In Flight Entertainment is one of the few distractions in the air that I love (apart from looking out of the window of a plane… that in itself is in flight entertainment).

IFE is pretty common across carriers – however, in the USA there has been signs of carriers charging for IFE on planes (exContinental LiveTV, JetBlue, Frontier and others come to mind).

Delta is seems are taking a different way, and will instead offer free IFE options on all US domestic and two-class regional jet flights from 1st August.

Delta Boeing 737-700 accelerating for take off - Image GhettoIFE.
Delta Boeing 737-700 accelerating for take off – Image GhettoIFE.

All Delta passengers – regardless of class of service will have options to access free IFE in-flight with a new product called “Delta Studio”, to be delivered via:

  • Traditional Seat Back Entertainment Systems
  • On Demand Entertainment streamed to devices such as Tablets, Mobile phones and Laptops

So lets look at the splits of what entertainment you’ll get free:

  • International travellers will continue to get their free in-flight entertainment
  • US Domestic travellers in BusinessElite, First Class and Economy Comfort will have access to all content.
  • US Domestic travellers in Economy will have access to most content, with premium content for sale

Available on US Domestic services, all passengers will have access to 18 channels of live satellite TV on select aircraft, and up to 250 movies, hundreds of TV shows, songs, games.

Delta will be upgrading their fleet to further offer IFE to passengers without laptops or tablets. Currently 140 Domestic aircraft have seatback IFE systems. this is to be extended to the existing 56 Boeing 757-200, 43 Boeing 737-800s and 57 Airbus A319 aircraft in a refit programme that will continue to 2016. All new deliveries of aircraft  will have IFE fitted as standard.

This is one hell of an interesting move as some airlines abandon IFE systems to just wireless only systems. Clearly Delta wants to keep customers entertained and back for more – giving away something that passengers would end up paying for on other carriers. By giving it to passengers on a seatback screen as well as via WiFi also allows personalise (as well as tracking I would suspect to see your actions)  of what content is popular, and what isn’t (as well as not being judged for your choice of IFE!).

Of course, the beauty of a seatback system or even a wireless system is the ability to beam adverts to a fixed audience. Which is useful when selling this on.

It’ll be interesting to see if they further monetise this down the line, or if it will be free forever

Still for those who travel, and realise their battery is near flat – and wish to be entertained, this is going to be a boon to be entertained in the sky. Because even the sky does turn to black at night… and then there’s nothing to see out of the window…


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The regions are a tough fight for carriers – like British Airways finds when it decided to focus its fleet on taking on Dublin, and dropping Aberdeen in the process from London City Airport, and when the low cost carriers go full speed ahead, concentrating on heavier routes,waving thinner/lower earning routes to suffer.

Well, there’s good news from Flybe who will restore the link between London City Airport and Aberdeen.

FlyBe Dash8 Q400 landing at East Midlands Airport - Image GhettoIFE
FlyBe Dash8 Q400 landing at East Midlands Airport – Image GhettoIFE

FlyBe will replace British Airways CityFlyer (who terminal their services on the 26th October 2014), and commence their service from 27th October 2014.

Timings are such that two flights a day will operate on weekdays, and one flight a day during the weekends (remembering that London City Airport is closed between 12:00 Saturday and 11:59 on Sunday), using Bombardier Dash8 Q400 Next Gen Turboprop aircraft on this route.

Operations look a little like this:

Aberdeen to London City Airport
BE1361 DEPART ABZ 06:30 ARRIVE LCY 08:30 Operates daily excluding Sunday
BE1365 DEPART ABZ 16:00 ARRIVE LCY 18:00 Operates daily excluding Saturday

London City Airport to Aberdeen
BE1362 DEPART LCY 09:00 ARRIVE ABZ 10:50 Operates daily excluding Sunday
BE1366 DEPART LCY 18:30 ARRIVE ABZ 20:20 Operates daily excluding Saturday

Commences 27th October 2014 
Booked Equipment: Bombardier Dash8 Q400 
BE1361/BE1362 operates daily except Sunday
BE1365/BE1366 operates daily except Saturday

Lead-in fares start as low as £38 per leg (and rise upwards quite sharply)

FlyBe Aberdeen to London City Fares
FlyBe Aberdeen to London City Lead-in Fares

Whilst there is no direct competition to London City since British Airways Citiflyer is to abandon the route, FlyBe will face competition with British Airways (mainline) and Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red who both operate into Heathrow.

