Category Archives: Industry News

Inflight Wi-Fi and Wireless IFE Portals

In order to keep up with the increasingly device driven consumer, airlines all over the world are rolling out new products and services to cater to their passengers carrying smartphones, notebooks, tablets and e-readers in a variety of new and interesting ways. As more and more people rely on their devices for entertainment and information, airlines are beginning to offer more and more in-flight entertainment (IFE) and in-flight content (IFC) through passengers’ own devices, rather than standard seatback screens. From more in-flight entertainment options to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

From more in-flight entertainment options to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Audrey Tautou via Flickr.

Seats on many airlines are now equipped with USB power ports, and many planes are introducing onboard Wi-Fi and/or wireless inflight entertainment portals. These wireless networks allow passengers to connect to content on an onboard server with their own laptops, smart phones or tablet PCs. This relatively simple adjustment makes a huge impact on traditional IFE features, making services such as online shopping and reservations, destination information, real-time travel information and seat-to-seat chat available to passengers throughout the flight on their own personal devices. Following early roll-outs by American Airlines, Delta and Brazilian airline LCC Gol, half a dozen other airlines are currently testing (or have announced) a wireless IFE service.

In addition to in flight improvements, many airlines are also expanding their IFE and IFC experiences to the pre-flight passenger. Airlines are investing in providing passengers with downloadable digital content before their flight, such as newspapers, magazines and flight details. Many companies are looking to future IFE solutions in the form of dedicated inflight entertainment apps, the first of which have already been launched by wireless IFE solutions such as BoardConnect (Lufthansa Systems on Virgin Australia, Lufthansa, Condor and El Al), eXW (Panasonic on Air Canada Rouge) and AVA (Thales on LAN).

From more in-flight entertainment options to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Bubbas Bag of Photos via Flickr.

Even with all these improvements and offerings for those carrying a personal device, the seat-back screen format for delivering In-flight content has not gone without its own upgrades. Many new systems allow for customized food and drink ordering, and you can use the touch screen device to drag and drop your preferred meal choices onto a digital tray, then sit back and your customized meal will be served to you on board. “Geotainment” apps via the touchscreen will allow you to follow your flight path throughout the trip and choose from interactive 3D views, a “heads up display”, or use a free roam mode to view and interact with the passing landscapes. These and many other changes will soon be standard on many airlines.

Airlines Gearing Up for Terminal Improvements

From in-airport entertainment to new terminals to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

From in-airport entertainment to new terminals to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

“Yoga Room at SFO” by Flickr user tyds.

Airports know that most travelers will spend at least part of every vacation or trip in the terminals. As a home away from home for business travelers and the first leg of any family journey, many airport terminals are in line for some major upgrades. From in-airport entertainment to new terminals to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Airlines and airports across the country are gearing up to spend hundreds of millions of dollars building and improving their terminals to provide a more positive experience for travelers. New business class work stations, lounge areas, added Wi-Fi and many improvements to building exteriors can all be expected in various airports around the U.S.

From in-airport entertainment to new terminals to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

“DFW Airport Terminal D” by Flickr user Grant Wickes.

“The terminal is key,” says Deborah McElroy, executive vice president of Airports Council International-North America, in an article by USA Today, which represents governing bodies that own and run commercial airports throughout the U.S. and Canada. “That’s where the passenger spends the vast majority of their time at the airport, and that’s where there are several opportunities to make a great impression or for the traveler to have difficulty.”

United Airlines recently spent $138 million on a new boarding area at San Francisco International Airport which includes complimentary Wi-Fi, interactive digital displays and a yoga room. Los Angeles International Airport is building the Tom Bradley International terminal, spending $1.9 billion on a seven-story “Great Hall” design with huge windows for natural lighting and an artistic aluminum roof. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is also opening a new section of terminals providing luggage tags, boarding passes and a work station close to the gates for travelers’ convenience. These improvements can be a big value to business travelers and those who work on-the-go.

From in-airport entertainment to new terminals to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

“LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal” by Flickr user Prayitno.

“The terminal experience sets the tone for the entire trip,” says Brett Snyder, founder and author of the airline industry blog CrankyFlier.com.”If you have someone sitting in a dingy facility with one chain restaurant and a newsstand, then people are going to walk on that airplane feeling worse than if they are able to get a nice meal and do a little shopping. That matters to the business traveler who spends his or her life in airports.”

