air travel

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  • Three people choosing something to watch.

    JetBlue's in-flight entertainment system just got a watch party feature

    by 
    Lawrence Bonk
    Lawrence Bonk
    6 hours ago

    JetBlue's in-flight entertainment system just got a watch party feature. The company’s Blueprint system also offers content recommendations.

  • London City Airport

    London City is the first major airport to control air traffic via a digital tower

    by 
    Saqib Shah
    Saqib Shah
    04.30.2021

    London City Airport has become the first major international airport to launch a remote air traffic control system.

  • Airplane Mode

    'Airplane Mode' will let you relive the monotony of economy class this fall

    by 
    Igor Bonifacic
    Igor Bonifacic
    08.24.2020

    Move over Microsoft Flight Simulator, there's a new sim in town that let's you live the highs and lows of a six-hour economy class flight.

  • ALICE SPRINGS, AUSTRALIA - MAY 15: Grounded aeroplanes which include Airbus A380s, Boeing MAX 8s and other smaller aircrafts are seen at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility on May 15, 2020 in Alice Springs, Australia. The number of passenger planes housed at the Asia Pacific Aircraft Storage facility has increased due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with at least four Airbus A380 planes grounded there, the first time the aircraft has landed at Alice Springs. (Photo by Steve Strike/Getty Images)

    COVID-19 killed the era of 'big' flying

    by 
    Daniel Cooper
    Daniel Cooper
    06.25.2020

    The A380 and Dreamliner were large luxury liners built for an era of mass travel. COVID-19 has put an end to that.

  • Bacronym/AMC Games

    AMC Games' first title is the intentionally boring 'Airplane Mode'

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    11.10.2019

    Desert Bus won't be the only big name in town for games that are purposefully, excruciatingly boring. AMC is marking the start of its game publishing division by unveiling Airplane Mode, a game from Bacronym that tasks you with sitting through a nearly six-hour transatlantic flight... in real time. You have to stave off the tedium using the all-too-familiar resources of a cramped coach seat, including the (sometimes flaky) in-air WiFi, outdated shows on the seatback entertainment system and crossword puzzles in the airline's travel magazine. It's not even predictable -- you may have to deal with random delays, turbulence and crying babies.

  • James D Morgan/Qantas

    Qantas completes record 19-hour flight to test limits of air travel

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    10.20.2019

    Qantas just broke a record for air travel, and it may have helped science in the process. The Australian airline has completed the first non-stop commercial flight from New York City to Sydney as part of a project researching the effects of very long flights -- in this case, 19 hours and 16 minutes. The study measured pilots' brain waves, melatonin and overall alertness, while passengers helped gauge the effectiveness of anti-jetlag measures like changes to cabin lighting and meals. Travelers even participated in exercises to keep their bodies limber.

  • Nick Morrish/British Airways

    British Airways is offering VR entertainment on flights

    by 
    Rachel England
    Rachel England
    08.14.2019

    British Airways is set to trial VR entertainment on select first class flights from London Heathrow to New York JFK. From now until the end of the year, customers on these flights will have their own 3D cinema in the sky, and will be able to watch a variety of films, documentaries and travel shows in 2D, 3D or 360° formats.

  • United Airlines

    United Airlines offers easier biometric clearance for frequent flyers

    by 
    Jon Fingas
    Jon Fingas
    07.29.2019

    United Airlines is joining the likes of Delta and British Airways in using biometric security to speed up your airport visits. The airline has forged a deal with Clear that will bring speedy facial recognition and fingerprint scanning to its frequent flyers, helping them skip the usual document checks. Clear will be available in United's hubs at Newark Liberty International and Houston George Bush Intercontinental this summer, and there are "efforts" underway to make Clear lanes available at Chicago O'Hare in the moths ahead. Many passengers will get discounts on Clear as well, although the amount depends on just how devoted you are.

  • Delta is rolling out RFID luggage tags by the end of summer

    by 
    Andrew Dalton
    Andrew Dalton
    04.29.2016

    In an honorable attempt to make air travel slightly less terrible, Delta announced a new program this week that will track of checked baggage via paper RFID tags.

  • Amazon discounts select Kindles in celebration of recent FAA decision

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    11.04.2013

    You just know Amazon's been waiting forever for this cheeky product discount. But heck, if it means not having to buy a $20 Dan Brown book before rushing to catch a flight, we'll take it. In celebration of the FAA easing its personal electronic device restrictions (not to mention Delta and JetBlue), the mega-retailer's offering a nice little discount on a trio of Kindles. Enter "ThnksFAA" during checkout and you'll get a discount on the Kindle Fire HD, HDX seven-inch and the entry-level Kindle e-reader -- sorry, no Paperwhite or Fire HDX 8.9 today, kids. Still, $59 for low-end Kindle seems like a perfectly reasonable way to celebrate the recent FAA decision.