It’s good to see the link between the two cities preserved, connecting the finance centre of London with the oil and petroleum industry hub that is Aberdeen.


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It’s Monday/Tuesday, and it’s time for a new safety video from United Airlines.

Prepare to go around the world with United, in this mini round the world tour with safety instructions put in their “Safety is Global” video:

The notes in the Youtube video states

We’re onboarding a new safety video. Nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and employees, so we’ve incorporated creative elements to maintain the interest of even our most frequent flyers flight after flight. Underscoring the message that safety is global, the video showcases locations throughout United’s broad route network.

They’ve taken a hint from other airlines, such as Air New Zealand and Delta (who are the two main powers in delivering up-to-date and themed safety videos), and have gone down the line of showing their network, and not just a plane.

There are games to play in this (such as guess the location, how many variants of Rhapsody in Blue, how many times does the Australian flight attendant get bitten…).

But it does the job of gaining attention, holding attention and delivering the core safety information – important when it comes to travelling.


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American Airlines are boosting their services to London Heathrow from their Dallas Fort Worth fortress hub and from Miami for the winter season.

IMG_3861
American Airlines Boeing 777 at London Heathrow – Image, GhettoIFE.

The strengthening of the services adds more connections for passengers connecting to the vast network. Lets have a look at the flights.

Firstly, between Dallas Fort Worth and London Heathrow, services go three times day, operating 21 flights a week between the two cities.

The updated timetable looks like this:

Dallas Fort Worth - London Heathrow T3
AA050 DEPART DFW 18:25 ARRIVE LHR 09:15+1 Boeing 777-300ER
AA078 DEPART DFW 20:40 ARRIVE LHR 11:30+1 Boeing 777-300ER
AA080 DEPART DFW 21:55 ARRIVE LHR 13:05+1 Boeing 767-300ER

London Heathrow T3 to Dallas Fort Worth 
AA051 DEPART LHR 1015 ARRIVE DFW 14:45    Boeing 777-300ER 
AA079 DEPART LHR 1330 ARRIVE DFW 17:55    Boeing 777-300ER
AA081 DEPART LHR 1450 ARRVIE DFW 19:35    Boeing 767-300ER 

All flights operate daily.
Commences: 26th October 2014
Data: Airlineroutes

The flights are loaded along with the equipment, but check the types before booking.

AA LHR-DFW Departtures
London Heathrow to Dallas Fort Worth Flights, as listed on the American Airlines site.

 Dallas Fort Worth Flights to London Heathrow, as listed on the American Airlines site width=
Dallas Fort Worth to London, showing new flights

Dallas Forth Worth gives great connection across the American Airlines network (and pretty much through most of North America), providing multitudes of connections through the megahub to other destinations, whilst the onward connections at Heathrow gives access to the British Airways network, as well as connections on Iberia, Finnair, Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Royal Jordan, Japan Airlines, Qantas and SriLankan Airlines.

 

Services from Miami to London Heathrow will also be growing, operating 17 flights a week, with an extra service (flights AA107/108) operating from Miami on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, returning Friday, Saturday, Sunday, forming the following timetable:

The updated timetable looks like this:

Miami International Airport - London Heathrow T3
AA108 DEPART MIA 18:25 ARRIVE LHR 07:55+1 Boeing 777-200 *
AA056 DEPART MIA 19:10 ARRIVE LHR 08:40+1 Boeing 777-300ER
AA038 DEPART MIA 21:00 ARRIVE LHR 10:30+1 Boeing 777-200

AA057 DEPART LHR 09:45 ARRIVE MIA 14:40   Boeing 777-300ER
AA039 DEPART LHR 11:05 ARRIVE MIA 16:05MIA   Boeing 777-200
AA109 DEPART LHR 12:05 ARRIVE MIA 17:20MIA   Boeing 777-200 *

AA56/AA57, AA38/AA39 Operate Daily 
AA108 Operates Thursday, Friday and Saturday 
AA109 Operates Friday, Saturday and Sunday 

Commences: 30th October 2014
Data: Airlineroutes

The flights are showing in the AA booking engine, with the extra flights available to book:

Miami Flights to London Heathrow, as listed on the American Airlines site
Miami Flights to London Heathrow, as listed on the American Airlines site.

London Heathrow to Miami Flights, as listed on the American Airlines site.
London Heathrow to Miami Flights, as listed on the American Airlines site.

Miami provides excellent connection to the cruise lines that operate nearby, as well as to American Airlines Caribbean and South American network network. It also gives access to LAN Group flights for further connections.

