MacInTouch Reader Reports

Mac Marginalization: Aviation

Apr. 8, 2009
Apr. 9, 2009
Sep. 8, 2010
Apr. 8, 2009


Dave Pattison

How about this for an IT cop-out?
The Q&A below are from an official British Airways Staff website. I'm particularly impressed by the final sentence!


How do I check/update my personal details/nominees online?


Please click on the document under File Attachments below. A 'Show me Guide' illustrating how to update your record will be displayed. Please note that your PC browser must use Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you are using another internet browser, for example Firefox, and your PC has a Microsoft operating system, then you could try and use the 'built in' Internet Explorer on your PC. It is not possible to access ConcessionsOnline from a PC which is not using a Microsoft operating system i.e. Apple Mac or Linux PCs. If this is the case please check with your relatives/friends to see if their PC?has Microsoft Internet Explorer and, if so, whether you could update your record from their PC.

Apr. 9, 2009


Andrew Main

Regarding Dave Pattison's quote "from an official British Airways Staff website", they sound like a good candidate for a little informational email such as the following:

Here are some thoughts on the subject of Web Standards, which you might find of interest, and possibly wish to share with your "webmaster" (several of these are rather old, but sadly still relevant):

Any Browser Campaign:

"Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network." - Tim Berners-Lee [creator of the World Wide Web] in "Technology Review", July 1996

"This page optimized for ..."

"There is a saying in marketing: No one has ever won an argument with a customer."

A message to clueless website authors:

"Any true 'webmaster' should already know about all of this (everything that's mentioned on this page). If they don't, then they've no justifiable claim to the title (no trade, profession, discipline, etc., allows anybody to call themselves a master of something when they're just an unskilled/inexperienced amateur)."

A Web Standards Primer:

"Just as standards exist for almost every kind of electrical equipment, every class of machinery, or every chemical product that we encounter on a day-to-day basis, there exist free and non-proprietary standards for the Web. Web standards make the Web a place where files can be read by anyone, regardless of what they are using to access the Internet."

Designing With Web Standards:

"This classic by the father of the web standards movement sparked a global change in the way sites are designed."


Brad Riendeau

The British Airways IT bit should be forwarded to a high level at the company, or raised at a stockholders meeting. That kind of thinking should get someone fired.

Being able to work with multiple systems and multiple browsers is really "hedging", to use the hot finance term, and to not "hedge" puts your enterprise at risk.

Sep. 8, 2010


MacInTouch Reader

Frontier Airlines/Midwest Express still does not support on-line check-in using Macs. (I notice there are complaints on MacInTouch about this issue dating back to 2006!) An email from customer service claims it will work with Firefox, but I tried from two different computers on two different networks with no luck. Their website says Windows and IE 6 (!) or later. Very 1990s....


Gregory Tetrault

MacInTouch Reader said:

"... Frontier Airlines/Midwest Express still does not support on-line check-in using Macs..."

I tested both Safari 5.0.1 and Firefox 3.6.7 (on a Mac Pro 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon running OS X 10.6.4). I had no problem accessing the Frontier Airlines website, selecting departure and arrival airports, selecting flight dates, viewing flight choices, selecting an itinerary, looking at a Fare Rules pop-up window, selecting the "No, I don't want to purchase insurance" option, and getting to the Add Passenger Information page. (I stopped at that point.)

It appears to be a user problem (or an OS or browser version-related problem) rather than a website that fails to support Macs.

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