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Cruising News - Travel Technology.

May 24, 2009

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand gets digital throughout Los Angeles this weekend. The kiwi airline announces the nationOs first human interactive billboard controlled entirely by mobile users to promote the Los Angeles to London roundtrip fares starting at USD 599*. The digital billboard projection launches May 21 starting at 9:30 p.m. at the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles and will feature a 1970s-era airline pilot holding a sign that reads OTXT WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO 310310.O The 1970s-era airline pilot character will respond to more than 150 different text commands including eating fruit, moon walking or even attempting to strip. The character responds with quirky text messages inviting users to enter the OreLAX to LondonO sweepstakes. May 20, 2009


Airbus expects that today's health monitoring technology will be developed over the next decade to create a fully integrated aircraft health management system that automatically schedules maintenance shop visits to rectify faults, with no human interface. "We are talking about health management in both aircraft systems and structures," says Axel Krein, Airbus senior vice-president research and technology. "We have begun individual tests, but the technology will probably not be available on an aircraft before the end of the next decade." May 20, 2009

AirTran Airways, SkyMall

SkyMall announced that it is a launch partner for AirTranOs new inflight Wi-Fi service, Gogo Inflight Internet. Customers who make a purchase of just USD 75 or more at the web site listed in the special menu available onboard each Gogo equipped AirTran aircraft can have their USD 12.95 Gogo service fee refunded. A+ Rewards members can also earn A+ Rewards credit for every USD 50 spent on SkyMall merchandise. May 20, 2009

DFW International Airport

DFW International Airport launched its new mobile web site today, allowing web surfers the ability to view the site quickly and easily from their mobile devices. The new site will feature "Flight Tracker" and "Within 5 Minutes of My Gate," which allows passengers to find their gate and surrounding amenities in as little as two clicks. The new mobile site will automatically appear on mobile devices in lieu of the larger formatted, enabling quicker access to the information passengers need most. The site includes the most utilized features from DFW's main website, and customizes them for the mobile platform including: Flight Information; Airport Guide; Shop, Eat & Services; Travel Planner and Just For Fun. The Airport hopes the launch of the new site will increase passenger visits to the site. The new mobile web site includes fewer images to speed up browsing, and will allow mobile device users to redirect their browser to the full DFW web site if desired. The site was developed and tested by the Airport's Information Technology unit after the successful redevelopment of DFW's primary site last summer. The back-end technology allows mobile users the same access as those utilizing the full site without the graphics. In this case, the Airport's Information Technology unit maintains a single content management system to support both sites. May 18, 2009


Expedia, Inc. has introduced the Expedia Easy Manage program, a commission-based partnership option for qualifying hotels in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA). Eligible hotels can quickly and easily sign up to offer their property on more than 70 Expedia and sites worldwide, as well as on and thousands of active affiliate sites. Hotels that partner with Expedia get access to online travel shoppers worldwide and multilingual property assistance, all with no registration fees and no fixed costs. Expedia Easy Manage offers hotels a set of straightforward online distribution tools for managing rates, inventory and content. May 20, 2009


Online travel company Expedia has launched a "commission-based" hotel partnership in a bid to boost its portfolio of properties. The Easy Manage programme allows qualifying hotels in the EMEA regions to add their content to Expedia sites worldwide with no fixed charges or registration fees. Hotels will be given multilingual property assistance and online distribution tools for managing rates, inventory and content. "In a time when suppliers need customers in their rooms more than ever, we recognised the need to move beyond a one-size-fits-all model," Matthew Crummack, senior vice president of Lodging, Expedia, said. Mr Crummack said Expedia hoped to help hotels meet revenue targets and "the specific dynamics of their market." May 20, 2009

Hitit Computer Services

New IT profile system 'paints a picture' of the frequent flyer. Imagine a business traveler whose flight has been delayed for the third time. She's going to be late to an important meeting, where she is scheduled to give a presentation. The look on her face says it all: She's frustrated and stressed. But the next time she needs to speak with someone in the airline's call center, the agent is likely to see only her name, membership number and status. Hitit Computer Services, an Istanbul-based company that developed the Crane line of airline IT products, including Crane FF Airline Loyalty Management and Crane DCS Web Based Departure Control System, is literally putting a human face on the data provided to call center agents. Its Crane Intelligent Member Profiles solution "paints a picture of each individual member of your frequent flyer program based on all the information you have on the customer," Mustafa Ozalcin, marketing and sales manager, said. "It creates a visual representation of the customer." That "representation" behaves much like a Yahoo avatar. It can be configured in any number of ways to indicate, for example, the customer's gender, program tier level, flight patterns, use of program partners, and even the customer's level of satisfaction. If the program member is not a happy camper, it's helpful for a customer service agent to know that the minute the customer's call comes in, Ozalcin said. May 20, 2009

