TRAVEL NEWS RECAP FOR WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 12
Airlines Ask Passengers to Stop Using Samsung Galaxy Note 7 During Flights – The Federal Aviation Administration has asked passengers not to use or charge their Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones during flights. This request comes after reports of the phones catching fire and exploding. American Airlines and Lufthansa are verbally asking travelers aboard their flights to shut off and stow these devices. The FAA can’t ban the Note 7 because it hasn’t officially been recalled by Samsung and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. American Airlines and Lufthansa join Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines in asking passengers to turn off and not charge these defective phones during flights. Samsung announced an exchange program for the Note 7 with changes to the packaging, so consumers can distinguish the new phones from the defective phones.
American Airlines Supports ‘Sully,’ But Won’t Show Film During Its Flights – With cooperation from American Airlines, Clint Eastwood’s new movie received advice and assistance from the airline, including access to film at LaGuardia Airport. However, despite supporting the film, American won’t include the movie as an in-flight entertainment option. Sully is the true story of Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, played by Tom Hanks, who made a successful emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009, saving the lives of 155 passengers and crew. American and US Airways merged in 2015, and American gave Sully its blessing, along with an Airbus A320 aircraft and access to their Flight Training Center at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina. Sully will not be available as in-flight entertainment because of its subject matter, which could be upsetting to passengers.
Alaska Airlines Offers Perks and Promotions to Seattle Seahawks Fans – Alaska Airlines is offering new perks for Seattle Seahawks fans through commercials featuring Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, the airline’s “Chief Football Officer.” Most perks can only be used in Seattle, but there’s a 12% discount on flights to destinations where the Seahawks are playing away games. Other perks include early boarding on flights leaving Seattle throughout the 2016 football season to anyone sporting Wilson’s jersey; a “Hometown Hangar” outside Seattle’s CenturyLink Field during weekend home games with live music, pre-game refreshments, and big screen TVs; and a chance to win tickets to a Seahawks away game and Visa gift cards.
JetBlue’s Book Vending Machine Program Expands to Florida – JetBlue’s Soar with Reading program provides free books in vending machines to children in disadvantaged neighborhoods. After a successful summer in Detroit, this program will be available in Fort Lauderdale next summer. Fort Lauderdale was selected after winning the #BookBattle online contest. Five book vending machines were located throughout Detroit this summer. Last summer, Soar with Reading distributed over 27,000 books through vending machines, plus 70,000 books via community partners in the Anacostia area of Washington, D.C.
Lufthansa Is First European Airline to Offer TSA PreCheck – Lufthansa became the first European carrier to offer TSA PreCheck privileges to its passengers, allowing them to go through PreCheck lanes at airport security checkpoints throughout US airports without removing their shoes, laptops, or jackets. So far, the only other foreign airline to offer this perk to passengers is Etihad Airways. To provide TSA PreCheck, airlines must meet TSA security requirements and upgrade their reservations systems to comply with the government’s prescreening system. Reportedly, TSA is working with additional foreign airlines to bring this perk to more fliers soon.
Missed our last news recap? Catch up with Travel News Recap Week of August 29.