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Showing posts from 2009

Internet Airline News #15

New airline rules address tarmac delays, retroactive contract changes, disclosuresOur friends at the Transportation Department have unleashed a blizzard of airline rule changes on us this morning. They’re being characterized as an early Christmas present for air travelers — particularly those with lengthy tarmac delays. And the government is not done yet. But read the actual rule, and the DOT’s nuanced discussion of its final rulemaking (PDF), and a different picture emerges.DOT Mandates Passenger Bill of Rights and I’m Not HappyYesterday, the DOT decided to issue a final ruling that will effectively require airlines to have a passenger bill of rights. This includes a 3 hour limit on the amount of time you spend on the ground on a domestic flight. While I’m sure that Kate Hanni and friends are thrilled, I am not.Seattle startup gets 14 airlines to sign on to biofuel agreementMoving to cut dependence on petroleum for jet fuel, 14 airlines, including Alaska, have signed an agreement for…

Internet Airline News #14

Think a Lot of People are Using Wifi In the Air? Think AgainIn the past, airborne wireless usage numbers have been tough to come by. Wifi provider Row 44 has been more forthcoming than AirCell, but Row 44 has such a small footprint right now that it’s not necessarily indicative of broader numbers. Virgin America has said it’s seeing good usage, but you would expect that on an airline that targets the Silicon Valley crowd. Now, we’re getting some numbers from AirCell that indicate what most have thought - usage isn’t good.The problem with free in-flight internetFor a while now I’ve been a rather strong proponent of the theory that paid in-flight internet isn’t going to attract enough business to survive, at least not with the current pricing scheme.  I just don’t think that there are enough people out there willing to pay $8 or more per flight for the access that is available. [Ed. – Theoretically Alaska Air WiFi should not have this problem]United Airlines offers a free "try befo…

Internet Airline News #12

ROW 13: Why some airlines have it and others do notOf course this makes sense. There are a lot of passengers who fear flying and the number "13″ doesn't have the most positive thoughts attached to it. This explains why airlines have their entire fleets with or without a 13th row, but I wondered, why did Alaska Airlines have a 13th row in all planes except their Boeing 737-800's?Geoff Pettis, Manager of Interior Engineering with Alaska Airlines, cleared up my confusion…British Airways and Iberia Agree to MergeBritish Airways and Iberia have reached an agreement on a merger plan for the two carriers. If the merger occurs, the combined carrier would serve 205 destinations with 419 aircraft.American's Firing of Mr X Becoming a Social Media Black EyeThanks to the Mr. X incident, American Airlines is about to get a dose of what United recently experienced when it broke guitars - a wave of negative social media coverage. Not sure who Mr. X is? Read on, and see why I think th…

Internet Airline News #11

Vengeance? Karma? Bad luck? United loses the luggage of the “United Breaks Guitars” guyAfter famously breaking his guitar, United Airlines has managed to cause further trouble for David Carroll by losing his luggage — just as the Canadian singer-songwriter was en route to deliver a speech about customer service.Ontario Airport's High Costs Showcase Missed OpportunityJust last week I wrote about the anger increasingly being directed toward LA World Airports by Ontario Airport stakeholders. Now, it appears that Ontario is getting more serious as the city looks at potential alternatives for the airport, something that might involve taking management away from LAWA. Looking at some numbers, it seems incredibly clear that they should very seriously consider doing just that. Their costs could and should be dramatically lowered.If You Want to Try Wifi Onboard, You’ll Have Plenty of Free ChancesIt’s no surprise that when you make something completely free, people use it a lot more often t…

Internet Airline News #10

An Onboard Wifi UpdateI’m at the National Business Travel Association (NBTA) conference this week, and I spent awhile chatting with the folks at AirCell (provider of wifi fun) yesterday. That made me think it was a good time for a wifi update, especially since there has been so much news lately.The Safest Airlines to Fly OnThere's no accounting for terrible fate and random events, but The Daily Beast wants you to see how major and regional airlines rank in accidents and incidents. It's worth a peek before booking your next flight.Continental’s Overnight Excursion in Rochester, MinnesotaI haven’t commented on the ridiculousness that is Continental #2816 yet, and I’ve received plenty of emails asking me why that hasn’t happened. You know the flight; that’s the one where the passengers got stuck on their little regional jet all night long after diverting from Minneapolis/St Paul to Rochester, Minnesota because of bad weather. I decided to wait to write a post until I could get fu…

