Now Boarding: Air Travel Updates for Week of April 27

How Wi-Fi (or lack thereof) affects your next flight (what? No one had 4G?); American Airlines starts Extreme Makeover: Admiral Club edition; and Delta gets its low-emissions on. Here are this week’s air travel updates.  

Alaska Airlines will add service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Costa’s two major international airports, San Jose (SJO) and Liberia/Guanacaste (LIR), Costa Rica, beginning Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, respectively. Beginning Sept. 9, the airline will also have daily nonstop service between LAX and Baltimore (BWI).

Alaska Airlines also announced nonstop service from its Seattle (SEA) hub to Charleston, South Carolina (CHS); Nashville, Tennessee (BNA); and Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina (RDU), starting this fall. Service to Nashville and Raleigh/Durham will be daily, while service to Charleston will fly Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday only. All flights will be conducted on fuel-efficient Next Generation 737 aircraft.

JetBlue Airways launched its twice, daily nonstop service from Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport (CLE) to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) and daily nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). The airline also introduced daily nonstop service from FLL to Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).

Travel Mole reports several American Airlines flights were disrupted on Tuesday due to an iPad app glitch. Though American did not elaborate, the airline uses iPads for flight information documents and navigational charts. Some flights returned to the gate to enable Wi-Fi connection. An American pilot believed the issue was caused by the latest software update.

American Airlines announced makeovers at their Admiral Clubs in Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) as part of the $2 billion investment in their customer experience. The redesigned lounges will create modern spaces with a contemporary style overhaul featuring a mix of tan and gray tones, accents of vibrant reds, and white oak wood and stainless steel. Other updates will include high-backed chairs outfitted with power outlets and USB ports, and refreshed bathrooms. Renovations to clubs in Miami, New York (JFK), Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles will start later this year, and Chicago, London, and other important cities will see changes in the coming years.

The customer experience investment began earlier this year with upgraded food and refreshment offerings, such as Greek yogurt, oatmeal, hearty soups, and sweet and savory snacks. More food offerings are coming this summer. Other upgrades will include more fully lie-flat seats, upgrades aircraft interiors, more in-flight entertainment options and charging power for customers in all cabins; and a fleet renewal of 75 new mainline aircraft this year.

The latest 787 arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on April 29 during a huge welcome by American Airlines’ employees.


Delta Air Lines announced within the next four years, they’ll be adding more than 170 low-emission aircraft to its fleet.

Emirates will be rolling out its redesigned headsets for economy class by the end of June in all Emirates A380 aircrafts and has plans to equip their Boeing 777s by the end of the year. The new headsets are square to be more ergonomic for the wearer, will improve sound quality and reduce ambient cabin noise. The new headsets will augment the ice Digital Widescreen entertainment system, which helped Emirates win “World’s Best Airline Inflight Entertainment” at the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards for the 10th consecutive year.

United Airlines announced that its aircrafts will now feature a variety of Tribeca-selected inflight content, which will receive regular updates. This will include indie films, documentaries, shorts and other TFF-related content, on their Airbus A320 and A319 aircraft, Boeing 747 and some Boeing 757 and 777 aircraft. Customers can also access the content with in-flight WiFi on their laptop computers and mobile devices.

Travel Pulse reports that Virgin Atlantic opened its doors to its new $4 million Clubhouse at Los Angeles International Airport, which overlooks the Hollywood Hills. The Clubhouse offers an apothecary-inspired bar and a new L.A. restaurant featuring healthy choices from Hinoki & the Bird.



Last Week Highlights

Business Travel News reports that Delta Air Lines will be decreasing its international flights by three percent in the fourth quarter. Flights to Japan, Africa, and the Middle East will decrease between 15 to 20 percent; service to Brazil will also be cut by 15 percent. Delta will suspend all service to Moscow for the winter.

JetBlue announced that its latest app update includes Apple Watch™ capabilities and is now available for download. JetBlue is still the only domestic carrier to offer Apple Pay.

All Nippon Airways unveiled its R2-D2-styled 787-9 Dreamliner at the Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, Calif., and the plane will begin its international flights this autumn.


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