Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.


IDEAS: SWISS Adds Free Wi-Fi Chat on Long-Haul Flights

7 months ago

SWISS has announced the introduction of free Wi-Fi enabled internet for chat services on all long-haul flights, beginning in August 2023.

The new facility, which will be available across all travel classes, will allow passengers to utilize chat services on smartphones, laptops and tablets for the duration of their flight and will have no upper data limit.

Credit: SWISS Airlines

The Wi-Fi facility will provide access to most popular messenger services, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram. 

SWISS passengers will also have the opportunity to upgrade to advanced Wi-Fi packages, which will offer further internet capabilities such as browsing, emailing, and access to social media platforms.

“In offering these new Wi-Fi options we’re taking a big step forward,” says SWISS Chief Commercial Officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. 

“With our new unlimited free chat facility in all our travel classes, our guests can keep in contact with their families, friends and business partners throughout their flight. Our attractive new packages for surfing, email and social media also offer unlimited data volumes. So our customers now have even more choice in how they wish to stay in unbounded touch with the world while they are aboard our long-haul flights.”

Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.


Lufthansa Grounds Flights Due to Software Problem

1 year ago

Lufthansa has suffered an “IT outage,” prompting the German airline group to delay and cancel all its flights.

“Currently, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are affected by an IT outage,” the company said in a social media post on Wednesday morning. “This is causing flight delays and cancellations. We regret the inconvenience this is causing our passengers.”

The software error is affecting its global network. Lufthansa also operates Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Swiss and Eurowings.

The airline is now investigating whether the incident is related to a cyber attack on fellow European airline SAS, according to Bloomberg.

Various Swedish companies have recently been hit by presumed cyber attacks, including broadcaster SVT which said a group called “Anonymous Sudan” had taken credit for the attack posting on Telegram that Swedish media would be attacked as a result of Koran burnings in Sweden.

UPDATE: The airline later said the disruption was caused by construction work in the Frankfurt region.


Swiss Extends Air-Rail Connections to Interlaken and Lucerne

1 year ago

Swiss Air flyers will soon be able to connect to Interlaken and Lucerne on a single ticket. The airline will expand its “Air Rail” partnership with Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to the two famed destinations in Switzerland from December 11.

The expansion comes as airlines as increasingly relying on rail partners for local, or regional, connections on the ground. This is especially popular in Europe where many major airports have intercity rail stations, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Paris Charles de Gaulle. And, in July, German rail operator Deutsche Bahn unveiled plans to join the airline confab, Star Alliance, as its first intermodal partner.

But for all the fanfare given these partnerships, many hurdles remain. A lack of signage at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport adds an unnecessary layer of difficulty to flight-train transfers. Elsewhere, airline executives speak of issues integrating reservations systems and other technology challenges. And then there is the simple challenge of physical infrastructure: Trains can only go where tracks exist.

The Swiss and SBB Air Rail map from December. (Swiss International Air Lines)

The expanded Swiss and SBB partnership includes a new direct train — no transfer required — between Interlaken and the Zurich Airport. The airline touts “seamless” connectivity under the pact, including the ability of travelers to check in once — for example, on the Swiss app — and receive boarding passes for both the air and rail portion of their trips. Travelers can also earn points in Swiss’ loyalty program for the rail portion of their trips.

The addition of Interlaken and Lucerne comes just months after the airline and rail operator expanded their partnership to Munich in July.