Internet Airline News #9

What will Denver look like in two years?Frontier's going to get out of bankruptcy protection pronto. They're making operational profits that are based on lower expenses and they've got a corporate parent with some resources, but not a huge war chest to wage a long-term fare battle.LAX Rent Increase Ruled Not Discriminatory, But Fight ContinuesThere was interesting ruling out of the appeals courts last week. LAX’s efforts to jack up rent for some airlines and not others was ruled to be not discriminatory. But that doesn’t mean this fight is over.Airlines Update Their Social Media EffortsAnyone who’s a regular reader of this blog knows about my interest in all things social media.  And I’ve been following how airlines are using it to communication and expand their brands.  Today’s Aviation Daily includes my story (subscribers only) on the efforts of Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines when it comes to social media.How Budget Airlines Undercut the M…

Internet Airline News #8

Row 44 wins permanent FCC authority (let the games begin)I gotta jump out of my jolly holiday to tell you this - Row 44 has won permanent authority from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to offer its Ku-band-based connectivity service to airlines.Does Your Seatmate Need “Internetiquette”?In case you’re wondering, “Internetiquette” is a new etiquette guide from AirTran - part of an ad campaign to publicize an AirTran milestone: all its jets now offer wireless internet service. [Might be worth checking into for Row44 –Ed]Upgrd 29: Alaska...MysteryThe Alaska Airlines Board Room lounge, Status and earning levels on AS, Upgrades and their first class product. [ Alaska topic starts 16 minutes in –Ed]Tweeting AirportsI think the airlines that have been tweeting successfully have received plenty of coverage of late, so I wanted to look into some of the airports that have been doing so. I really haven’t seen much coverage in that area, except for this excellent post on Fish’s blog.Th…

Internet Airline News #7

Woo Boy, it’s been awhile since I published #6. Still working through my backlog. The amount of interesting things I’m doing at work is not helping out much either. Here without further ado..Your Take: Customer Experience Planning & DevelopmentIf you’re one of our frequent customers you probably spend a lot of time in one of our airports on your way to your next meeting. And while you were there, have you found yourself thinking “Why can’t I…” or “I wish I could (fill in the blank)”. [Read the comments for some interesting ideas from Delta customers…-Ed]Volaris Lands in Los Angeles, First Destination North of the BorderVolaris is now flying a single daily trip from LAX to Toluca (outside Mexico City) and another one to Guadalajara. They’ll be starting flights to those cities from Oakland as well, and at the press conference yesterday, Volaris Managing Director and CEO Enrique Beltranena (bottom left in the picture, though I’ll certainly understand if you’re distracted by those fli…

Internet Airline News #6

JetBlue Uses New Media To Its Advantage, Other Airlines Should Take NoteMore and more airlines are starting to involve themselves with new media, but I’m not convinced that many of them know what they’re doing. I don’t need a bunch of tweets about a new fare sale to Zimbabwe, but I do need fast answers to questions and good access to the people who have those answers.Dueling VideosSome airlines host their own channels on YouTube, which I occasionally raid for all your blog-entertainment needs. But it struck me that the American Airlines video (from March, and yes American posts less frequently) on its "Road Warrior" competition and a Southwest vid promoting new coffee definitely projected their separate corporate identities, or at least how their ad agencies want to present them.US Airways Now Scanning Bags at Planeside, Improving Bag TrackingI had the chance to sit down with US Airways’ Managing Director of Customer Strategy Tim Lindeman and Director of Customer Strategy, M…

Internet Airline News #5

Through year-end, luggage on Alaska Airlines will likely be on timeAlaska Airlines is taking a page from the Domino’s Pizza playbook and offering a delivery guarantee. But it’s not for pizza, it’s for checked bags.Dare to dream: American and Delta want to charge money for access to their schedule infoAmerican Airlines’ CEO Gerard Arpey dared to dream. He slipped a comment into their recent earnings call which seemed rather off the wall, until Delta CEO Richard Anderson effectively repeated the idea. The proposal? Instead of paying commissions to agencies and websites that sell their fares, airlines would charge those agencies a fee for the right to display and sell their fares. Which Airlines Are Potentially Exposed the Most to Mexico Risk?Gary Chase, airline analyst with Barclays, issued a note this morning in which he listed the exposure of different airlines to the potential short-term risk of passengers curtailing travel to Mexico.United Responds: Two Airfare Increase Attempts Rol…

