US gives lift-off to laptop use during take-off
THE US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given its long-awaited approval to the use of devices such as tablet computers and e-readers during take-off and landing on flights. Many airlines are expected to adopt the new guidelines by the end of the year and Jet Blue has already given the go-ahead, meaning passengers flying in and out of the US should begin to feel the benefit very soon.
The rule change includes music players, gaming consoles and smart phones, though those who enjoy an in-flight respite from other people's conversations will be pleased to hear that making phone calls will still be strictly prohibited.
"These guidelines reflect input from passengers, pilots, manufacturers, and flight attendants," said Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx. "We believe today's decision honours both our commitment to safety and consumers' increasing desire to use their electronic devices during all phases of flights.
"There is one thing that won't change," said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. "Passengers must take a break from... whatever they are doing, and listen to the safety briefing before each flight. It is information that can save your life".
ETIHAD TO SHOW LIVE TV IN-FLIGHT
SPORTS fans flying on Etihad Airways can now watch matches live from their seats. The company has just switched on a new in-flight entertainment system that features live television. Passengers have access to BBC World News, BBC Arabic, Euronews and Sport 24, while CNBC, Japan's NHK World Premium, and CNN will be introduced during November.
BA SALE IN FOR THE LONG-HAUL
BRITISH Airways has launched a sale of premium tickets on Irish flights. The sale, which will continue until November 12, applies to fares in British Airways First and Club World cabins on several long-haul routes. First-class tickets on flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to Sydney have been reduced by as much as 41pc, starting at €4,999, while New York has been cut by 27pc to €3,712 and Los Angeles reduced by 22pc to €4,144. Club World fares, the next tier down, have also been slashed.
BUSINESS TRAVEL HIKE DUE IN 2014
COMPANIES should expect to pay slightly more overall for business travel in Europe in 2014, as suppliers hike prices across air, hotel and ground transportation categories, according to a new industry forecast. Hotel rates are expected to increase in nearly all countries. Germany is expected to see the steepest increases.
The bright spot of the finding was offered by car rental companies. The report, from American Express, expects European car rental suppliers to adjust to price sensitivities and traveller needs next year by offering a number of alternatives to traditional daily car rentals, including car-sharing options and lower-cost rental brands.
Speaking of American Express – the credit card firm has launched a deal with Trip Advisor that allows card holders to directly connect their Amex accounts with their Trip Advisor profiles. Customers who write reviews on Trip Advisor using the system will get a credit of £5 (€5.9c) and have access to offers and "hotspot lists" compiled through other customers' spending data.