All posts in Airlines

Did you know…Inflight wifi could be a $130B market by 2035?

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

In a report by Tnooz.com, the London School of Economics conducted a study that values the ancillary revenue contribution to airlines from Inflight Connectivity (IFC), as well as breaking down estimates of the types of ancillary opportunities in the IFC market and their relative contributions to airline revenue.inflight wifi LSE studyThe report explains that the study made a strong business case for the future of Inflight Connectivity (IFC), predicting a market worth $130 billion by 2035, and contributing $30 billion to airline revenue. LSE predicts a dramatic rise over the next seventeen years as the technology and its applications scale to meet market potential.

LSE expects an increase of 2,005% in airline IFC revenue per passenger from $0.23 in 2018 to $4.00 by 2035. Read the full story here.

Did you know…Plans are underway to develop battery powered planes?

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

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There was a time when consumers scoffed at the idea of electric-powered cars. Today, even experts like Total SA, one of the world’s largest oil producers, is predicting that EVs may constitute almost a third of new-car sales by the end of the next decade. So, why not a battery-powered airplane?

According to a Financial Times report, UK budget airline EasyJet has taken a step towards a future without jet fuel with plans to help develop a battery-powered plane. The group said on Wednesday that it had partnered with US aircraft designer Wright Electric to develop an electric aircraft for flights under two hours.

Read the full story here: http://ht.ly/N10530fwfr2.

Business Traveller Magazine and frequent flyers weigh in with top tips for better air travel

If you’re a frequent business traveler, odds are you and your colleagues compete for bragging rights when it comes to getting the best perks and deals to make life in the air a more pleasurable experience. We tapped some seasoned business travelers who are also elite airline loyalty program members to draw out their proven schemes and best practices for flying better.

“I’m a big fan of the stopover. There are about a dozen airlines that now do it covering Asia, parts of Europe, and the Middle East. So, if you’re traveling the globe, what a great way to actually add a couple of days on your trip and see a part of the word you might not have seen before.”

— Ross Atkinson, Chief Marketing and Product Officer, Business Traveller Magazine

WATCH our video interview with Ross Atkinson, Business Traveller Magazine

Dave Poplin is a sales executive with an international technology company. He flies every three weeks, on average, and holds Platinum-level status on Delta Airlines.

According to Poplin, there is no reason for a Platinum or higher level Delta flyer to ever pay for a Delta Comfort Seat. “Once you book coach you will get an upgrade to Delta Comfort the next day for free.  But, be careful on what Comfort seats are available, there can be some risk that you go from an aisle in coach to a middle seat in Comfort. Look at the seat maps, if there are a lot of First Class open, then Comfort customers will get moved up and open aisle seats again.”

“Remember, Comfort gets free movies and drinks. Aside from meals being included on a 2+ hour flight in First Class, there is really no difference between Comfort and First Class, especially on Delta.”

gregg ellman

Gregg Ellman

Gregg Ellman, co-owner of Ellman Photography, does about 35-40 roundtrips per year as a freelance photographer and journalist. With over two million flying miles, he’s a Platinum Pro level member of American Airlines Advantage loyalty program.

“When your flight is canceled or delayed, etc., the worst thing you can do is stand in line.  Call the airlines directly and use your status to your advantage.  If the person you have on the phone is not helpful, asked to speak to their manager. It works almost every time.”

Ellman says his American Airlines executive card is worth every penny.  “Along with the monthly miles, you get 10,000 yearly qualifying miles and your yearly
membership to the admirals club is included.”

Another tip, book the earliest flight possible, which avoids young kids and makes boarding much quicker. “Since I travel with a lot of camera gear, hassle-free boarding is a big deal,” adds Ellman.

jennifer flowers frequent flyer

Jennifer Flowers, found & CEO of Accreditation Guru, Inc.

Jennifer Flowers is the CEO of Accreditation Guru, Inc., a consultancy that works with non-profits across the country. Averaging two plane trips per month, Jennifer is a Delta SkyMiles Platinum Medallion member.

