Company News

New In-Flight Service Allows You to Flirt at 30,000 Feet

Getting LuckyAre you a flirt at 30,000 feet?  If so, you may be interested in a new program from Virgin America called Seat-To-Seat Delivery service.  The service allows passengers to purchase regular or alcoholic beverages as well as food for another passenger on the plane and pass along a text message using the Red touchscreen terminals attached to the back of each seat.  Names are not included on the terminal screen, only a grid showing all seats on the plane. The passenger sending a text message, drink or meal will have to make sure which seat their intended recipient is sitting in before completing the purchase.

Beyond flirting between passengers, this service will be particularly helpful for families or large groups that are on the same plane, but spread among several sections.  However, if you’re looking to score, Sir Richard Branson has some tips for you.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Earlier today The House passed a bill that grants the FAA authority to use up to $253 million from various accounts to avoid reduced staffing and operations through September 30th.  Because of the sequester — the $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect in March — the FAA on Sunday began furloughs of 47,000 employees, leading to flight significant delays. The bill passed today should avert those furloughs, as well as the closures of small airport towers.  Now only if they can figure out some way to get mail delivered on Saturdays.
  • A new system has been developed by a New York company called Plusgrade that works with airline reservation computers to hold online auctions for upgrades to premium cabins.  Ten airlines around the world are using it, and more are considering it.  And it’s not just business-class seats that are on the auction block.  El Al Airlines of Israel is also auctioning off empty middle seats.  Winning bids have average $150–a fair price to pay for many eager to have extra space on long flights.  Winning bids for upgrades from coach to business class average $800 – a great deal for a seat that typically is priced at several thousand dollars.
  • This week, United Airlines jacked up fees on passengers who need to adjust travel plans.  For flights within the U.S., customers must fork over at least $200 (up from $150) for changing tickets.  The carrier raised the change fee on certain international flights as well, from $250 to $300 for many routes to South America.  Don’t confuse these “change fees” with “rebooking fees” – which remain unchanged.  Change fees are applied when you change the time or date of your flight.  Rebooking fees are applied when you want to rebook your ticket at the lower available price (which Yapta conveniently alerts you to with all rebooking fees taken into consideration).