  • American Airlines to hand out Galaxy Note 'tablets' to 17,000 flight attendants (video)

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    09.19.2012

    Things aren't all Champagne and caviar over at American Airlines, not that you'd know it from the company's latest press release. The Dallas-based air carrier just shared a plan to outfit all of its flight attendants with Samsung Galaxy Notes beginning later this year. The rollout will continue through the middle of 2013, at which point each of the airline's 17,000 cabin crew members will have their very own "tablet," which they'll use to manage flight manifests, track premium passenger meal preferences and monitor weather and gate information in real-time, on WiFi-equipped flights. Eventually, the handsets will also include the flight attendant manual, along with additional features, such as processing for in-flight meal and drink purchases (pending FAA approval). Though the Galaxy Note II will likely be available by the time the program begins, the press release references a 5.3-inch display, which would imply the previous-gen handset. Sadly, this Note of excitement comes alongside news that some 11,000 American mechanics and ground workers could get a pink slip come November -- as frequent air travelers ourselves, we're genuinely sorry to hear that, and we don't want any gadget to overshadow the airline's ongoing troubles and the unfortunate fate of hardworking employees. You can catch that angle at the coverage link below, then read all about the Note program just after the break.

  • Apple demos Passbook, a one-stop shop for tickets and boarding passes

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    06.11.2012

    From airline and train boarding passes to concert tickets, we've seen a variety of tix make their way into the digital realm at venues around the world. With today's announcement of Passbook, the hard copy credential may soon be a thing of the past. Speaking on stage at Apple's WWDC keynote, VP of iOS Software Scott Forstall demonstrated the feature with United boarding passes, Fandango movie tickets and a Starbucks gift card. While none of these examples are making their premiere debut, Passbook will certainly make the QR-code-based stubs more user-friendly, while also increasing awareness among folks who continue to opt for paper while doubting the usability and authenticity of a digital counterpart. Passbook is also location aware, bringing up a Starbucks card as you approach a shop, for example. You can also get updates related to your stored credentials, such as a gate change announcement with a pending United boarding pass. The feature will come bundled with iOS 6, set to launch this fall. Check out our full coverage of WWDC 2012 at our event hub!%Gallery-157917%

  • Congress passes bill giving the FAA $11 billion to get off radar, onto GPS

    by 
    Michael Gorman
    Michael Gorman
    02.08.2012

    It took awhile, and the price tag is quite a bit steeper than previously thought (shocking, right?), but the FAA is finally getting the funding it needs to bring the nation's air traffic control system up to date. Congress just passed the bill to make it happen, allotting $11 billion to the FAA to upgrade the nation's 35 busiest airports air traffic controls from radar to GPS. The deadline for the conversion is June 2015, and when complete, it'll allow for more precise positioning of aircraft -- GPS pings for the planes' locations every second, while radar updates their locations every 6 to 12 seconds. With such technology enabled, airplanes will be able to take-off and land more closely together while utilizing steeper descents than is currently possible to conserve fuel. So, now that we've got the new traffic control system to improve airline punctuality, we just need the FAA and the FCC to team up and eliminate the "Terrible 10,000 feet" and flying might actually be fun.

  • Delta offers up 30 minutes of free Gogo on all CES flights

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    01.07.2012

    Heading to join us at CES in Las Vegas? Delta is prepared to hook you up with 30 minutes of free in-flight WiFi on all of its flights to and from LAS beginning today. If you're flying in from the West Coast, that should have you covered for most of the trip. Otherwise, it's at least long enough to download your email or check to see if that farmland below is in Kansas or Nebraska. And if you opt to use social media during your flight, go ahead and throw in the #EngadgetCES as you rave about being able to tweet from the sky.

  • Boeing 787 review: ANA's Dreamliner flies across Japan, we join for the ride

    by 
    Zach Honig
    Zach Honig
    12.16.2011

    The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is not the largest plane in the world. Nor is it the fastest. It doesn't have on-board showers or full-size beds, nor can it lay claim to the greatest range or sleekest entertainment system in the air. But it will change the way we fly for decades to come. Boeing's latest commercial airliner is several feet wider and longer than the 767, the company's smallest wide-body (twin-aisle) jet, yet it's 20 percent more fuel efficient. Given that fuel is the single greatest operating cost for any airline, savings of that magnitude could return the industry to profitability, and perhaps even usher in lower airfares for passengers. But while the 787's efficiency makes it an attractive option for airlines, it also serves up a more comfortable ride for passengers. We recently had a chance to fly on a domestic round trip between Tokyo and Okayama in Japan aboard an All Nippon Airways (ANA) Dreamliner -- one of the first two ever delivered. Quieter engines, dimmable windows, LED lights, huge overhead bins, an in-flight bar and on-demand entertainment enhance comfort, even during shorter flights, while higher humidity, a greater internal pressurization level and a gust alleviation system to reduce the effects of turbulence help improve the experience behind the scenes. Care to take a ride? Jump past the break to join us on board Boeing's brand new Dreamliner. %Gallery-141809%

