Every week, besides the contributions I make to this site and to VolandoAndo, I work on Flight Chic Special Reports for leading industry publications.
These are five of my stories you might have missed at the beginning of 2015, and half an aside of relevant news.
Hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
I can’t help but notice an unintended theme: resolving tricky troubles in aviation. (That’s just how the stories evolved and it’s an interesting way to start the year off.)
Contributions to leading travel intelligence site: Skift.com
1. Virgin Atlantic solves the problem of having planes available for crew training with Augmented Reality, then turns that into a marketing advantage. If you have a few minutes to waste away on some aircraft interiors joy, you must try this Augmented Reality tour of the new Birthday Girl Dreamliner: Virgin Atlantic Using Augmented Reality to Entice Customers and Train Crew.
2. A ticklish in-flight problem, approached with abundant humor: JetBlue Wants to Teach Passengers How to Be Less Rude.
By the way, just after this story was published, JetBlue released Episode 2 of its #FlightEtiquette videos. Here it is:
3. Gogo tries to solve a delicate problem, only to find a far more delicate predicament waiting on the other side: Gogo’s In-Flight Wi-Fi Certificate Issue Is Attempt to Block Unauthorized Streaming.
4. Running a small flagship in the EU was always a challenge, but new economic dynamics have made it a losing proposition. The former CEO of Air Malta believes he’s found the solution, and it’s a different approach than anything I’ve heard before: Why Europe’s Small Flagship Airlines Should Act More Like Hotel Brands
4.5 It is a sad coincidence that the day after I published this post, Cyprus Airways, which had been in business since 1947, ceased operations because it was unable to pay back its €65m state aid from 2012 and 2013, which the European Commission deemed illegal.
Call it opportunistic or call it clever, Ryanair was ready to step in and save stranded passengers with discount fares.
Rescue fares launched for stranded Cyprus Airways passengers. Fly to Paphos from just €49.99 http://t.co/9CaIS0e9AO
— Ryanair (@Ryanair) January 9, 2015
(I would qualify it as cleverly opportunistic. It’s an island and people have to fly, so they’re doing a good deed when you think about it. They’re practically Franciscans.)
Speaking of Franciscans: If you didn’t run across this tale of shame on New Year’s Eve 2014, you MUST read about how United managed to make a monk lose his cool. Brother Noah uttered what has to be the best put down EVER to an airline telephone representative: “Thank you for speaking. God bless you. I will pray for you. But you have not been helpful.” Strong words indeed. As he explains: “It was my tone of voice..it manifested anger.” Obviously. The Monastery of Christ in the Desert are actually Benedictines, which can ‘bring it on’ a little heavier than Franciscans, but are generally quite mild as monks go. I mean, they’re no Jesuits, and they’re also nowhere near as hard-shelled as Dominicans. OK. Enough of that. Suffice it to say it was a very bad thing United did. To paraphrase Quijote: ‘Con la iglesia hemos topado.’ A popular Spanish saying which roughly translates: Don’t mess with monks (or anyone else in the organization)!
I also contributed my own little New Year’s Resolution (of sorts) to the 2015 Skift Staff list. I think I just broke it, but it really was more of an aim than a dictate.
Contribution to the experts of PaxEx: The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX).
5. Since we’re talking resolutions, you may want to read my: Seven New Year’s Resolutions to Improve your Frequent Flyer Lifestyle.