IFE & CONNECTIVITY

Virgin America passengers can register for the US elections at 35,000ft

By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Virgin America on 14 August celebrated  its new service between San Francisco and Reagan National Airport in suburban Washington, D.C., with an election-themed inaugural flight. Along for the ride were presidential impersonators Jim Gossett as “Mitt” and Reggie Brown as “Barack,” who spent the flight chatting with travellers en route to the capital of the USA as they handed out American flags.

Another reason why “Barack” and “Mitt” joined passengers onboard the first flight was to help “get out the vote” at 35,000 feet, as part of a partnership between Virgin America and Rock The Vote, the largest non-partisan voter registration organization in the USA.

QR codes
In an effort to sign up 1.5 million new voters, Rock the Vote has been using non-traditional ways to engage the public, for example by placing QR codes on T-shirts, and as part of the registration drive with Virgin America, fliers on all Virgin America flights now can scan a QR code on the airline’s in-flight entertainment system in order to register to vote.

How it works: Passengers tap on the screen of Virgin America’s ‘RED’ seatback entertainment platform to select the voter registration page in the ‘Make a Difference’ section on the system. They then connect to the in-flight Wi-Fi system with their mobile phone and scan the QR code on the IFE page in order to receive an election registration app on their mobile device. Passengers can then choose either to pay for in-flight Wi-Fi and sign up immediately, or wait until they land to access the app and sign up to vote. Passengers can also make a donation to Rock the Vote by swiping their credit card, while on the inaugural flight each passenger received a Rock the Vote t-shirt.
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Singapore Airlines goes digital with in-flight magazines

Singapore Airlines has introduced an electronic version of its its three in-flight magazines – SilverKris (in-flight magazine), KrisShop (sales catalogue); and KrisWorld (entertainment guide) – on its KrisWorld in-flight entertainment system. The digital magazines will be high resolution and passengers will be able to choose their own font, search by keyword, and zoom in to aid reading. Singapore Airlines says it is the first in the world to offer an e-magazine. The e-magazines are part of a trial with a Singapore-based company, SmarttPapers Aviation. and Singapore Airlines says it eventual goal is to create a paperless aircraft.

The airline may extend the initiative at a later date to cover other publications, including menu cards and the more than 100 international and local magazines carried in the cabin. This is “in line with efforts to reduce the amount of paper carried on board, thus reducing weight and saving fuel”, the carrier said in a statement. “E-books and e-magazines have gained popularity and we want to offer these to our customers.” The digital magazines made their debut on 2 B777-300ERs on 31 July, and will be followed by 2 A380s, before being rolled out Singapore Airlines aircraft equipped with the Panasonic eX2 IFE system. Read full article »