Internet Airline News Links #4

Expedia and Travelocity Drop Booking Fees (Temporarily)There’s good news out there for those of you who like to book your travel using online travel agents. Expedia and Travelocity have both followed in Priceline’s footsteps and dropped all booking fees for flights. There don’t appear to be any catches, but this is a temporary move. Flights must be booked by May 31.Upgrade & Standby List on delta.com When I came across this thread on FlyerTalk entitled,”When is Delta going to add the upgrade list to their online system?”, the functionality to view the upgrade standby list on delta.com was already moving into our pre-production environment for final testing.FLTAdvisor Tells You If Your Flight is Really On TimeFLTAdvisor’s goal is to find out if a flight is really going to be on time, despite what the airline says. The idea is great, but can they pull it off? So far, so good, but keep in mind that you will have to pay for it. (More that later.)Your Airline Wants to Get to Know YouAn…

Internet Airline News Links #3

Southwest Air Considering Food Sales to Boost Revenue
March 12 (Bloomberg) -- Southwest Airlines Co., the discount carrier that made free peanuts a symbol of no-frills flying, may start selling food to boost revenue as travel demand dwindles. JetBlue, Southwest Among Top Twitterers
Brand-management company Electric Artists came up with a Twitter tracker that ranks accounts by followers--that is, how many users have clicked on a specific account to follow its Tweets. Here's their blog. JetBlue's ranks in third place, with 161,000+, and Southwest is in seventh with 15,600+.  For context note that the top brand is Whole Foods, with 218,000.  A separate Media tracker has CNN breaking news (one that I follow) on top with around 464,000 followers. (My new Things With Wings account has 68. So, less).8550d

Airline Twitter List
My colleague and digital ace Benet Wilson tweeted earlier today this list at itravelnet.com of airlines with Twitter accounts, put together last summer. Kudos …

Internet Airline News Links #2

WiFi Is Working on Alaska Airlines But How Much Would You Pay?
http://www.jaunted.com/story/2009/3/6/101642/5132/travel/WiFi+Is+Working+on+Alaska+Airlines+But+How+Much+Would+You+Pay%3F+
While we have no idea what the heck is up with Air Canada's WiFi, we do know that Alaska Airline's internet service is real and it is mostly spectacular. Harriet Baskas, who writes Stuck at the Airport tipped us off to her in-flight WiFi experience yesterday as she rode Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Orange County and back. Conficker targeting of Southwest Airlines a red herring
http://vista.blorge.com/2009/03/06/conficker-targeting-of-southwest-airlines-a-red-herring/
The Conficker virus threatened to overload Southwest Airline’s website next Friday according to security experts. The reports appear on the surface to answer the long-running question of what damage the virus will actually do, but that may not be the case. TripAdvisor Creates Metasearch Site That Includes Fees in Comparison
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The Need for an Enterprise Social Platform

IntroductionI’ve had a twitter account for more than a year now. In that short amount of time, I’ve had conversations with people who are working on some pretty cool things. These usually trigger some wildideas. If I need to know more about something, there is usually a person to follow who keeps me updated. Below is a picture of my social computing universe, or at least that is what I’m calling it.SiteTypeWhat It’s Used ForHow I Use Ittwitter
micro-blogTo communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?Let people know what I’m up to, as well as find out what other people are up to, or what interesting things they have foundfacebooksocial networking serviceHelps you connect and share with the people in your life.To stay in touch with family, friendslinkedinsocial networking serviceSerious professional business networkTo research job candidates, communicate with outside people in a business contextbloggerblog publ…

Internet Airline News Links #1

I’ve been posting these internally, but no reason not to just post them here.Alaska Files an 8-K; Tests Wi-Fi; Joins Twitter
http://boardingarea.com/blogs/thingsinthesky/2009/02/27/alaska-fileses-an-8-k-tests-wi-fi-joins-twitter/
On Wednesday, Alaska filed an 8-K, and I was just going to post about that, but some other interesting news came from Alaska this week so I figured I might as well lump everything together. :D Ryanair Hints at Charging for Toilets
http://industry.bnet.com/travel/1000969/ryanair-hints-at-charging-for-toilets/
It’s not clear whether he was serious. O’Leary’s fond of making outrageous statements designed to drum up publicity and reinforce the airline’s image as a bargain-basement transport option, a strategy that’s worked in the past. And later on Friday, Ryanair issued a statement saying “Michael makes a lot of this stuff up as he goes along and while this has been discussed internally there are no immediate plans to introduce it.” [Hmm...reminds me of this h…