Apple is also transforming air travel

“The impact of Apple on air travel extends beyond Apple’s iOS Passbook app – the company’s solutions are appearing across the air flight ecosystem,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld.

“When you take you flight it’s possible your pilot will be using an iPad to replace their flight manual and (since Apple and IBM began working together) you’ll see flight attendants using the Ancillary Sale app for iPhone, in order to handle things like seat upgrades and duty-free sales during the flight (which customers can pay for with Apple Pay),” Evans writes. “Of course, airlines have been offering passengers in-flight entertainment through an iPad since 2010.”

“Apple’s technology is changing things before you fly, of course. There are already numerous apps offering to help you choose, buy or catch your flight,” Evans writes. “Apple technologies are becoming part of the experience you have in airport terminals.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Air travel, a nightmare since 9/11, is bearable only because of how many portions of the journey are touched by Apple products.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. I was watching an older movie from the 60s, and realized just how far down things have gone. The guy traveller walked into the airport maybe 20 minutes before the flight (hard to tell of course due to time compression), went through no security, was treated be numerous employees, and was really treated like royalty on the plane.
    I know this is a movie, so things were much more perfect than reality, but the reality had to have been way way better to allow such a movie presentation of it.

    1. When I travelled on French airlines in the 80 and 90’s, the level of professional service and attention you got from several beautiful and attractively underdressed flight attendants (which were all female in my experiences) was like nothing you can imagine today unless you own your own jet.

      Basically flying was treated like something special. Terrorism fears and economic slumps sapped the human sense of freedom and fun from the whole things.

      1. Even flying domestically was different 30 years ago. I was only a pre-teen/young teen in the early-80’s, but I still remember flying with my folks. We dressed up a little. My dad wore a sport-coat. It still felt a little “special” (for lack of a better term). Now, it’s much more like riding the bus, only faster (most of the time).

    2. Yup. If you had a ticket you could get on board. Didn’t matter what the name on the ticket was, if it even had one.

      On the other hand, you traveled in a cloud of cigarette smoke.

      Semi-interesting Apple tidbit: When the Apple II was a big seller and Apple was rolling in cash (relatively speaking, of course), employees going to an event would travel in first class. There were enough of them that they could book all the smoking seats, thus ensuring a smoke-free cabin.

    1. That deregulation also made flying affordable. In 2011, SCOTUS Chief Justice Breyer had this to say about the deregulation act:

      “…Was this effort worthwhile? Certainly it shows that every major reform brings about new, sometimes unforeseen, problems. No one foresaw the industry’s spectacular growth, with the number of air passengers increasing from 207.5 million in 1974 to 721.1 million last year. As a result, no one foresaw the extent to which new bottlenecks would develop: a flight-choked Northeast corridor, overcrowded airports, delays, and terrorist risks consequently making air travel increasingly difficult. Nor did anyone foresee the extent to which change might unfairly harm workers in the industry. Still, fares have come down. Airline revenue per passenger mile has declined from an inflation-adjusted 33.3 cents in 1974, to 13 cents in the first half of 2010. In 1974 the cheapest round-trip New York-Los Angeles flight (in inflation-adjusted dollars) that regulators would allow: $1,442. Today one can fly that same route for $268. That is why the number of travelers has gone way up. So we sit in crowded planes, munch potato chips, flare up when the loudspeaker announces yet another flight delay. But how many now will vote to go back to the “good old days” of paying high, regulated prices for better service?…”

      I’ll take that over improved service any day.

      1. I should add that if you really want to go back to the way it was before deregulation, you can always pay for a Business or First-Class fare. First-class from New York to LA can currently be had for about $1100RT. So you get the service you want, and you still pay less than the price of the good ‘ol days.

        1. I do upgrade occasionally, but that expensive business-class ticket doesn’t make the TSA lines any shorter, the gates any less crowded, the planes any less jam-packed, or the flight attendants any more friendly or attractive. 😉

      2. Exactly. I was about to write a similar post, but you beat me to it. If you want something less hectic and more exclusive, it’s going to be expensive. The bottom line is that the results of deregulation are booth good and bad.

        On one hand, the democratization of modern air travel is wonderful. On the other hand, the low prices certainly haven’t helped the overall quality of the system, nor made it anything anybody in their right mind looks forward to. There are serious, long-term, chronic problems such as pilot wages.

        Personally, I’d prefer something of a happy medium. Something between the more exclusive, expensive air travel of the mid-70’s and the inexpensive mess that is air travel in 2015. Personally, I’d happily pay 20-30% more if I could have a little larger seat, a little nicer flight attendant, and a better-paid, better trained, less-stressed flight crew. I don’t quite see how that happens because I wouldn’t want to use regulation to do it.

  2. I was in a flight that used a 8mm video tape, a disc player and a huge amplifier for the entertainment system.
    I simply ipod could have replaced the VCR and the CD Player.

    I guess that airline is managed by dinosaurs.

  3. Now if they can do something about the width of the seats, the legroom, the way airlines charge for everything, the fact that airlines don’t check the mental health of their pilots…

  4. Citizens of the free and civilized world, don’t be confused by the MDN take, they are referring to the second 9-11.

    Obviously americans hardly ever talk about the first terrorist 9-11 event from 1973, as it reveals their true colors.

  5. Wow! Every time I read MDN a new story about how the Apple Watch is going to transform every aspect of human existence. Maybe with a little luck, the folks at Apple will use it to transform Yosemite and the other crappy software it seems to be thrusting on its consumers.

  6. Apple have fucked a lot of flights as well. It hasn’t been publicised but the ios8.3 update has a bug that results in key performance apps from a major aircraft manufacturer being unable to launch. Delta switched their EFBs to MS and more airlines will follow if Apple keep this shit up.

    And the IBM apps that they have presented to airlines so far are an absolute embarrassment. Airlines already have their own far superior solutions on the iPad for ancillary sales.

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