We like TripIt’s iPhone- and iPad-optimized apps, which let you quickly access your details on the fly.
New air travel rules go into effect this week. T+L Features Director Nilou Motamed outlines what you need to know.
USA Today | Travelers are treating in-flight Wi-Fi like a bag of peanuts: They'll take it, if it's free.
Airlines are spending millions of dollars to equip planes with Wi-Fi capability. But only a small percentage of travelers have used the service since it was introduced in 2008, numbers from providers and analysts indicate.
"It is certainly something everyone recognizes as a value, both to the airlines and the passengers," says Michael Planey, an industry analyst at H&M Planey Consultants. "The question is at what point do airlines or service providers make money or stem losses?"
Airlines and in-flight Wi-Fi providers won't disclose how much the service is used.
CNN | Never mind that you're probably still recovering from holiday travel and may have no interest in heading to another airport. Faced with a traditional post-holiday lull in travel, several airlines are hoping their New Year's sales will lure travelers back into the air at a discount.
"These deals have a lot to do with people not traveling after the holidays," says Anne Banas, executive editor of Smarter Travel. "They just spent a lot of money, they're tired and they're not thinking about going anywhere. So it's a very quiet time."
The best deals are on JetBlue, says Banas, noting that some of the airline's sale flights are to peak-season destinations in the Caribbean and Florida. The best fares are for midweek flights, so you'll need some flexibility.
JetBlue launched its "Holiday Recovery Sale" on Tuesday morning….
Looking for another reason to travel in the new year? T+L's Digital Projects Editor Sarah Spagnolo discusses tips and tricks for earning loyalty points (and perks!) at your local airport.