How Airlines Can Prepare for an Expanded Electronics Ban
An expansion of the electronics ban could come with short notice, so passengers and airlines must be prepared for quick changes which would impact the in-flight experience. With European Union and US transport and security officials set to meet in Brussels today regarding the ban, APEX has put together five tips to ready the passenger experience industry for any possible outcome. The suggestions range from guidelines for safely storing personal electronic devices in cargo to how to navigate a potential backlash on social media.
Lufthansa’s Next-Gen Business Class Will Guarantee Direct Aisle Access
Lufthansa’s next generation of business-class seats will feature a new design with direct aisle access for every passenger. The German carrier says the “all-new concept” will debut on its upcoming Boeing 777-9 fleet, which it will begin receiving in 2020. “It will be a single-seat approach so that every seat has a direct approach to the aisle,” Harry Hohmeister, a member of Lufthansa’s executive board, told Australian Business Traveller. Hohmeister didn’t reveal the name of the seat manufacturer, but said the final design would be confirmed by the end of 2018.
[PHOTOS] Cold Comfort: Introducing Icelandair’s Glacier-Themed Boeing 757-200
Icelandair has launched a new glacier-themed livery on one of its Boeing 757-200s as part of its 80th anniversary celebration. The paint job is named after Europe’s largest ice cap, Vatnajökull, and took a combined 2,500 hours to complete. The aircraft’s interior also features some cool touches including a “glacier soundtrack” to “create the right atmosphere,” LED blue lighting and turquoise and ice white headrests. The aircraft’s drinks cart has been transformed into a “mini ice cave,” while napkins, cups, chocolates and even airsickness bags have been designed with a glacial theme.
Laptop Ban for Flights From Europe to US Reportedly “Off the Table”
The Trump administration’s proposed ban on carry-on laptops and tablets on flights from Europe to the US is reportedly “off the table” for now, according to the Associated Press. Officials from the US Department of Homeland Security and the EU met yesterday in Brussels for talks that lasted four hours, and have agreed to meet again next week in Washington DC to further discuss shared security risks and solutions. “The United States and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to continue working closely together on aviation security generally,” said a joint statement issued after the meeting.
Air Canada Rouge Offering Gogo 2Ku In-Flight Wi-Fi
Air Canada’s leisure airline subsidiary, Air Canada rouge, has started offering satellite-based in-flight Wi-Fi on board its Airbus A319s. Installation of Gogo’s 2Ku hardware on all 20 of the airline’s A319s is expected to be completed by the end of this month, with its A321s and Boeing 767s retrofitted by the end of 2018. Air Canada rouge is also updating its A319 fleet’s wireless in-flight entertainment, with the addition of gate-to-gate, on-demand content. “Air Canada was the first Canadian carrier to offer customers in-flight connectivity and today, we are pleased to extend this service on Air Canada rouge,” said Benjamin Smith, Air Canada’s president of Passenger Airlines.
US Travelers Feel Neither Loyal to, Nor Valued by, Airlines, Says Survey
Most US travelers don’t consider themselves loyal to any one airline, according to a survey by Brandigo, a brand strategy and marketing firm. The survey revealed that 59.3 percent of respondents don’t feel loyal to any particular airline and 73.5 percent believe airlines view them as a ticket sale. “Airlines need to be on notice that loyalty toward their brands are at risk and consumers don’t have a positive viewpoint of the industry in general,” said Matt Bowen, president of Brandigo North America. “However, this also represents a huge opportunity to win passengers’ brand loyalty moving forward.”