“I have both business and personal Delta American Express cards in order to maximize miles earned. Also, because of the amount of travel and other business expenses that are charged against my Delta AmEx, I am able to earn a Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) Waiver (MQDs are a way for Delta to ensure that Elite members have spent a minimum amount of money with the airline, as well as flying a certain number of miles or segments).”

Flowers joined the Delta Sky Club as a way to enjoy the amenities offered (wifi, food and drink selections, comfortable waiting areas, etc.) and ease the stress of frequent travel. “In the past year, I visited Delta Sky Clubs around the country at least 35 times. With the discounted rate of $29 for an access pass that is available through my Platinum Delta AmEx card (as opposed to $59 regular price of a single visit pass), my annual pass has allowed me to save more than 50% off of what the reduced rate access passes would have cost.”

Do repeated flight searches trigger plane ticket price hikes?

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

It’s been an accepted truth among computer savvy air travelers that one should always clear their cookies or ensure that private browsing is enabled when shopping for travel deals (see ExpertFlyer post featuring this advice). The reason being, air carriers’ use of dynamic pricing may show higher prices if you click on a flight more than once.

flight search

Time.com recently posted a report debunking this practice. “If the airlines were to raise prices because of browser cookies (targeted individually) there would be air travel whistleblowers and senators running to microphones for legislation to prevent it,” said Seaney. “What people see when they shop multiple times and prices are changing is a reflection of inventory changes, data caching techniques and the fact that prices generally get more expensive closer to departure date, even within a day.”

However, according to William McGee, an aviation adviser for Consumer Reports, he’s seen evidence that this pricing based on search history may not be entirely a myth.

Read the full story here.

Flying in the midst of Irma

ExpertFlyer Hot Topics — Where the Rubber Meets the Runway

Hurricane_Isabel_18_sept_2003_1555Z

Irma is striking fear and panic in the hearts of many Americans, particularly those who have lived through other natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, Sandy, and most recently, Harvey.  Many residents are fleeing extreme danger zones and business and leisure travelers are trying to negotiate plans to get from point A to B on pre-planned trips. Here’s what to expect if you’re flying in the midst of Hurricane Irma.

Flight Cancellations

In an interview with Mark Miller, Global Industry Leader, Aviation for The Weather Company, Mr. Miller said, “Airlines began canceling flights in South Florida and Carribean earlier in the week and there will be significantly more disruption in the next few days as Irma approaches Florida and the storm track becomes clearer.   Airports and the FAA towers halt operations when winds reach 55 mph and airlines generally do not operate in sustained crosswinds that exceed 35 mph.  The safety of employees and passengers is paramount.  There are a number of major airports in the region that will likely reach these thresholds.   Airlines will cancel sooner to ensure a faster recovery when the winds and storm impacts subside, as opposed to having aircraft and crew out of position.   Cancellations combined with reduced airport and airspace capacity through the region can lead to significant delays, propagating to other airports outside the direct impacts of the storm.”

Soaring Ticket Prices

The Verge recently reported on airline price gouging out of Florida. No surprise as the entire region is under a state of emergency.

According to the report, one woman searching Expedia was shown a Delta itinerary between Miami and Phoenix for $3,258. (Delta later directly reached out to her and she was able to book a seat at a lower price.) Someone else trying to book on American found their flight jumped almost $600 within the span of a couple hours. Another on United’s website was presented with a round trip fare between Miami and Denver for $6,785.

What can airlines can do in this type of situation? Some have added additional flights, but there’s only so much that can logistically be done within such a short window of time. “It’s like Christmas,” says Chris Lopinto of ExpertFlyer.com, “except instead of having five months to figure things out, you’re trying to figure this out over the course of five days.”

Lopinto also says airlines can file different fares every hour, so they have the ability to bring down the price for tickets. Some airlines have committed to capping the prices of remaining direct flights. JetBlue and American both said they are selling remaining direct flights this week for $99, while Delta is capping direct flights at $399. These flights, though, were already sold out or nearly sold out. As of 4:21PM ET, ExpertFlyer.com showed just one seat available on JetBlue from Fort Lauderdale to New York over the next couple of days.

Ultimately, even with the extra push from airlines, there simply aren’t enough seats available. If you still need a flight, look now, or start planning to drive.