Airline CFO to be Apple VP of sales
Apple confirmed late Monday to AllThingsD that it had obtained a key executive from United Continental. The airline's CFO, Zane Rowe, had left to become a sales VP at Apple. Company representative Steve Dowling was short on details, but pointed to what it saw as a good track record with Rowe.
United and Continental choose Panasonic for Wi-Fi
United and Continental Airlines have announced that they will have Wi-Fi access on all their main flights by 2015. The companies have chosen Panasonic Avionics to install the Wi-Fi systems on over 300 of their aircraft. The companies chose the Panasonic system because it offers Ku-band satellite technology that delivers faster air to ground speeds and wireless streaming of video content.
United swaps pilot manuals, charts for iPads
United Airlines and its soon-to-be-joined partner Continental staked out a first for flight by making itself the first major carrier in the US to completely drop paper among its 11,000 pilots by using the iPad. Along with shedding paper flight manuals, it's now the first of its size to replace its charts with the Apple tablet as well. Each iPad will carry Jeppesen Mobile FliteDeck (free, App Store) to provide worldwide maps in context.
United gets audio from Microsoft's Zune service
United today landed an unusual collaboration with Microsoft for its in-flight entertainment system. Passenger planes will have music curated from the Zune Marketplace and should expand well past the general categories for audio that were previously in the cabin. Electronic and dance, opera, soundtracks and such subgenres as piano jazz will come through seats.
Amtrak to launch free Wi-Fi in some trains
Commuter train operator Amtrak on Thursday said it will begin offering free Wi-Fi service, at least initially, on its Acela trains that carry passengers between Boston, New York and Washington. The move is the latest in the company's bid to entice business travelers to take the train rather than fly. The service will launch in March.