  • Gogo announces agreement with Air China, will begin live trials in early 2012

    by 
    Chris Barylick
    Chris Barylick
    11.20.2011

    Your somewhat boring flights between cities in China are about to get a little less boring. Wireless in-air entertainment outfit Gogo has announced that the company has reached an agreement to provide a trial of its service on Air China flights. The first live trial on a commercial flight was conducted on November 15 on a Boeing 737 en-route from Beijing to Chengdu and live trials are expected to continue through the first quarter of 2012. Gogo is currently available on in-flight entertainment systems and can be installed on an aircraft overnight. Now if Gogo could provide full service for the 13+ hour flight from New York to Beijing and your laptop or smartphone's battery would last for that duration, you'd be set.

  • Hybrid rocket / seaweed jet ready to fly in 2050, keep emissions above ozone (video)

    by 
    Sean Buckley
    Sean Buckley
    06.20.2011

    What's cooler than jetting from Paris to Tokyo in under three hours? Getting there in a biofuel burning hybrid rocketplane. The recently announced superjet, the Zehst (short for "Zero Emission Hypersonic Transportation"), loopholes around the whole pollution angle by only using its rocket engines in the stratosphere. Below the ozone however, seaweed-biofuel powered jet engines will kick in for some keen, green landings. Don't get too excited though, the EADS won't even have a prototype ready until 2020, and commercial flights aren't expected to follow until the hump of the century. Look on the bright side though, you've still got that airline-approved Galaxy Tab to keep you occupied for the next four decades of long, dark, redeyes. That's almost as cool, right?

  • Portable electronic devices may / may not make your plane fall out of the sky

    by 
    Brian Heater
    Brian Heater
    06.11.2011

    We've all no doubt mocked an in-flight call to shut off all portable electronic devices at some point -- heck, we've all probably had a saucy flight attendant who's done the mocking for us. After all, the idea that our plane might plummet 30,000 feet because we're fiddling with our iPhone seems a bit silly, given all we know about portable electronics. A newly discovered study conducted by the International Air Transport Association, however, calls into question the flippant nature with which most of us dismiss those warnings. Between 2003 and 2009, the study found 75 incidents in which electronic interference may have affected flight controls, navigation systems, or set off engine indications. It's far from definitive proof -- it's more along the lines of anecdotal evidence from crew members, but hey, anything we can do help our plane keep flying is probably a good thing, right?

  • Panasonic gives its in-flight entertainment system an Android makeover, adds 3D displays

    by 
    Dana Wollman
    Dana Wollman
    04.08.2011

    Panasonic has been kicking around the idea of a tricked-out Android-based in-flight entertainment system for awhile, and now it's ready for airlines to start retrofitting their livery. The system, dubbed eX3, runs Android, relieving restless fliers with news, live television, games, and what the company calls on-board social networking, but that's mostly a nod to the Facebook app. Other amenities include broadband internet access and GSM service, touchscreen controllers, capacative screens, proximity sensors, and, in some cases, 3D displays. Not going to front -- we're stoked on the idea of tuning out on-board babies via multi-hour Angry Birds sessions, but we're seriously hoping the airlines ignore one of the system's marquee features: in-flight video conferencing. %Gallery-120630%

  • Spilled coffee in 777 cockpit leads to inadvertent hijack warning, FAA-mandated sippy cups look likely

    by 
    Tim Stevens
    Tim Stevens
    01.05.2011

    If you've ever spilled coffee on a piece of electronics, maybe a keyboard or even a laptop, spare a thought for the pilot of United Airlines flight 940, outbound from Chicago and heading to Frankfurt. Not long after takeoff the pilot apparently dumped a cup of Joe onto the communications panel in the cockpit and things rapidly went downhill from there. The crew inadvertently sent a code 7500, which indicates that the plane is being hijacked and, as you can imagine, that led to a lot of unwanted attention. It's not clear whether the equipment malfunctioned and sent the code or the pilot, likely struggling with a scalded lap, fat-fingered things on the panel. Either way, the flight diverted to Toronto and, rather tragically, the passengers were all sent back to Chicago to try again the next day.