Passengers aboard Emirates’ A380 aircraft will now be able to make phone calls while inflight.
OnAir, the Emirates connectivity partner, provided the airline with a system enabling passengers to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and send text messages inflight, using EDGE/GPRS connections through their mobile service provider.
The OnAir mobile system will be available on all Emirates’ A380.
The first Emirates A380 offering the service departed from Dubai international Airport to Munich International Airport on October 2.
Emirates A380 aircraft is already equipped with OnAir WiFi service.
Virgin America is the top U.S. airline for Premium Class in 2012, according to Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll, an annual survey — rating hotels, hotel brands and airlines — conducted among business travelers.
The survey also ranked Singapore Airlines the best airline in Asia for Premium Class.
Virgin Atlantic and Emirates took the top honors for the same category in Europe and in Africa/Middle East respectively.
- How Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll works.
An independent firm — Global Market Insite, Inc, asked over 46,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers identified as business travelers to rate hotels, hotel brands, and airlines on a variety of criteria. Final scores (out of 100) represent the percentage of readers who rated a hotel, hotel brand, or airline excellent or very good — other rating options include good, fair, or poor.
Below is a summary of ranking — including final scores — of Airlines for Premium Class by region.
North America: Virgin America, 87.9; Hawaiian Airlines, 81.2; Sun Country Airlines, 72.5.
Asia: Singapore Airlines, 91.4; Cathay Pacific, 90.5: Air New Zealand, 89.1.
Europe: Virgin Atlantic, 86.9; Swiss International Air Lines, 84.0; Lufthansa, 81.6.
Africa/Middle East: Emirates, 91.0; Etihad Airways, 87.0; El Al Israel Airlines, 85.1.
Below is the Condé Nast Traveler’s Hotel Brands ranking:
Auberge Resorts, 94.4; Montage Hotels & Resorts, 93.7; Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, 93.3; Peninsula Hotels, 92.9; Four Seasons, 92.4; Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, 91.6; Trump Hotel Collection, 91.6; Ritz-Carlton, 91.1; St. Regis, 90.8; Mandarin Oriental, 89.1; Raffles Hotels & Resorts, 89.1; Wynn Resorts, 89.1; One&Only, 88.6; Shangri-La, 87.4; Regent, 87.1.
Full ratings of Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Business Travel Poll can be found here.
Hilton HHonors launched a promotion offering Delta frequent fliers the chance to elevate their SkyMiles status faster.
Members who sign up for this offer will earn 250 Medallion Qualification Miles, plus double miles when they book and complete a two-night stay from October 1st, 2012 through December 15, 2012 at any participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio.
You must select Delta Air Lines as your preferred Double Dip Points & Miles Partner in your HHonors profile. Registration — online at HHonors.com/deltamqm — is required.
Another fall promotion just launched by Hilton HHonors will offer 5000 Emirates Skywards points after two stays at participating Hilton hotels between October 1st and December 31, 2012.
To qualify for this offer you must register at hiltonhhonors.com/skywards5000.
HHonors members who choose Fixed miles award will receive 500 base Skywards Miles for each of the two stays, plus 4,000 bonus Skywards Miles after their second stay only. Members who choose Variable Miles award, will earn one Skywards Mile per one USD spent, plus 4,000 bonus Skywards Miles after their second stay only.
Also, this promotion offers those who are not HHonors members and who subsquently will enroll in the programme an additional 1,000 Hilton HHonors bonus points upon registration.
Last Sept. 26 Hilton HHonors launched a promotion for Virgin Atlantic frequent fliers (see details).
Jumpjet has officially launched its new private jet service.
With Jumpjet, high-end frequent-fliers will get to fly on private jet for a fixed monthly fee — with a year-long commitment to pay it.
Will Ashcroft, Jumpjet’s founder, says his company will offer private jet service for a price that is competitive with first- and business-class fares. He added his company will be popular with frustrated premium passengers.
Basically, Jumpjet offer its members three packages to choose from, each of which comes with 10 round trips per year.
Members are required to pay a $550 initiation fee first, then If approved, they choose from one of the three following packages.
- Upper Club package: ($2,350 per month) it offers 10 round trips per year on flights of 1,750 miles or less.
- Upper Club Plus package: ($3,995 per month) it comes with 10 round trips per year on flights of 2,250 miles.
- Coast to Coast Elite package: ($5,550 per month) it offers 10 round-trip flights that can be booked to any destination in the U.S. (48 mainland states).
Also, Jumpjet offers an option, Jump Share, allowing a group of up to 10 people to join their resources to purchase either an Upper Club or Upper Club Plus membership.
Another option allows members to bring up to seven guests along on their flights, for a fee of $1,250 per round-trip.
Members will be able to set their own routes and schedules, but are required to reserve their itinerary at least two weeks in advance.
Starting from Oct. 15, approved members will be able to make reservations for itineraries beginning on Nov. 1 and onward.
Markets in which Jumpjet will be selling memberships include the following:
Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson; California: Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs,Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Santa Barbara; Colorado: Aspen, Denver, Vail; Connecticut: Greenwich; District of Columbia: Washington (includes parts of Maryland and Virginia); Florida: Aventura/Bal Harbour, Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Naples, Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Sarasota, West Palm Beach; Georgia: Atlanta; Idaho: Sun Valley; Illinois: Chicago; Maryland: Baltimore; Massachusetts: Boston; Michigan: Detroit; Minnesota: Minneapolis-St. Paul; New Jersey: Trenton/Mercer; New Mexico: Albuquerque/Santa Fe; New York: Hamptons, New York; North Carolina: Raleigh; Ohio: Cleveland-Akron; Oklahoma: Oklahoma City; Oregon: Portland; Pennsylvania: Philadelphia; Tennessee: Nashville; Texas: Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth; Washington: Seattle.
Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Newark’s Airport (EWR) have been added to the TSA Pre™ pilot program, in the past days.
Last Sept. 25, TSA announced select frequent travelers of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler members can now try TSA Pre at Washington Dulles International Airport. IAD is currently the only airport in the country that has a checkpoint dedicated to TSA Pre passengers — it is located in the center of the departures level of the main terminal.
Last Sept 19, TSA announced Newark’s EWR airport will begin offering the program to United select frequent flyers and CBP Trusted Traveler members.
TSA Pre is a program that allows U.S. passengers traveling on domestic flights to expedite their screening experience — i.e. to keep their shoes and belts on, and keep their laptops in their bags — if they opt in.
TSA Pre is currently available in 26 U.S. airports and operational with five airlines, including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and US Airways.
Last Sept 25, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the agency has screened more than 3 million travelers through TSA Pre lanes.