Luggage Club

The Luggage Club announced a new agreement with Travelocity, a leading online travel company, which will offer door-to-door luggage delivery to Travelocity customers throughout the world. "Airline luggage fees have created an entirely new baggage delivery industry," said Tim Macht with The Luggage Club. "These fees have created a demand among travelers for a cost-effective, low maintenance alternative to dragging luggage to, through and from the airport. Recent announcements of new overnight luggage delivery services being offered by airlines indicate that there is a need for luggage delivery service." The Luggage Club's luggage shipping services are offered on Travelocity from the Activities tab of its homepage. Customers can search for the Luggage Club in the other services section for locales, both foreign and domestic. The Travelocity/Luggage Club baggage delivery program provides a cost effective, economy delivery service. May 22, 2009


The US FAA this week authorized two pilots employed by performance-based navigation (PBN) provider, Naverus, to conduct flight validations of public and private PBN instrument flight procedures developed by the company for the US market. According to Naverus, pilots Buzz Nelson and Kris Samms were required to complete an FAA flight validation ground school as well as simulator and in-aircraft flight checks with FAA regulators to secure the certification. The pilots also were qualified to perform ground and airborne obstacle evaluations, says Naverus. May 22, 2009

OAG Cargo Solutions

OAG Cargo Solutions signed an agreement with IBS Software Services to develop AFRA-2, its next-generation Air Freight Rates application. The application enhances interaction between airlines, GSAs and freight forwarders on the distribution, management and selection of real-time airfreight rates. May 18, 2009

Optimized Systems, EasyJet

Optimized Systems and Solutions Inc. (OSyS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rolls-Royce plc, is to help EasyJet further improve its fuel efficiency. Business Wire - OSyS will provide fuel usage analysis, management and optimization for easyJet. OSyS will provide fuel usage analysis, management and optimization for easyJetOs fleet of more than 170 aircraft. easyJet is a new customer for OSyS. Fuel management and optimization allows airlines to drive operational efficiencies in terms of fuel usage, mitigate environmental impact and measure improvement initiatives. May 20, 2009


Orbitz is entering the political arena with a new Web site and petition urging the U.S. Congress and the Obama administration to end the 50-year ban on travel to Cuba. The Web site,, enables people to petition the U.S. government to end the Kennedy-era restrictions on travel to Cuba, a lucrative but off-limits destination for the American travel industry. Taking a page from the Obama presidential campaign, Orbitz is aiming to build grass-roots support for travel to Cuba by appealing to the 14 million monthly visitors to its Web site. "We want to organize our customers and other interested parties to reach out to Obama and other government officials," said Barney Harford, Orbitz's CEO who along with 12 other travel industry executives met with Obama following the removal of restrictions on family visits by Cuban Americans. Those who voice their support for travel to Cuba, via the Web site, will receive a USD 100 coupon toward a Cuba vacation redeemable if the travel ban is lifted and flights and tour packages can be sold legally by Orbitz. Company officials plan to take the petition to Washington later this year. May 19, 2009

Send Dad to the sky this Father's Day! It might not be like flying to the moon, but the experience of a first-time aviation flight lesson is just about the closest thing to heaven that a son or daughter could ever give Dad on Father's Day. Orchestrated by the professionals associated with (, the experience of a flight lesson is now available through the Discovery Gift Certificate program. A Nashville, Tenn.-based company dedicated to making a difference in people's lives through aviation training, Pilot Journey offers actual flight lessons at over 400 airports nationwide. A lesson costs USD 119 and includes an FAA-Certified flight instructor for up to 40 minutes, a half-hour presentation packed with flight lesson details, a 25-page CD ebook to prep Dad for the experience, and a Discovery Flight video outlining exactly what he'll do once aboard the plane. May 19, 2009


Las Vegas and Europe have returned as popular leisure travel destinations for the Memorial Day holiday period, according to released the results of its seventh annual survey of the 50 most-popular Memorial Day holiday destinations. The survey is based on thousands of hotel room booking requests made by Name Your Own Price hotel service customers for the upcoming May 23-25 long weekend. Because the survey is based on actual booking requests, and not on consumer preference polls or votes, believes its annual survey is one of the more accurate predictors of holiday travel trends. New York, Boston and Chicago were also high on the list. May 19, 2009

Radixx International

Radixx International is pleased to announce that Transat A.T., Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world and Canada's holiday travel leader, has selected Radixx International's Radixx Air Enterprise system as its core air seats distribution engine. Enterprise is Radixx' next-generation reservation and distribution management system designed for hybrid carriers and will be used to replace Transat's current traditional reservations engine. Transat chose Radixx due to the system's ability to fully support Transat's business model. Transat will be utilizing Radixx to replace the functions of one of its existing core engines by supporting code sharing and IATA standard E-Ticketing. In addition, the Radixx engine's unique ability to simultaneously support direct ticketless and E-Ticket distribution will enable Transat to streamline sales to its network of tour operators. May 18, 2009

