Kulula.com (Photo credit: Steve Crane)
Virgin Airlines goes wireless
"Please turn off all electronic devices before departure." That's not the first time flyers have heard that line, but it may be the last. At 35,000 feet, six Virgin Atlantic passengers at a time will be able to send and receive phone calls and texts.
This month, Virgin Atlantic kept passengers buzzing when the airline announced that cell phones could be used on the airline's new Airbus A330-300 planes. Though Virgin won't charge its passengers for the service, cell phone users will be charged international roaming rates by their cell phone carriers. Because the service was designed to use satellite connection, (initially) only passengers using cell phone providers Vodafone, O2 and T-Mobile will obtain service. For some flyers, cell phone service may be the solution to delayed landing troubles, but others might find phone calls to be a nuisance in the small cabins.
While Virgin Atlantic has added cell phone usage to their services, Kulula has claimed the title of weirdest through it's comedy routine.
South African airline Kulula has made it their business to make passengers laugh. For starters, Kulula transformed their aircrafts sense of humor when they decided to hoist a "Flying 101" livery across the body of their newest aircraft model, Boeing 737-800. Their latest branding strategy doesn't stop there; the act includes an arrow-pointing instruction guide to different parts of the aircraft, such as "front door (our door is always open... unless we're at 41,000 feet)." If that doesn't make heads turn, flight attendants' comical one-liners are sure to leave you with a 'laughable' impression.
'Empty your wallets' Ryanair
Budget airlines Ryanair is notorious for its weird promotional materials and over-priced extras both on an off the plane.
Ryanair makes twenty percent of its revenue from sources other than ticket fares, which might explain the strict luggage and boarding regulations, not to mention their 'unique' services. The Advertising Standards Authority in Britain (ASA) recently banned Ryanair from the continued use of their all-too racy newspaper ads displaying flight attendants in lingerie. Onboard, Ryanair soon hopes to give passengers a run for their money as they offer porn on-demand through an in-flight entertainment application accessible from most handheld devices (be careful sitting next to those passengers). To top it all off, travelers who forget to print out their boarding pass before arriving at check-in can pay up to 90 euros.
Choose Your Seatmates by Facebook Profile on KLM
If you're wary of who you sit next to- screaming baby, obese man, worry no more, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Malaysia Air are now letting you choose your seatmates based on their facebook or linkedin profiles. The jury's still out as to whether "Meet & Seat" is exceptionally creepy or the next great dating site. Maybe you'll strike up a mile high love connection? Or forge the next great business deal?
What will they think of next?
By Andrea Gaggioni, Contributing Author