We at Bags Inc. also know that your experience in the terminals can make or break your entire vacation. That’s why we strive to make travel easier for you with our Bags VIP luggage delivery service. Bags VIP allows you to bypass baggage claim and begin making the most of your vacation or business trip right away, without the burden of luggage. And for more on terminal improvements check out USA Today.

General Aviation Security Magazine Seeks Legal Advice from Bags Inc.

Bags Inc. is the world leader in luggage delivery services & the ideal alternative to shipping luggage. Our legal counsel often provides aviation expertise.Bags Inc. is the world leader in luggage delivery services & the ideal alternative to shipping luggage. Our legal counsel often provides aviation expertise.Bags Inc. is the world leader in multi-airline remote check-in and luggage delivery services, and the premier provider of valet and guest services for the airline, airport, hotel, cruise, convention, and hospitality industries (and the ideal alternative to shipping luggage). Our legal counsel Wendy Pardew is often asked to provide her aviation expertise for various publications. In the Spring 2014 issue of General Aviation Security, the world’s authority on protecting general aviation, Wendy provides legal news for pilots and crew. The publication examines the issues and stories dealing with private and corporate aviation, private and general aviation airports, pilots, mechanics, and the industries that support general aviation.

If you are a pilot or part of a crew, it’s likely that passengers have given you baggage to store during the flight. The article examines the obligations and risks involved with storing that luggage.

Bags Inc. handles thousands of bags on a regular basis. One of those risks we face (thankfully not often!) is damage to or loss of baggage while it is in our possession. What is our responsibility when that happens? Replacing that luggage is not just the right thing to do; it is also our legal obligation.

Bags Inc. owner and founder Craig Mateer is grateful for the trust given by our customers and notes, “We do everything in our power to ensure we keep that trust.” From focused employee training to baggage‐tracking computer applications to onsite quality control audits, Bags Inc. undertakes a muli-faceted approach to meet and exceed customer expectations and the company’s responsibility to protect customer property.

aviation law bailment general aviation security

Do you know your responsibilities as pilot‐in‐command for the baggage and cargo of others loaded into your aircraft?

Bailment is a contractual relatioonship that occurs when a person (the bailor) gives another person or company (the bailee) property to hold on a temporary basis, with the expectation that the property will be returned in the same condition. In the case of Bags Inc., that property is the luggage that we transport on our customers’ behalf. But the theory could also apply to pilots and crew. Depending on the size and type of aircraft, luggage could be stowed inside under a seat, outside in an exterior baggage compartment, or in an interior locked closet to which you are the sole key holder. Exclusive possession, control and dominion over property are crucial to determining whether a bailment exists. Whether a bailor can recover damages is very specific, and requires all elements of a bailment to be present. The article asserts that knowing the ins and outs of bailment theory and how it can apply to your role (and your company) is critical.

For more information on bailments and to read Wendy’s full article in General Aviation Security, please click here. For more information on Bags Inc., please click here.

Best airline product and service innovations of 2013

Every year, Airlinetrends.com puts out a report of their top product and service innovations from airlines around the country. Their choices this year reflect how airlines have adapted and come up with creative solutions using combinations of technology, social fashions and economic trends focused on improving passenger experiences, increasing revenue and lowering costs. From in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers. 

1. Airlines let flyers download content to their personal device before the flight

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Brisan via Flickr

With the increasing number of passengers using personal devices onboard, airlines are moving forward with the use of inflight Wi-Fi and wireless IFE (Inflight Entertainment) portals. You can also look forward to access to IFE content via dedicated apps for your smart device before takeoff or through the airline lounge Wi-Fi network.

 

 

2. AirBaltic lets passengers customize their buy-on-board meal

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of arne meyer via Flickr

AirBaltic is making some creative changes to online food ordering. Now you can customize your inflight meal order. Passengers who pre-order their inflight meals have over 70 different meal options to choose from. With the new system you can use the touch screen device to drag and drop your preferred meal choices onto a digital tray, then sit back and your customized meal will be served to you on board

 

 

 

 

3. British Airways to trial electronic baggage tag

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of happyrelm via Flickr

British Airways is doing away with traditional paper tags for passengers’ bags. The airline has begun testing a new electronic baggage tag, eliminating the need for a new tag each time you fly. With this new technology, you can update the electronic suitcase tag to show your flight information by simply scanning the tag with your smartphone after you check in.