Overall, these are nice additions to have, with connecting passengers being the main beneficiaries of these extra flights.

And extra flights mean extra choice – never a bad thing to see from American Airlines.


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Posted by Kevincm | 5 Comments

It’s Sunday again, so it must be time for some more Airplane art.

This week, taxing in the murk of a cloudy London Heathrow morning, is a Germanwings Airbus A319-100 as it is heading for the departure runway on its way back to Germany (with a British Airways A321 photobombing in the background, taking off).

Germanwings Airbus A319 - Image GhettoIFE 2014

The image is clickable if you want to see a larger version – and yes you can keep them for your desktops!

More airplane art next week!


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It’s Saturday again, so it must be time for another video.

According to Top Gear, that well known motoring show, getting around airports is actually rather slow. Not because of the planes, but the ground vehicles, with everything taking an age.

Thankfully, Top Gear has spent some hard research that is valuable in every respect, they set out of to find in the “Top Gear various airport vehicles motorsport challenge race challenge”.

Alas, they conducted the testing with Touring Car drivers. And this can only end one way. 

So, a way to speed up air travel by speeding up improving the speed of ground services. It’s a nice idea. But when Top Gear logic is applied… not so much…


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International phone roaming is a pain.  Seriously, I cannot think one thing I hate dealing with is the costs of being connected when on the road aboard.

Whilst within the European Union, there are cost controls that force down the price of roaming (in terms of voice, messages and data).

Thankfully, various UK phone companies are picking up the baton to reduce roaming rates. Three UK have been pushing their Feel Like Home product which has zero roaming costs in certain countries.

Vodafone UK for some time has had its EuroTraveller product, which for £3 a day (£2 a day until 31st August), allows you to use your mobile phone allowances without further penalty within most European Countries.

Well, it seems that Vodafone is increasing its roaming coverage with a new product for Pay Monthly customers – Vodafone World Traveller which works on the same lines, allowing you to use your UK allowances in certain countries for a flat fee of £5 a day, based from midnight to midnight based on the time zone of the capital of the country you’re in.

Vodafone Roaming with World Traveller

The list of countries World Traveller supports is different to what Three offers, but covers nine countries (with the capital listed where the daily time zone ticks over):

  • Australia (Canberra)
  • Brazil (Brasília) – available until 31 October 2014
  • Egypt (Cairo)
  • Ghana (Accra)
  • India (New Delhi)
  • New Zealand (Wellington)
  • Qatar (Doha)
  • South Africa (Pretoria)
  • USA (Washington, D.C.)

Considering the call costs in some of these countries can be considerable (£1.35 a minute to make a call, £1 to receive a call, text messages 35p each, Multimedia messages 37p each and data at £3 a MEGABYTE to 5MB, then £15 per extra 5Mb).

Calls/Data transferred outside Vodafone World Traveller countries attract their normal charges

Considering some of the amounts of mail that you could download when getting off a flight, or trying to get information without paying for WiFi, these do represent good value for money for those who need to stay connected with their device abroad.


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The US Federal Aviation Administration has chosen to lift its ban on US based carriers on flying to Tel Aviv.

The lift comes at 23:45 EST will allow operators to re-commence services if they choose to.

In their release, the FAA states:

The FAA has lifted its restrictions on U.S. airline flights into and out of Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport by cancelling a Notice to Airmen it renewed earlier today. The cancellation is effective at approximately 11:45 p.m. EDT.

Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation.

The ban was put in place due to a rocket landing near Ben Gurion airport on 22nd July.

The European safety agency as yet have not changed their advice , with European carriers strongly advised to avoid Tel Aviv.

Carriers are still avoiding the area, with many European carriers choosing not to operate.

Expect continued delays as airlines evaluate if they are happy to return to Tel Aviv – and when they consider it safe to do so.

Posted by Kevincm | One Comment

The US Federal Aviation Administration has updated its guidance over flying into Tel Aviv Airport, with the body forbidding US airlines from serving the airport on the grounds of safety.

The guidance states:

Today the FAA issued another Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) informing U.S. airlines that yesterday’s NOTAM flight remains in effect for Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport for up-to-an-additional-24-hours while the FAA continues to monitor and evaluate the situation.

The agency is working closely with the Government of Israel to review the significant new information they have provided and determine whether potential risks to U.S. civil aviation are mitigated so the agency can resolve concerns as quickly as possible.

The agency instituted the flight prohibition Tuesday, July 22, in response to a rocket strike that landed approximately one mile from the airport.

