Travel Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 21 November 2017

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in travel and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 07:00 GMT.

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BA Smartphone App Upgrades

Hello and welcome to the weekly bulletin featuring the latest developments on travel and technology around the world, published every Tuesday at 07:00 GMT / 08:00 CET. British Airways updates its latest smartphone app

BA has this week released an update to its smartphone app which introduces a new functionality to purchase a fixed price upgrade on your flights.

BA has long offered one-way fixed price upgrades to the next available cabin (the most advantageous being from World Traveller Plus to Club World for anything betwen £399 and £599) through both the app and the Manage My Booking tool.

The offers tend to come and go at any point between purchasing the flight and checking in. These are of course primarily done for BA’s benefit. They generate additional revenue and convert what would otherwise be free upgrades on oversold flights into paid upgrades.

Well now you can purchase an available upgrade even after you’ve checked in for your flight. The availability and pricing of upgrades will of course vary by route and are more likely on routes with lower business class demand.

A likely explanation for this is that if premium seats become available at the last minute through passengers cancelling flexible tickets or missing connections, BA can now offer these seats for sale. The one downside for passengers is that the closer to departure you upgrade the fewer seats available to choose from.
Sonos opens its London flagship

Sonos opened its first flagship shop in Europe last Thursday, at 21-23 Earlham Street, Seven Dials in Covent Garden. It is a rather modest affair, set over two floors. On the ground floor there is display area with two listening rooms. In the basement there is an area for performances and listening events. Certainly worth a look if your in the area.

Apple opens its new visitor centre at Apple Park

Apple has opened its new visitor centre at Apple Park in Cupertino. This is a separate building from the main Apple Park campus. Indeed, your view of the main building is restricted to a 3D model and external viewing platform. However, it follows much of the same design aesthetic.

Whilst much has been made of the sustainability of Apple Park, from a European perspective, it’s hard to see such a large campus that cannot be reached by public transport as progress.

On an Apple note, Apple has also confirmed that its HomePod smart speaker will be delayed until 2018, therefore missing Christmas sales. Both Amazon and Google are sharply discounting their smartspeakers in advance of Black Friday – clearly a move to get the devices into homes quickly.

Also of note this week:

Facebook establishes Facebook For Creators and a dedicated app for creating content for sharing on Facebook.

How Facebook’s “People You May Know” algorithm works (Gizmodo)

How airlines are using your personal data (Bloomberg)

The trade in stolen air miles and hotel points (The Times -Paywall)

Uber buys 24,000 cars for it driverless fleet (Financial Times)

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