Seabury Solutions, Southwest Airlines

Seabury Solutions announced that Southwest Airlines implemented its Airline Performance Analysis System, a decision-support tool that measures the operational and financial performance of individual flights. May 22, 2009

Singapore Airlines

Customers on Singapore Airlines flights now can check in anywhere in the world using their mobile phones, with the introduction of "SIA Mobile." Through the new mobile check-in functions, customers are able to select seats on any Singapore Airlines-operated flights, and check-in for many connecting flights operated by different carriers. In addition, the airline plans to enhance the service later this year to include features such as booking tickets and accessing selected KrisFlyer services. To access mobile check-in and seat selection, customers can visit from the web browser of their mobile phone2. They will then be given the option of either downloading "SIA Mobile" application software, or checking-in directly through their web browser.

May 22, 2009

TravelSky, Unisys

TravelSky, the leading provider of information technology solutions for ChinaOs air travel and tourism industry, has renewed its commitment to Unisys server technology, extending licences with Unisys China for the Unisys ClearPath Dorado Model 280 mainframe solution through December 2011. The renewal agreement was signed in the first quarter of 2009. TravelSky has been a Unisys customer for more than 25 years. The TravelSky Technology unit operates the reservations and departure control systems for China's air carriers, and also maintains the global distribution system for ChinaOs travel agencies. TravelSky's infrastructure - supported by Unisys ClearPath Dorado mainframe servers - processes more than 200 million passengers a year in a rapidly growing travel market. May 19, 2009


TripAdvisor announced the results of its annual summer travel survey of more than 1,800 U.S. respondents. Eighty-nine percent are planning a leisure trip this summer, nearly equal to one year ago. Among those taking summer getaways, 26 percent plan to take between seven to 10 days, 21 percent expect 11 to 14 days, and 18 percent are scheduling two to three weeks. Twenty-seven percent said they will take more vacation time this summer than last, while 56 percent intend to take the same amount. Thirty-six percent said they are more likely to drink more alcohol on summer vacation than while at home. Twenty-eight percent said they exercise less, while 25 percent said they eat more junk food. The top summer travel food indulgence for respondents was overwhelmingly ice cream, according to 44 percent and the favorite summer drink indulgence was margaritas at 18 percent. The large majority of U.S. respondents said they'll leave out their laptops and turn off their TVs. Twenty-five percent of respondents said they will be more romantic while on summer vacation than while at home. Twenty-six percent said they are friendlier to strangers when they are away on summer trips.

May 21, 2009

Virgin America

Virgin America said it has completed installation of the Gogo inflight Internet service on its fleet and as of yesterday is offering the service on each of its 100 daily flights. Cost is USD 12.95 for daytime flights longer than 3 hr., USD 9.95 for shorter daytime flights, USD 5.95 on redeye flights and USD 7.95 for handheld devices. he early roll out of the Gogo service across the airline's network makes Virgin America the first and only airline to offer consumers in-flight WiFi on every flight - regardless of route, aircraft type, or flight time.

May 21, 2009

Virgin America

Virgin America said that it is now the first and only airline to offer Gogo In-flight Internet service on every flight. Passengers on any of Virgin America's 100 daily flights have the option to surf the Web, check e-mail, or log on to their corporate VPN -- all from the comfort of their seats at 37,000 feet. Virgin America marks this in-flight WiFi milestone with another first for an airline: an air-to-ground Skype video call with Oprah Winfrey, which was scheduled to air today (Thursday) on The Oprah Winfrey Show (check local listings). Although Virgin America does not typically allow Voice-Over-IP (VoIP) products like Skype video call in-flight due to concerns about maintaining a quiet, restful cabin environment, guests can currently use Gogo to Skype via the instant message feature, in addition to e-mailing, tweeting, updating their Facebook pages and any of the myriad other ways the web is keeping people connected. May 21, 2009

Virgin America, Airbus

Virgin America, the California-based carrier, announced that as of today it is the first and only airline to offer Gogo[umlaut] In-flight Internet service on every flight. As of today, guests on any of Virgin America's 100 daily flights have the option to surf the Web, check e-mail, or log on to their corporate VPN - all from the comfort of their seats at 37,000 feet. Virgin America marks this in-flight WiFi milestone with another first for an airline: an air-to-ground Skype video call with Oprah Winfrey which will air this Thursday, May 21 on The Oprah Winfrey Show (check local listings). May 19, 2009

ZZ AirGuide 090525

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Publication:Cruise Guide
Date:May 25, 2009
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