In-Flight Mobile Apps?


You’re about 10 minutes into your flight and you hear the following announcement “…it is now safe to turn on your electronic devices as long as you can disable their wireless transmit & receive setting.” I predict that, in the not too distant future, mobile devices will no longer need to be equipped with an “airplane mode”.

Face it – a growing number of airlines are installing in-flight Wi-Fi systems. As a consequence, companies like Gogo Inflight Internet are experiencing exponential growth. Heck… Facebook is offering its users free mile-high access. Based on this trend, it only stands to reason that getting online with your smartphone or tablet at 35,000 ft will soon be as commonplace as getting a napkin with your beverage. Eventually, I suspect we’ll start seeing “in-flight apps” hitting the market. Here’s an interesting possibility…

Bypass Lane offers a mobile application for smartphones that allows sports fans to order and pay for food without leaving their seat. The application sends a text message to the customer when the food is ready. The ordered food will be waiting in a “Bypass” line in which the customer can walk up and receive their order without waiting. Can you imagine a road warrior ordering and paying for his in-flight lunch box or duty free purchase from the comfort of his seat? Perhaps even paying for these items with his frequent flyer miles?

Can you think of any other innovative mobile in-flight applications that would benefit the traveler and/or the airline?  If so, please post your comments below.

~ Theo Szymanski

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One Response to In-Flight Mobile Apps?

  1. Theo Szymanski says:

    Similar in concept to “Bypass Lane”, Storific, a French start-up who was recently awarded $200k in seed funding, offers an iPhone app that lets users order food & beverage from the convenience of their restaurant table (http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/02/24/storific-raises-200k-from-kima-ventures-to-let-customers-order-in-restaurants-via-iphone/). Very cool!

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