Stuck on a 14-hour flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver? Cathay Pacific and Panasonic Avionics announced in July they are teaming up to provide all Cathay and Dragonair aircraft passengers with full, unlimited broadband connectivity.
The service, scheduled to launch in 2012, will be accessible on seatback screens and all passenger devices using Panasonic’s eXConnect broadband service, eXPhone GSM phone service and a Cathay entertainment portal. Executives can do business in the air, as mobile phones, smart phones and BlackBerry devices will be able to make calls and send text messages on board. Still bored? Panasonic’s eXPhone service will also be used for data services and to stream content wirelessly to any iPod, iPhone or iPad.
Thought you could escape social media when you’re up in the air, did you? Travelers on the road have been using FlyerTalk.com, an internet community linking users so they can exchange advice and timely information about frequent flyer benefits, hotel loyalty programs, and other issues related to air travel. The site combines the knowledge of well-seasoned travelers into an online community, and has already grown to include more than 200 forums and 10,000,000 posts. For those with time to kill at an airport, FlyerTalk.com also has an "itineraries" feature where travelers post their upcoming flights to connect with other "flier talkers" who may be heading the same way.
Lufthansa also consulted with FlyerTalk in developing its own iPhone app for members of the airline’s loyalty program. It has a built-in GPS allowing users to find fellow fliers who might be nearby, as well as a taxi-sharing feature that travelers can activate upon landing.
With hotel reservations, early morning meetings and red-eye flights, travel can be stressful enough. That’s why those flying first class or business class on Emirates are treated to complimentary chauffeur-driven cars that escort passengers to and from the airport. The service is available in selected cities in seven destinations: Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Pick-up and drop-off arrangements can be made online when you book your ticket on the web.
How suite it is
Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class Suite, the airline’s business class, provides passengers with a luxury leather armchair that – at the touch of a button – flips over to be converted into a separate bed, complete with a mattress to sleep on. But if you can’t seem to snooze, the suite’s onboard bar offers a place for a night cap. The private bar area is separated from the cabin and is set up for fellow travelers to mingle and mix over a few tipples.