 

 

 

 

4. Norwegian’s new Dreamliner features geotainment and in-seat ordering of food and beverage

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of C.Bry@nt via Flickr

Norwegian Airlines new Dreamliners will be the first aircraft to feature Panasonic’s new Android powered in seat IFE system. A new “geotainment” flight map and in seat food and drink ordering will be available on some pre-loaded android apps for travelers to use in flight. The map allows you to follow your flight path throughout the trip and choose from interactive 3D views, a “heads up display”, or use a free roam mode to view and interact with the passing landscapes.

 

 

 

 

5. Delta provides cabin crew with Nokia Lumia “onboard retail” smartphones

rom in-airport entertainment to electronic baggage tags to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of pchow98 via Flickr

In keeping with upcoming trends, Delta airlines is adopting an American Airlines innovation. Just as American has provided its crews with Samsung handheld devices, Delta is equipping 19,000 flight attendants with a Windows 8 Nokia Lumia 820 smartphone for advanced onboard service and sales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Innovation at Bags

Here at Bags, we are also working hard to provide you with the best travel experience possible. Major airlines, cruise lines and world-famous resorts trust Bags’ agents to handle their customers’ luggage every day – more than 5 million bags a year! Bags VIP works hard to earn customers’ trust, providing you with unprecedented service and peace of mind.

Best Airlines for Business Travel in 2014

Whether you seek efficient route networks, desirable in-flight products, excellent customer service, or skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Condor.com via Flickr

There a few things that every business traveler looks for when flying from meeting to meeting. Whether you seek efficient route networks, desirable in-flight products, excellent customer service, or skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers. So which airlines are keeping up with the needs of today’s traveling businessmen and businesswomen?

When traveling for business, skip shipping luggage and baggage claim and use Bags VIP luggage delivery

With the recent American and US Airlines merger, American Airlines is considered to be one of the top performers of 2014 by industry analysts. Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com points out, “They are in the process of updating their fleet with a top lie-flat long haul product, have not devalued their frequent flyer program… and still offer top frequent flyers complimentary upgrades–even on transcontinental routes.”

Whether you seek efficient route networks, desirable in-flight products, excellent customer service, or skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airlines and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Ron Monroe via Flickr

Delta and American Airlines are also letting you connect to in-flight wireless internet and offering regularly scheduled flights across their broad networks. Virgin America will play a bigger role in the business travel world in 2014 as it expands its presence in New York City, and JetBlue is poised to launch their Mint business class transcontinental service this summer. According to Brian Kelly, “The pricing allows small and large business alike to buy premium transcontinental seats at a fraction of the regular price that the major legacy airlines charge.”

Some industry analysts say that one important thing to keep in mind for 2014 is the changes to Delta Airlines and United Airlines’ frequent flyer mileage programs. Grant Martin, contributor to Forbes.com, points out that new constraints in both programs limit the flexibility to earn miles when traveling with partner airlines, and eligibility for elite status in the 2015 year will be based in part on how much you spend with the airline. If you earn elite status on these airlines by frequently booking low cost tickets, changes to the programs may put you in jeopardy of not meeting the minimum spend requirements.

Other Airlines, including the American Airlines group and Southwest, are refraining from major changes to the frequent flyer programs. However according to the article on Forbes.com, once its merger is complete the new American Airlines may follow suit with competitors.

No matter which airline you choose for your business travels this year, use Bags VIP luggage delivery to help you make travel easier. At your destination, a Bags VIP agent will retrieve your luggage from baggage claim and deliver it to your hotel, home or office.