The NOTAM applies only to U.S. operators, and has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from the airport. The agency’s responsibility is to act with an abundance of caution in protecting those traveling on U.S. airlines.

FAA.gov – http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=16714&cid=TW236 (where the NOTAM is).

The European Aviation Safety Agency is “Strongly recommending” that airlines do not serve Tel Aviv too, stating:

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued a Service Information Bulletin with strong recommendation to avoid Tel Aviv Ben Gourion International Airport until further notice. The recommendation applies to all European airlines.

EASA Service bulletin link: https://www.easa.europa.eu/newsroom-and-events/news/strong-recommendation-avoid-tel-aviv-ben-gourion-international-airport

US Airways, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have suspended their operations to Tel Aviv, with European carriers following including Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Tamron, Germanwings, Turkish Airlines, Korean Air Alitalia, Wizz Air and EasyJet.

Some carriers are continuing to operate services between Tel Aviv and their home bases – notably El Al, British Airways and Aeroflot.

The cancellations and suspension in service are now causing backlogs of passengers who are “stuck” at either end, trying to leave Tel Aviv or trying to enter Israel by air.

If you have got tickets to travel to the area over the next few days, there remains a chance that your flights will remain cancelled for a while – it’s best to check with your airline to see what plans are in place for rebooking or refunds.


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For those of you who are tracking A380 inaugural flights, Asiana Airlines will be commencing their Airbus A380 superjumbo services to Los Angeles by a week.

Asiana Airlines A380 - Image, Airbus
Asiana Airlines Airbus A380 rolling out of the paint shop – Image, Airbus

The service will now commence on 20th August (instead of the 26th August) between Seoul Incheon and Los Angeles International, according to their site.

Asiana Airlines A380 Los Angeles operations

Asiana Airlines publicity page – http://asiana380.flyasiana.com/AW/en/flyingLine/LAX.do

The Asiana Airlines A380 flight between Seoul and Los Angeles will operate as follows:

OZ202 DEPART ICN 14:50 ARRIVE LAX 09:50
OZ201 DEPART LAX 12:20 ARRIVE ICN 17:20+1

Operates Daily 
OZ202/201 has A380 equipment booked from 20th August 2014

This is being reflected in the Asiana Airlines booking system, and both OZ202/201 are showing from the 20th August, as well as OZ204/203 which will be continued to be operated by a Boeing 777.

Asiana Airlines operations to LAX
Asiana operations to from Seoul Incheon to  Los Angeles International,  Booking engine data from 20th August 2014.

The airline will be operating their A380s

  • 12 first class suites
  • 66 business class seats
  • 417 economy ‘Travel Class’ seats
  • Total:  495 passengers

Tickets are on sale, and should provide those with a love of the double-decker plane an opportunity to enjoy it, as well as providing a great option between Korea and the USA.


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  • 12 first class suites
  • 66 business class seats
  • 417 economy ‘Travel Class’ seats,
  • Total:  495 passengers

- See more at: http://ghettoife.boardingarea.com/?s=Asiana+Airlines#sthash.G3hcWlPj.dpuf

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It seems the current conflict between Israel and Palestine is beginning to impact airlines, after a rocket landing near 1 mile away from Ben Gurion Airport.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) stating prohibiting landing at Tel Aviv for 24 hours stating:

“U.S. airlines that they are prohibited from flying to or from Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport for a period of up to 24 hours.  The notice was issued in response to a rocket strike which landed approximately one mile from Ben Gurion International Airport on the morning of July 22, 2014.  The NOTAM applies only to U.S. operators, and has no authority over foreign airlines operating to or from the airport.”

The FAA Press Release with the full NOTAM is at http://www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=16694

All US Airlines have reacted, with US Airways not operating its Philadelphia to Tel Aviv service today, United scrapping its services and Delta diverting one of its services en-route to Tel Aviv to Paris CDG.

Both Delta and United have suspended services for now until further notice.

European carriers are reacting the situation, with airlines making their own plans and actions. Lufthansa Group Airlines (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Swiss) choose not to fly to Tel Aviv for the next 36 hours as well as Air France and KLMBrussels Airlines will not be operating services for the next three days.

Other carriers are monitoring the situation, with EasyJet allowing changes in tickets, whilst British Airways will continue to operate services until advice changes from other sources.

The Israeli Transportation Ministry has asked the airlines to reverse their decision, saying the airport was “safe for landings and departures” according to the BBC.

Expect changes, delays and cancellations, as well as heightened security on these routes.

 

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