More and more travelers carry tablets on their flights – some using them to accomplish work on the plane while others using them for entertainment or leisure browsing. Tablets are much friendlier devices to manage while sitting in a “compact” airplane seat than laptops. They are smaller and lighter and therefore more comfortable to hold in your lap. Even if you place your tablet on the seatback table, it is less awkward to move around when your neighbor wants to pass in front of you on her way to the restroom. Tablets are becoming so popular that a few airlines, such as Virgin Australia, have started to rent them to passengers as they board the plane while others, like Delta, deliver mobile in-flight portals for passengers to view on their tablets.
In addition to becoming popular travel companions, tablets are often used when searching for travel-related services – in some cases during the travel itself. In a recent FlightView survey, where responses from over 3,000 travelers were tallied, 69% reported owning and using a tablet to search for travel services. Of these folks, 62% had searched for flights, 45% had searched for hotels, and 26% had searched for ground transportation, all over the past 12 months. While almost 70% of people surveyed searched for flights, just under 50% actually purchased flight tickets on their tablets (49%). Why don’t they follow through with the booking? While in the past some folks might have said they were concerned about the security of mobile devices or that their transaction would get lost in-process, this is not the case today. The top two reasons for not purchasing their tickets on their tablets were the difficulty of entering all the required information on a smaller device (16%) and that people prefer using a laptop or desktop to make their final flight purchases (57%).
Surprise surprise; The weather man was wrong! According to reports the night before, we were supposed to get nothing but rain and my flight to San Antonio would leave without any issues. The flight from BOS to DFW was set to leave at 11am and we’d have plenty of time to make our connection into SAT. When I woke up on the day of the flight, I found out that we had about eight inches of the fluffy type of “rain” and realized we probably wouldn’t be going anywhere. Having been through the weather-related flight cancellation experience a few years ago, I was dreading a day spent on hold listening to oldies, soft rock, or worst of all a continuous loop of the same new age tones. Just as I was bracing myself to make the dreaded call, my phone rang.
On the other end of the line was a very nice, very helpful, and very proactive computerized voice. I was informed that my flight was cancelled (This I already knew – I do work for company that brings you the FlightView Flight Tracker), I was informed that I had been rebooked on another flight for later that day and my connection had been rebooked as well.