Top tech-friendly airlines

November 10, 2014 Mark Dauner

For some, the thought of enduring a long flight without playing solitaire on their tablet or watching a movie on their laptop is borderline chilling. Luckily, passing time on a plane is easier than ever, thanks in part to how airlines have been embracing new ways for providing customers with more tech-friendly amenities. Whether you’re in dire need of a Wi-Fi connection to send emails during business travel or simply looking to cure your boredom, here’s what you need to know about the technological services major airlines can provide:

American Airlines
While the plane rides themselves generally don’t feature too many technological perks, American Airlines has been able to solidify themselves as one of the better airlines in terms of social media management. They have almost a million followers on Twitter, and they’re renowned for settling any customer complaints you may experience by accommodating you with refunds or other perks through the social media platform. Utilizing their mobile app also allows users to receive any flight updates, parking reminders and even access mobile boarding passes. In terms of on-flight technological access, you can receive Wi-Fi access on nearly all their U.S. domestic flights, with monthly or annual subscription offers available to purchase.

Delta Air Lines
On-flight Wi-Fi, USB charging outlets and an extremely accommodating smartphone app are just a few of things keeping Delta in the running for the most tech-friendly airline. While flying coach can provide you access to charging stations and Internet access, being a part of their Delta Sky Club is how customers can truly unlock some incredible digital offers. Enrolling as a member will allow you access to complimentary in-flight Wi-Fi connection, satellite TV with programming channels available from 18 networks, printers, fax machines and conference rooms at select airports. Their efforts for expanding technological access were even awarded by PCWorld Magazine for being the, “Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline” for their wide variety of services.

Virgin America
Virgin America should certainly receive some notice for being one of the more innovative airlines in terms of tech-friendliness. This year alone, they have collaborated with multiple other tech-savvy companies to help appease customers who are more digitally-driven. Among these perks include free shuttle rides from Uber, a new rewards credit system with Alliance Data and the launching of the first ever in-flight social network, specifically targeted for business travelers. In addition, when you fly with Virgin America, you’ll find a touch​ screen located right in front of you that can grant you access to the Internet, movies on demand as well as food orders whenever you want. You can even stream live television while on a flight, so you won’t have to miss out on that big sports game!

Southwest Airlines
While Southwest Airlines wasn’t always renowned for its technological compatibility, the company has slowly began making strides to become one of the more digitally-accessible airlines in the U.S. One of the biggest joint-venture moves they’ve made this year was the recent announcement of Apple to offer customers an exclusive opportunity to experience free in-flight streaming through Beats Music, so you can spend your entire flight listening to your favorite songs. In addition, when you access their Wi-Fi hot spots during flights, you’ll be provided with an option to watch live television channels and on-demand programming through DISH network for most domestic flights in the U.S. You can also peruse through a select number of on-demand movie titles, available for $5 per film.

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