Archive for December, 2007

New Laptop battery rules for flights – do not put them in checked luggage!

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Yes, it’s true – there are even more new complicated rules from the TSA. It’s not even clear this relates to any terror issues but they are restricting lithium batteries in carry on luggage:

New Laptop Battery Rules from TSA

If you’ll be travelling by air in 2008 be sure to review the new rules for carrying batteries on airplanes. The new battery rules are here at TSA’s websiteOn new rule is that you are NOT allowed to pack lithium batteries in your *checked* luggage, though you *are* allowed to have them in carry on baggage in clear plastic bags.It’s also a good idea to review the 3-1-1 rule here at TSA:3-1-1 for carry-ons = 3 ounce bottle or less (by volume) ; 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin.

WiFi in Airports

Friday, December 28th, 2007

This is information gleaned from an old article in USA Today. For more updated information try this Wi Fi in Airports website: http://www.wififreespot.com/airport.html

In 2005, and I think still, only a small number of companies control most airport Wi-Fi. Here are some:

Wayport. San Jose and Austin. Limited coverage in Oakland, Calif. Airports: AUS, BUF, DFW, OAK, SJC.

Cingular. Denver, Seattle, and Philadelphia. Airports: DEN, PHL, RDU, SEA.

ICOA/WiSE are now merged
ICOA: GEG, BTR SMF, MHT, SAV, FYI, GRK, CHS, ORF, BQK, AZO.

WiSE: ELP, LGA, BWI, CHA, OMA, PBI, ANC, SAN, JFK, IAH, BUF.

SBC. PSP, CLE, BUR, LIT, EVV.

Concourse Communications.

A private contractor for cell and Wi-Fi installations. BNA, DTW, EWR, JFK, MSP, YOW.

T-Mobile. Another veteran hotspot provider with over 5,700 coffeeshop, bookstores, and retail locations, they also offer airport-wide coverage. Airports: SFO, BUR, BWI, GSO, PVD, FSD, TYS, AUS, DFW, DAL, ORF.
Sprint PCS. KCI, SLC, HOU, MEM, MKE, SDF, OAK.

Opti-Fi. Full coverage: YEG, DSM, PHF, ELP, SBN, MOB, MLB, TVC, ALB, YQQ, YHM, YQT, JNU, JAC, ASE, YQG, TOL.
AirTran only: ATL, BWI, DAY, FNT, MDW, MEM, MIA, MKE, ROC, JAX.

Airport’s own WIFI networks: These airports rolled their own WiFi, and deserve alot of props for doing it! OWD, FRG, BOS, PDX, LAS, MFR, YUM, ISP, ASE, SAT.

This list is old and NOT INCLUSIVE! Many Airports are adding this great service – be sure to send them a note thanking them if they provide free WiFi!

High Flying WiFi – the downside?

Monday, December 24th, 2007

This report suggests that on board flight internet might create a host of new problems, leading to “turbulence” of the human kind. I’m skeptical. On the contrary this will be so effective at keeping kids occupied, keeping nervous people focused on other things, and for most of us just turning a few hours of mildly stressful cramped seating into productive time.

Bah and Humbug – bring on the high flying WIFLY ASAP!

Flight Status from Google

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Google has improved their flight status information. Simply type in the airline and flight number at the Google search bar and you’ll get updated information about flight status. Note this will generally be from the airlines which may or may not provide excellent information, but this is usually a great thing to use before heading off to the airport to pick up folks in these days of delays and troubled parking and access to pickups.

Here is more from Google

Flight Passes

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Flight passes offer you the ability to travel extensively within a region, and are genrally going to be a cheaper way to go if you are travelling to many cities. However be sure you understand all the charges, as some pricing will not mention taxes or extra fees, and some have restrictions such as having to fly in and out of a single hub rather than directly from city to city.

Budget travel has a nice summary of passes:

POPULAR FLIGHT PASSES AROUND THE GLOBE

Pass: Aerolineas Argentinas South America Pass 800/333-0276, aerolineas.com.ar The Basics: Flights within South America priced by mileage, starting at $300 for up to 2,500 miles Heads Up: Date changes allowed for $25

Pass: Cathay Pacific All Asia Pass cathay-usa.com The Basics: Flight to Hong Kong and a choice of 18 Asian cities over 21 days, for $1,499 Heads Up: Join the free online club to save $200; booking through a travel agent is mandatory

Pass: BWIA West Indies Airways Caribbean Pass 800/538-2942, bwee.com The Basics: Flights between eight Caribbean destinations, from $450 Heads Up: Destination changes for $25; no backtracking allowed

Pass: Star Alliance African Airpass staralliance.com The Basics: Up to 10 flights in 17 sub-Saharan countries, at 15ยข per mile Heads Up: Only sold to passengers flying a Star Alliance partner into Africa

Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong hub

Friday, December 14th, 2007

One of the best deals in international travel is the “All Asia Pass” from Cathay Pacific. The All Asia Pass allows you to take flights to any of about 20 major asian cities over a period of 21, 30, or 90 days. I’ve heard that one inconvenience is always returning to hub airports (I assume Hong Kong), but that inconvenience would save thousands on a trip to many cities.

Their Hong Kong facility is described here at Cathay’s website.

Jet Blue in-flight email report

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Caroline says she was not that impressed with Jet Blue’s new in flight e-mail service, but it sure sounds good to me based on her CNET report where she noted that using Yahoo mobile even allowed some web info like weather. This sounds very promising, and in flight browsing, which would be the “killer” in flight application, can’t be far away.

Free printable city guides

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Arrrival Guides offers great, free, printable (PDF) guides to major world cities. The guides show attractions and some mapping for a good number of major cities around the world in the USA, Europe, Asia, and more.

Check them out.

Jetblue offering in-flight email

Sunday, December 9th, 2007

Over at Webguild blog, Reshma is reporting that Jet Blue will offer in flight email services via WIFI. This is great news, coming on the heels of AA’s in flight WIFI experiments.

I think airlines will find that in flight WIFI is a great, great service to offer on any flights, especially those that last more than an hour. An hour is often enough time to catch up on emails and not waste a day of travel time after which you are buried again. Good luck to Jet Blue and AA with these WIFI in-flight experiments!

AA to provide on board WIFI

Friday, December 7th, 2007

A gigantic hat tip to American Airlines AA.com for the decision to provide WIFI to passengers in flight. Crunch Gear reports today that this plan is in the works and it appears WIFI on AA flights will be available soon.