Independent: Airlines Face Crack Down On Use Of ‘Exploitative’ Algorithm That Splits Up Families On Flights

Independent: Airlines Face Crack Down On Use Of ‘Exploitative’ Algorithm That Splits Up Families On Flights. “Algorithms used by airlines to split up those travelling together unless they pay more to sit next to each other have been called ‘exploitative’ by a government minister. Speaking to a parliamentary communications committee, Digital Minister Margot James described the software as ‘a very cynical, exploitative means… to hoodwink the general public’.”

Lonely Planet: The world’s first airline compensation checker has been launched

I wasn’t sure whether to include this or not, and I think I should. Anyway, from Lonely Planet: The world’s first airline compensation checker has been launched. “Leading air passenger rights advocate AirHelp has launched the world’s first tool for travellers to check their eligibility for compensation from flight disruptions now up to three years in the past. The compensation-focused company’s new tool also allows travellers to visually map out their journeys from their mobiles into an adventure map that can be shared online.” You might wonder if the tool is limited because it notes compensation amounts in euros. But I was able to begin the checking process using a flight that occurred entirely within the United States.

Miltech: New web service launched to estimate radiation doses on airline routes (PRESS RELEASE)

Miltech: New web service launched to estimate radiation doses on airline routes (PRESS RELEASE). “Energetic eruptions of the Sun, such as solar flares and coronal mass ejections, may cause solar particle storms, which produce a large amount of charged energetic particles to the near-Earth environment. Solar particle storms pose a hazard to modern society, especially to space-borne technology. On Earth, we are protected by the atmosphere from the harmful effects of such storms. However, particles may occasionally have sufficient energy and intensity to produce notable effects in the atmosphere, even at the altitude of trans-polar airline routes. Passengers and crew may receive radiation doses significantly above the background level. Since the exposure of flying personnel to cosmic radiation is regarded as an occupational health problem (International Commission on Radiological Protection, 1991), it should be monitored. ”

PR Newswire: Airline Error Fare Search Engine Launched By CheapFlightsFinder (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: Airline Error Fare Search Engine Launched By CheapFlightsFinder (PRESS RELEASE). “The new search engine works by unveiling the cheapest flight prices found from over 1200 sources then launching a search for those fares on a multitude of search engines – including Skyscanner, momondo, Dohop, KAYAK, Google Flights and more. Not only are airline error fares uncovered but also genuine time sensitive travel deals officially published by the airlines. Once you have discovered an error fare, consumers can shave even more off the price by comparing those dates on different search engines, potentially saving up to 20% more.”

Bloomberg Quint: Google Shuts Off an Airline Booking Tool in Search

Bloomberg Quint: Google Shuts Off an Airline Booking Tool in Search. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google is pulling a software tool that let small companies access search information on airfares, a potential blow to online travel newcomers. Google’s tool was opened in 2011 after its $700 million acquisition of ITA Software Inc., an online airfare broker. In approving the deal, a federal judge required that Google keep an ITA flight search and pricing software, called QPX, accessible to third parties for at least five years.”

University of Miami: Eastern Airlines Archive Lands at UM

University of Miami: Eastern Airlines Archive Lands at UM. “This black-and-white photographic print, although undated and without a formal description, helps set a tone for how significant the aviation industry was to the development of South Florida. The print is just one of many items in the 440 linear feet of materials in the Eastern Airlines Archive, which was recently donated by the Eastern Airlines Retirees Association to the University of Miami Libraries Special Collections.”

PC Magazine: Luggage Tag Code Unlocks Your Flights, Identity to Hackers

Oh good grief. From PC Magazine: Luggage Tag Code Unlocks Your Flights, Identity to Hackers. “Each traveler on a GDS [Global Distributed Systems] is identified by a six digit code which is also the booking code (known as a PNR Locator). That ID is printed on boarding passes and luggage tags, meaning anyone near your luggage or who views your pass can see it and easily snap a shot of it with their smartphone. With that one code, all traveler information can be accessed, including home and email addresses, phone numbers, credit card number, frequent flyer number, and the IP address used to make a booking online “

Yup, Airlines Are Listening on Social Media

Do airlines really listen to all the social media crabbing and stories of travel woe? Apparently, yes. “While every major airline tracks and answers customers online, some do it better than others. For example, Southwest answers almost half of the customers who mention the airline on social media, the best among airlines in North America. Alaska Airlines is the fastest, answering social media posts within three minutes, according to Conversocial, which works with airlines like Alaska and tracks the industry’s interaction with millions of travelers.”

Asiana Airlines Customer Database Left Unsecured for Literally Years

Two facepalms in one issue of ResearchBuzz! Apparently the customer database for Asiana Airlines has been unsecured since 2013. “In line with its internal rules, the company had been deleting login records on the server between January 2013 and August 2014, making it impossible to trace server activity during the period…. The unprotected information includes citizen resident numbers, passport information, home addresses, bank account details, phone numbers and family relations records.”