What to Know Now
Competition for your inflight entertainment experience is heating up. This week, JetBlue announced a partnership with Amazon Prime that will allow its passengers to stream some Amazon Prime content directly to their personal devices for free. That partnership is also subsidizing free internet for the entirety of the Wi-Fi equipped JetBlue fleet.
American Airlines followed up today by announcing free movies in much of its domestic service (where available) and the launch of their Gogo streaming movie service.
Still unknown is the effect of bandwidth on these services. Gogo’s service operates out of the belly of the aircraft so doesn’t rely on an in internet connection to stream data, but content from Amazon Prime will need to be downloaded. While’s Jetblue’s Fly-Fi service offers speeds of up to 20Mbps per seat, can it handle a plane full of 20Mbps seats?
Social Quote of the Day
Why isn’t the verge not complaining that Amazon and JetBlue is violating Net Neutrality? From what I am gathering from this article, as a Prime customer, I will not have to pay for internet nor movies on Jetblue but non-Prime customers will have to pay for both. Isn’t that preferential treatment?
U.S. Airlines Collected a Record $6.4 Billion in Bag and Change Fees in 2014: Airline bag and change fee revenue hit a record $6.4 billion in 2014 and the third quarter, propelled by summer travel, generated the highest fees, new data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show. Read more at Skift
Want a Flight Upgrade? Plusgrade Lets You Name Your Price: How much would you pay to upgrade your next flight? Online auction system Plusgrade lets you bid against other passengers for a better seat. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Read more at Conde Nast Traveler
JetBlue to Keep In-Flight Wi-Fi Free, Thanks to Amazon Prime: In the latest enhancement to its Fly-Fi and in-flight Entertainment products, JetBlue has announced a partnership with Amazon which will let passengers enjoy unlimited, on-demand entertainment through JetBlue’s high-speed Fly-Fi broadband internet. Read more at Skift
After Driverless Cars Google Has Its Eye on Pilot-less Airliners: The chief of Google Inc.’s experimental cargo-drone program wants to see automated flight go beyond pilotless planes and extend to commercial air travel. Read more at Skift
Lawmakers Look to Limit TSA Precheck’s Low-Risk, Random Sample Program: Several bipartisan lawmakers have proposed legislation that will restrict the TSA’s Precheck program solely to members who have applied for and have been given access to expedited screening, ensuring that passengers going through the line have been thoroughly vetted. Read more at Skift
U.S. Airports Are Better, but Not Best: As major airports around the world scramble to brand themselves as luxury entities rather than mere transportation centers, some have adopted a star-ranking system, like hotels. It was inevitable. Read more at The New York Times
Denver’s Airport Has Become the U.S. Airport By Which All Others Are Measured: Denver International Airport posted lower borrowing costs than most of its peers last year while generating higher returns, although it operates in a state with the 22nd-largest population. Read more at Skift
The Aircraft Tracking System of the Future Was Built on Link Bait: Even as the aviation industry argues over the affordability of various advanced flight tracking systems in the aftermath of the disappearance of MH370, Flightradar24 has established itself as the go-to aircraft tracking tool for individuals, media, and even many airlines. Read more at Skift
Why Apple’s Beating Android in Consumer Travel Wearables: Why does Apple seem to be leading the charge? Glenville Morris, Head of Consulting at MTT, a mobile-only travel company, says it’s in part because Google’s wearable platform has been slow to progress. Read more at Skift
In-Flight Food Service Company Looks to Sushi Automats for Inspiration: Fans of Automats and carousel dining will be delighted to know that, one day, we could be served our on-board snacks and beverages through a contraption hidden under the plane’s floor. Read more at Skift
Morgans Hotels Partners with General Assembly for Creative Conference: Morgans Hotel Group is aiming to go one step beyond being a considered boutique or lifestyle hospitality brand to become a hub and facilitator of unique events and think tanks. Read more at Skift
Las Vegas Shuts the Doors on 60 Years of History With Riviera Closure: The aging Riviera Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip will age no more. Read more at Skift
Dubai Is Building Hotels Faster Than Any Other City in the World Right Now: The Burj al Arab. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The palm island’s Atlantis. All unmistakably Dubai, the Persian Gulf emirate that turned itself into a luxury tourist destination. Read more at Skift
My friend Starlee has a new podcast about mysteries coming up on Gimlet Media. I’m genuinely excited for both Starlee and the upcoming show.
Tips and Comments
Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin
Have a confidential tip for Skift? Get in touch
Photo credit: Seatback entertainment on JetBlue. JetBlue