Airlines Stories December 1, 2015

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British Airways reports near-quadrupling of Apple Watch app usage, will soon handle bag-drop too

British Airways has revealed that use of its Apple Watch app rose by 386% between June and October, and the airline is responding by introducing new scanners to allow Watch owners a faster way of dropping any hold bags, reports Advance.

Customers will be able to slide their wrists under the new ‘Scan and Go’ devices to scan their boarding pass, print their own bag tags and speed through the airport. A total of 136 of the new gadgets are being installed at check in desks across Heathrow’s Terminal 3 and 5, and will be ready for use on 15 December.

The scanners can also be used with the smartphone app.

BA’s app provides access to real-time flight status, gate information, a countdown to the departure time and the weather at their destination, as well as displaying a QR code that can be used at both Security and the gate.

The airline is planning an update to the iPad version which includes Highlife entertainment listings, allowing customers to peruse the in-flight movies prior to boarding.

Via Gizmodo

Airlines Stories April 14, 2015

EasyJet’s new app provides end-to-end proactive guidance to air passengers

European no-frills airline EasyJet seems to have taken a full-service approach to its new app, dubbed Mobile Host. The app aims to provide proactive, location-based guidance to passengers from one end of their journey to the other.

The app begins with check-in reminders, guides you to the baggage-drop if you have luggage, tells you when your gate is open and navigates you there, opens your boarding pass when you get there, and directs you to the correct baggage carousel on arrival. The service goes live at London Gatwick Airport today, with other airports to follow.

easyJet’s Mobile Host is a joint initiative with Gatwick and combines live data from the airports information systems, using Google indoor maps, together with a passenger’s booking details, location and flight time.  The result is personalised instructions and updates for passengers during their journey.

The app is currently iPhone-only, and is available in seven languages. The new app was not on the App Store at the time of writing, but if you download the current app, it should update.

EasyJet last updated the app a few weeks ago to add support for the Apple Watch. It was one of the first European airlines to support Passbook boarding passes, and started using iBeacons for location-based alerts last summer.

Airlines Stories August 7, 2014

United Airlines adds passport scanning for international flights to mobile app

The immigration authorities of most countries require airlines to check the passports of their passengers before they are allowed to fly, so if you are making your first international flight with an airline, you have to queue up at check-in instead of downloading your own boarding pass at home. United Airlines is aiming to end this by adding the ability to scan and verify your passport using its mobile app, then head straight to Departures at the airport.

Once you’ve scanned your passport with your iPhone’s camera, the app sends the details to credentials management company Jumio Inc, who verify that your passport is valid which then allows you to download your boarding pass.

If your passport is already registered with United from a previous international flight, you don’t need to scan it again, it is verified automatically.

The bad news is that the system can’t yet verify visas, so if you need a visa for the country you’re visiting, you’ll still need to check-in the old-fashioned way.

You can download the free United Airlines app from iTunes.

Airlines Stories August 29, 2013

Hawaiian Airlines, beginning September 1st, will replace its in-flight entertainment systems on some of its routes with iPad minis. This marks the first time that a United States-based airline will offer iPads as in-flight entertainment solutions.

The change will take place on all 767-300 aircraft. Across 14 planes and 14 routes ranging between Hawaii, the continental United States, and countries in Asia, 1500 iPad minis will be deployed:

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