5 things to watch in airline industry in 2014

2014 is shaping up to be a big year in the airline industry. With big mergers, fewer restrictions and record profits, airlines will be getting a lot of attention this year. Here are some of the big things to watch for in the airline industry for 2014. From cell phone usage on planes to route changes to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

The Wright Amendment

From cell phone usage on planes to route changes to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of artwitsyl via Flickr

Wright Amendment of 1979 is a federal law governing traffic at Dallas Love Field, an airport in Dallas, Texas, USA. For the last 35 years it has restricted flights from Love Field to several nearby states. However on October 14th of this year, the last of the restrictions under the Wright Amendment will be null and void. This will likely alter the flight schedules of larger airlines, like Southwest who use the Love Field airport, allowing them to make long haul trips to destinations such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. We will also likely see changes in fares as the airlines compete for business at the surrounding airports.

American Merger

From cell phone usage on planes to route changes to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Patcard via Flickr

On December 9 of last year American Airlines and US Airways officially merged to form American Airlines Group — the world’s largest airline. The Group has begun sharing codes across business segments, allowing their passengers to book flights on either airline. They have also given members of club and benefit programs reciprocal rights, allowed frequent flier program miles to be honored across the airlines, and have begun training for customer facing employees. The majority of technology integration is expected to come in 2015, but the airlines new leadership will need to tackle thousands of policies and processes this year.

New leader at DFW

From cell phone usage on planes to route changes to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of Txspiked via Flickr

In 2014, DFW airport will be getting a new leader. After 19 years Jeff Fegan’s position will be filled by former Virgin Australia executive Sean Donohue. Donohue took over the top spot in late October and hasn’t made any significant changes yet. However 2014 is a new year. Donohue faces new competition from Love Field as the Wright Amendment ends and will to keep costs down on the airports $2.3 billion terminal renovation project.

 

 

 

Cellphones on planes

From cell phone usage on planes to route changes to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of sam_churchill via Flickr

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is ready to repeal their ban on cell phone use in flight. However, some carriers, including Delta and Southwest airlines have announced that they will still not allow calls while in the air. Be sure to watch out to see how the federal laws and carrier policies battle for control.

 

Airline profits

From cell phone usage on planes to route changes to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Image courtesy of alan madrid via Flickr

The airline industry has seen a good last few years, and 2014 looks to be even better. The International Air Transport Association said it expects global airlines to earn a net profit of $19.7 billion in 2014 on revenue of $743 billion. This would be the largest profit from the airline industry ever. The large revenues are largely related to an increasing passenger demand, increasing 5 to 6 percent, which in return boosts the airline profits from ancillary fees.

Baggage fees or no baggage fees? Do flyers want to ship luggage?

Flyers are open to paying for services. Bags VIP is a smart alternative than paying to ship luggage.

Image courtesy of Canadian Pacific via Flickr

Most people know that airlines make their real money in ancillary fees; those extra charges, like bag fees and seat selection charges that we all hate. In fact, a recent industry report suggests that North American carriers collected $17.2 billion in ancillary revenue last year. But is the revenue stream worth the stream of complaints and criticisms from customers? A survey from fly.com sheds some light on what fliers really hate being charged for, and for which services (including if they want to ship luggage) they would be willing to shell out more.

Fly.com questioned 613 U.S. travelers. 89% voiced the opinion that it is important airlines stop charging passengers for checked baggage. However, of the same travelers surveyed, 42% said they would pay extra for a reserved overhead storage bin on the plane. Reserved overhead storage was only one of a host of other services or upgrades travelers say they would be willing to pay more for, especially in lieu of baggage fees. It seems that in most cases, customers would pay an extra charge for services that improve the comfort and/or efficiency of travel. For instance:

45% would pay for extra leg room

36% would buy a security fast pass at the airport

34% would dish out to prevent the seat in front of them from reclining

26% would pay to have an empty middle seat next to them

Is it possible that charges for these kinds of services would make up for what would be lost if the airlines were to discontinue baggage fees? This may be an important consideration for airlines if they want to retain the business of the frugal traveler. Said best by Warren Chang, vice president and GM of Fly.com “While lucrative, it is important that airlines balance profit against the needs and interests of their passengers.  Our latest survey reveals the type of ancillary opportunities that can bolster passenger satisfaction, while also delivering new revenue streams to the airline industry.”

