Yesterday morning we let you know that we'd be spending some quality time with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, the current talk of the aviation world. While All Nippon Airways in Japan took delivery of its Dreamliner last year, we've been waiting to find out which US-based carrier would be the first to have its livery emblazoned across the fuselage of Boeing's current flagship aircraft. As it turns out, that carrier is United Airlines.
I must confess that I sometimes neglect to power down my iPad, iPhone, and other electronics during takeoff and landing. People near me also don't switch off their iPods either, and yet, despite flight attendants' instructions to turn off our electronics, the plane arrived at its destination safely.
Chances are, we weren't the only ones who broke the familiar rule. So just why does the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) still require people to turn off their gadgets?
A Sunday report from the New York Times claims that even the FAA hasn't found proof that the use of electronics pose a threat during takeoff and landing. But FAA spokesperson Les Dorr told the Times that it would prefer to be overly cautious when it comes to the policy.
In 2006, the FAA commissioned the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics to test the effects of cell phones and other portable electronics on flights.
It concluded that there was "insufficient information to support changing the policies," Dorr said. "There was no evidence saying these devices can't interfere with a plane, and there was no evidence saying that they can."
Passengers on American Airlines flights are about to get a new perk. Instead of craning their necks to catch reruns of "Monk" and excerpts from "The Tonight Show" on tiny aisle TV sets, they'll be able to wirelessly stream content to their personal devices from the comfort of their own seats.
American announced Tuesday that it will begin testing an inflight streaming service, created through a partnership with Aircell, that gives customers choices of movies and TV shows that they can stream to Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the air.
"American was the first North American airline to launch inflight Wi-Fi, and today we again set a new industry standard as the first domestic airline to test inflight streaming video content," American's vice president of marketing, Rob Friedman, said in a statement. "We know our customers want to be connected on the ground and in the sky, so we are working hard to stay on the leading edge of connectivity through technology enhancements like this."
There’s good news for travelers. The Transportation Security Administration will soon allow those with laptops to leave them inside their “checkpoint friendly” cases. In order to qualify, the cover must have a designated laptop-only section that would lie flat when it rolls through the X-ray machine. It cannot have metal zippers, snaps, buckles, or inner pockets. The new rule will take effect Aug. 16. Already approved are bags from Mobile Edge, Tagus, and the Skooba Design Checkthrough that will become available in the next few weeks.
Read More | ABC News
Ever get ticked off at the airport because of a delayed or canceled flight and have to crash there (no pun intended)? There is hope for travelers with the Pod Hotel. $89.00 buys you 7 x 12 feet of sleep space with climate control, an iPod docking station, wireless internet, and LCD TV with no remote. The down side is that you have to share bathrooms, you cannot smoke in them, and there is not much moving around space. Originating in Japan as far back as 1979, they are now available in London and Amsterdam, having been built early this year, as well as one in New York City that was built last year. There are now plans for expansion which sounds to us like a great idea for a budding entrepreneur.
Read More | the Pod Hotel
Airlines are getting nastier these days when it comes to baggage weight. The Digital Luggage Scale lets you know how heavy your suitcase is up to 100 lbs. Simply clip it to your bag, lift it up, and after it beeps, set it back down and read the results. At a size 6 x 3½ x 1-inch and a weight of 8 oz., it uses 2 AA batteries (not included,) and has a price of $24.85. We are thinking that by the time you get to the airport, you will already know if the case is too heavy, but it might come in handy after purchasing all those tourist Tees. And remember to deduct its half pound weight, too.
Read More | Magellan's
Air France-KLM has decided to try out cell phone service on some of their flights. Calls and messages are routed through a cellular base station located in the plane, then transmitted by satellite to on-ground telephone networks. The system was designed by OnAir, a company co-owned by Airplane builder Airbus. There is an illuminated sign when passengers can use them, which is above 10,000 feet. We wonder if they will also come up with a way to keep those annoying callers’ voices down to a minimum.
Read More | MSNBC
As if iPods weren’t ubiquitous enough (and we mean that in a good way), by mid-year select airlines will have iPod seat connections that will keep your little buddy powered and charged during the flight. Even better, using the dock connector port, you will be able to display the video content from the iPod on seat-back screens. It’s all about synergy, as many airlines are currently improving and increasing their in-flight entertainment options. Apple is currently working with Delta, US Airlines, United, Continental, and others, with even more airlines on the horizon.