Sep 18, 2019

Personal devices spark war over planes' windows

Photo: Getty Images/Patrick Foto

As personal devices become the centerpiece of in-flight entertainment, airline passengers are increasingly at odds over the use of window shades, the Wall Street Journal writes.

The big picture: Passengers and airlines say the increased use of devices such as iPads and phones has boosted the desire for darkness. Outdoor light — especially when bouncing off clouds or ice — causes glare that can make it harder to view screens.

  • Many daytime flights have begun to travel in the dark, with some Boeing 787 flights disabling individual controls to keep windows dimmed throughout — and flights from Asia to North America often block passenger control entirely.

The other side: Many want the shades kept open to enjoy the view, gain reading light or keep one's internal clock in check.

  • Some customers who favor light complain that pressure from seat mates or controlled windows make them feel cheated from their window-seat experience.
  • Delta says it's even had to address customer conflicts over window light, which they resolve by relocating passengers into areas of the plane favoring dark or light.

The bottom line: Window seats were once coveted for their view. Now, they're a matter of power, thanks to technology's ever-growing influence on our lives.

Go deeper: Airlines on track to devalue frequent flyer miles

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Japan Airlines booking feature shows where kids are sitting on flights

Japan Airlines. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Japan Airlines has unveiled a new feature that shows where children under the age of 2 are sitting on their flights when passengers pick their seat, CNBC reports.

The big picture: Targeting business passengers, especially those who have to deal with long-haul flights, several airlines have initiated services for adult passengers that help them avoid sitting next to children or babies. AirAsia X and IndiGo rolled out "quiet zone" sections on their planes, which exclude children under 12.

Go deeper: Personal devices spark war over planes' windows

Keep ReadingArrowSep 27, 2019

Delta to buy 20% stake in Latin America's largest airline

Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Delta Air Lines is planning to buy a 20% stake in Latin America’s largest airline, LATAM, for $1.9 billion, after its rival American Airlines announced a joint venture with the Chilean-based airline, CNBC reports.

The big picture: Through joint ventures and minority stakes, Delta has been trying to broaden its trips to more international destinations. LATAM has hubs in major South American cities, with domestic service in Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Ecuador.

Go deeper: Personal devices spark war over planes' windows

Keep ReadingArrowSep 26, 2019

Study: Airplanes possibly giving passengers unhealthy water

Photo: aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

Several airlines have reportedly given their passengers unsafe drinking water, according to a new study from the Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center at the City University of New York.

Why it matters: Most of the airlines' water samples tested positive for E. Coli and coliform bacteria. The study also found that when the Environmental Protection Agency does find a violation under the 2011 Aircraft Drinking Water Rule, it rarely implements penalties.

Go deeperArrowSep 21, 2019