Facebook Messenger gains its first airline bot

Facebook on Thursday announced it is launching its first airline information bot within the Messenger app.

The social network has been enhancing Messenger’s functionality on a regular basis with new features beyond chatting and has recently added a Transportation tab that lets users in the United States request a ride from Uber.

Messenger’s airline bot lets KLM Royal Dutch Airlines customers manage their flights and browse their flight information within the app, without ever leaving their chats.

Southwest Airlines app updated with Passbook support

The official Southwest Airlines app was updated today with Passbook support, allowing passenger to store their mobile boarding passes for quick and easy access when needed during security screening and boarding at the gate.

Those mobile boarding passes can be downloaded directly from the Southwest Airlines app, or any official email or text message containing boarding information sent by the airline.

JetBlue Airways becomes the first US airline to accept Apple Pay for in-flight purchases

Sky is definitely not the limit for Apple’s mobile payment service as JetBlue Airways announced on Tuesday that it will very soon start accepting Apple Pay for in-flight purchases of premium offerings, such as EatUp snack boxes and à la carte food options from the EatUp Café, premium beverages, onboard amenities and Even More Space seating.

The airline will start accepting Apple Pay on select JetBlue transcontinental flights from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco in mid-February. Apple Pay will roll out to additional flights beginning in March, with all JetBlue flights accepting Apple Pay by June.

United Airlines outfitting over 20,000 flight attendants with iPhone 6 Plus

United Airlines announced today that it plans to equip its flight attendants with Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus next year. The airline says that the move will put important safety and service information at flight attendants’ fingertips and enhance their ability to meet customers’ needs.

Attendants will be using the handsets for a number of tasks, including onboard retail transactions for food, drink and other purchases. They’ll also be used for accessing important info via email and the United Airlines Intranet, as well as their policy and procedure manuals.

Southwest Airlines brings free Beats Music streaming to in-flight entertainment service

Southwest Airlines on Monday announced an interesting partnership with Apple bringing Beats Music streaming music app to its in-flight entertainment service.

The subscription on-demand streaming music service, which Apple acquired as part of its $3 billion Beats buy in May of this year, is offered for free.

Beginning today, Beats Music is available onboard select Southwest Airlines WiFi-enabled aircraft featuring a library of hundreds of human-curated playlists.

United Airlines app gains handy new passport scanning feature

United Airlines updated its iOS app this morning, bringing the client to version 2.0.16. The update includes support for a new feature the company is testing out that enables users to scan their passports to check-in for international flights using their device’s camera.

United is calling the trial feature “Expanded International Check-In,” and its purpose is to allow international passengers to complete their check-in process and print their boarding pass before arriving at the airport. All it takes is a quick photo scan of their passport…

Delta Airlines app updated with support for free in-flight entertainment service

Folks looking to fly Delta Airlines in the near future should checkout the company’s newly-updated iOS app. Fly Delta for both iPhone and iPad were updated today with support for Delta Studio, a free in-flight entertainment service for passengers on select Delta flights.

The Delta Studio service is available on all domestic and two-cabin aircrafts, and gives passengers access to a number of TV shows and movies, as well as other content. And since the media is stored onboard the plane, there’s no need to pay for a Wi-Fi Internet session…

EasyJet deploys iBeacon support to select airports

iBeacon, an indoor micro-positioning service by Apple, is among the technologies in their ascendancy. Like Passsbook, iBeacons are being slowly but surely rolled out by the ever-growing number of retailers, merchants, theme parks, sporting venues, festivals and so forth.

A number of capable turnkey systems for easy iBeacon deployment exist today and the tiny transmitters are dirt cheap, removing an important barrier to iBeacon adoption.

You can now put European airline easyJet on your list of iBeacon-friendly businesses.

The British airline carrier based at London Luton Airport is operating domestic and international scheduled services on over 600 routes in 32 countries and now customers can download its freshly-updated iPhone app and opt in to receive in-app iBeacon notifications at select locations “to enhance the in airport experience”…

Southwest Airlines app now supports mobile boarding passes in 28 airports

Southwest Airlines posted an update for its official iOS client last night, bringing the app to version 2.4. The update includes a handful of improvements, such as faster access to tools like Checkin and Mobile Boarding Pass options.

Speaking of mobile boarding passes, the 2.4 update also adds support for the popular feature to a total of 28 airports. Previously, Southwest’s mobile boarding passes could only be used in Austin, but now they’re available nationwide…