A Guide To In-Flight Wi-Fi And Power Outlets

BrentDPayne, Flickr

In-flight internet access is on the up and up. Thanks to a list compiled by Lifehacker, it’s now easy to get a glimpse of just how much progress has been made over the past few years. It looks like AirTran and Virgin America are the best bets for in-flight Wi-Fi, while United Airlines is the worst. According to the company’s website, only 59 of the airline’s 700+ planes have Wi-Fi.

We did a little more digging to find out exactly where airline Wi-Fi stands (prices are for domestic flights), and here’s what we came up with:

*These fleets are serviced by Gogo Inflight Internet. Frequent fliers will want to consider buying a Gogo pass, which can cover all flights in a day or month. Since the majority of airlines use Gogo, one pass could cover multiple legs of a trip — even if different airlines are used.

It is also important to note that even if the airplane you’re flying has Wi-Fi, every seat may not have access to a power outlet. No airline has yet ensured outlets at each seat, but Seat Guru has documented where the power outlets are in each type of aircraft. Additionally, you’ll want to check and make sure you have the right adaptor, or you might find it difficult to get some work done at 10,000 feet.

JetBlue Helps Man Pull Off Proposal At 10,000 Feet (VIDEO)

JetBlue helped a man pull off a sky high proposal when the company let him take over the plane’s in-flight entertainment system to showcase a video montage of the couple’s five years together before he wedged himself between airline seats to get down on one knee.

“I’ve been with Taryn for five years and she’s the love of my life, so I had to do something that was super special,” Adam Leisle, 28, told GoodMorningAmerica.com. “I had heard of people proposing on flights, but it was always over the PA system, and they didn’t really have a plan to it.”

According to ABC News, it took months of back-and-forth organization between Leisle and JetBlue to try and figure out how to get the video to play on the company’s internal channel without being broadcast on every other flight in the air. But in the end, everything went off flawlessly, except, perhaps, for the fact that it’s a little hard to hear his proposal over the sound of the flight. But still, kudos to JetBlue for going above and beyond on this one – they even handed out cake pops to everyone on board the plane, and then greeted the newly engaged couple when they exited the plane with a congratulatory cake and a champagne toast.

Man With Tourette’s Barred From Plane After Repeating ‘Bomb’

Uttering the word “bomb,” especially at an airport, is definitely cause for concern in this day and age. But in the case of a 19-year-old man who got kicked off a JetBlue flight for saying the word over and over again, he had an excuse: Tourette syndrome.

According to the Associated Press, Michael Doyle of Rockville, Md. was set to go to San Juan, Puerto Rico, through Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport. Doyle made it past security while repeating “bomb” – and even had paperwork to document his illness, a neurological disorder that can cause uncontrolled speech – but after being seated on the plane a JetBlue pilot asked him to leave due to “security concerns.”

Doyle told ABC News he had the Boston Bombings on his mind and tried to tell himself not to say the word. “When you try to suppress Tourette’s, it comes out even worse,” he explained, adding he repeated the word approximately 100 times. So what do you think? Were his enunciations cause for concern, or can we as air travelers never be too careful? Doyle, by the way, was offered a free round-trip ticket on another JetBlue flight, but there is no guarantee he will be allowed to fly at a later date.

[via USA Today]

[Photo credit: Flickr user ​Willamor Media]

Searching, Thinking, Speaking Travel Apps No Match For Human Brain, Maybe

travel appsUnder the premise that searching for a flight online is a time-consuming and annoying task, travel buyers have been presented with a number of solutions. As new technology moves from the lab to the street, we see it being applied in helpful ways that do indeed make life easier and save us time.

Searching for flights online, buyers commonly visit multiple websites, see something they like on one, look for it on another, cross-check with the airline site and so on. When the time comes to pull the trigger and buy, those flights are often unavailable or priced differently. It can be a frustrating task but one that has to be done to find a flight that works with our travel plans – until now.

Say hello to Pintrips, a new online tool that allows business and leisure travelers to “pin” and see flights they’ve found across the web in one spot. Find something you like on a Pintrips-enabled website? Pin it with a click on the pin button next to each flight and Pintrips saves the find, constantly tracks price changes and enables easy comparison.

Stop right there and Pintrips is a win, consolidating all the good stuff we see while searching and putting it in one place. But going a step further, Pintrips pulls in the results of similar searches done by others in a crowd-sourcing sort of way that might eventually be worth considering.

Called “Public Pinning Boards,” this new feature provides “a fast track to pinning by providing the latest pins from the community as well as latest deals,” said Pintrips in a Wall Street Journal statement.

Pintrips does have its limits; capability is currently available only on American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United, US Air and Virgin America airline sites and search sites Google, Expedia, Kayak and Orbitz. But new sites are being added every month and users can request sites too.

Easier yet, Cheapair has a new voice-activated flight search travel app.

Basically, we don’t have to lift a finger with this one to find an abundance of flight information. Using the new CheapAir app available for iPhone and iPad, say a request like, “Orlando to Los Angeles, May 5th to the 10th” or “L.A. to Vegas tomorrow coming back Sunday” and up pop the results – no form to fill out.

Still, finding the right flight can be much like looking for a needle in a haystack; there are just so many different options. Wouldn’t it be great if we could just use our brains to narrow down the results, find the perfect flight, priced right, and be done with it?

Applying the flavor of recent research at University of California, Berkeley, that day may come. Scientists have discovered that when we embark on a targeted search, like looking for a contact lens on a bathroom floor or a car key in a bed of gravel, that various visual and non-visual regions of the brain mobilize to track them down.

“Our results show that our brains are much more dynamic than previously thought, rapidly reallocating resources based on behavioral demands, and optimizing our performance by increasing the precision with which we can perform relevant tasks,” said Tolga Cukur, a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at UC Berkeley in a RDMag article.

We look forward to more results from that research but know that the world of travel apps is constantly changing, as we see in this promotional video for the Travel Channel To Go app from 2008.


[Photo credit – Flickr user TZA]

Fees Waived, Heightened Security At Boston Airport After Bombings

The world was shocked and saddened to hear about the Boston Marathon bombings yesterday, but what does it mean for people flying in and out of Boston’s Logan International Airport? Two things: flexible rebooking schedules and increased screenings.

USA Today is reporting
several carriers have instituted flexible rebooking policies for those scheduled to pass through Boston. American, Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, United and US Airways have all instituted exceptions, most of which cover customers flying through Boston between Monday, April 15 and Wednesday, April 17. Although exact rules vary by airline, the waivers generally allow fliers to make a change to their itinerary without paying the customary fees or resulting fare differences.

Thomas Glynn, CEO of the Massport agency that operates the airport, told the news outlet there is also heightened security on surrounding roadways, on the airfield and in terminals – which means travelers should plan for longer security lines at the airport. According to ABC News, FlightAwaredelays reported 30 to 45 minute delays on Boston departures Tuesday morning.

[Photo credit: Joseph Williams / Wikimedia Commons]