The survey results also reported that 35% of people would pay to have their checked luggage come out first at baggage claim. Why not make it even easier? With Bags VIP luggage delivery, you can bypass baggage claim and begin making the most of your vacation or business trip right away, without the burden of luggage. Major airlines, cruise lines and world-famous resorts trust Bags to handle their customers’ luggage every day – more than 5 million bags each year! Now, you can Make Travel Easier and more enjoyable by having a Bags VIP agent retrieve your luggage from baggage claim when you arrive and deliver it to your hotel, home or office.

Big Travel = Big Business

Are company paid business trips an investment in the future, or just money down the economic drain? Though many organizations write these trips off as regular expenses, a recent report from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) shows evidence that they can be much more. Their research reveals that in-person business trips are actually important investments in the growth of individual businesses, and the global economy as a whole. For example, the report shows that if worldwide business travel were to be cut by 25% for two consecutive years, global GDP would fall 5%, with a resulting loss of 30 million jobs worldwide! The WTTC report, Business Travel – A Catalyst for Economic Performance, also shows that such trips can be very profitable. The report found that travel for business purposes can yield a return on investment of ten to one (or as much as twelve to one in the US). That means a $10,000 return on a $1,000 expense!

So before you decide to cut the budget on your business travel account, check out some more facts from this info graphic below on business travel and remember, big travel can equal big business! If you are traveling, you skip luggage shipping and use Bags VIP Luggage Delivery services to help you make travel easier. Bags VIP agents will retrieve your checked luggage and deliver it to a destination of your choice, freeing you to make the most of your trip.

Skip luggage shipping and use Bags VIP for your next business trip.

Infographic by Smart Meetings Corporate Events

 

 

 

Hyatt’s World’s Largest Focus Group Provides Travel Insights

From getting more sleep to reducing stress to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

Hyatt recently released the results of what they coined the “world’s largest focus group,” a study of more than 9000 tweets collected from business and leisure travelers. The results were interesting. From getting more sleep to reducing stress to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, companies like Hyatt and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier.

From getting more sleep to reducing stress to skipping the hassles of shipping luggage by using Bags VIP luggage delivery, airports and Bags Inc. are striving to make travel easier for air passengers.

  • 1 in 3 business travelers experiences stress when traveling, compared to 1 in 6 leisure travelers. Business travelers’ top causer of stress? Getting less sleep.
  • Responders feel travel would be easier if they skip hotel check-in and go straight to their room.
  • If you’re one of the 58% of responders who like navigating new things, do so by asking locals, consulting hotel staff, using public transportation and get lost (on purpose!).
  • When not in meetings, two thirds of business travelers prefer to work in their room. 65% of women prefer to work in their pajamas.

For more telling insights, and the more detailed infographic just hinted at here, check out the Experience Hyatt blog and read the #HyattWLFG tweets.

Happy 100, Commercial Aviation!

An American Airlines 767 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport.

An American Airlines 767 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial flight. Back in 1914, the 23-minute flight from Tampa to St. Petersburg, Florida, had just one passenger. The St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line flew that route, and 1204 passengers, over three months before closing its doors forever.

In just one hundred years, commercial aviation has changed the way we live, travel, work, and connect with one another. In an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Tony Tyler, the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) director-general and chief executive, said, “Today the aviation industry re-unites loved ones, connects cultures, expands minds, opens markets, and fosters development. Aviation provides people around the globe with the freedom to make connections that can change their lives and the world.”

{Follow or join our “Up in the Air” group Pinterest board and share your best pics taken from the skies!}
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In 2013 total passenger numbers were 3.1 billion—surpassing the 3 billion mark for the first time ever. That number is expected to grow to 3.3 billion in 2014 (equivalent to 44% of the world’s population). About 50 million tons of cargo is transported by air each year (about 140,000 tons daily). The annual value of these goods is some $6.4 trillion—or 35% of the value of goods traded internationally.

Aviation supports over 57 million jobs and generates $2.2 trillion in economic activity. The industry’s direct economic contribution of around $540 billion would, if translated into the GDP ranking of countries, place the industry in 19th position. Global airline industry turnover is expected to be $743 billion in 2014, with an average industry profit margin of 2.6%.

We’re proud to be a part of an industry that is 100 years young and continues to grow by leaps and bounds each year. Interested in learning more about the 100th anniversary of commercial aviation? Check out flying100years.com and follow #flying100 below.