Archive for December, 2007

Laptop and Sprint phone use in China

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

For the China trip to Biejing Airport code is PEK! Shanghai, Xiamen, and probably Hong Kong, I’m starting to plan how to get WIFI and/or use of my cell phone. Flyertalk has a forum page listing some of the challenges. People there suggest that a US Sprint modem card won’t work because it’s a different MHZ rating, though there may be China cards available. Also says Sprint has no agreement with China for mobile serve (this seems odd – I’m skeptical of that).

One suggests the hotel is likely to have power adapters but I’m guessing this is only in upscale places. During my 2003 trip to France and UK I would up jerry-rigging a plug adapter I bought in Paris for my laptop, chipping away until I got a way to plug it in. This worked partly because most laptop power supply adapters work at 240 and 120v.

Looks like a lot more research will be needed here. I’m shopping for a lightweight laptop so I can blog this trip.

Cell phone as boarding pass in Houston Airport

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Barbara La Dollis writes about an experiment using cell phones as boarding passes at George Bush Airport in Houston, Texas USA. I think only Continental Airlines is using this right now, but I bet this will catch on fast.

This is a good idea because a cell phone is a very secure, info rich, “intelligent” environment. Most of us guard our phones carefully and report them when missing. The phone could easily contain an extensive amount of additional important information to expedite security and boarding, and ideally the airline could even more easily keep us informed of changes or issues.

Why not extend this to security? I’m sure my phone number and ID are already tagged in some TSA database, so why not pre-screen those who choose to participate as follows?

* Phone company is given permission to give TSA my data.
* I upload a set of photos for the master database. This data is also on the phone.
* At flight check in, internet or bluetooth or even a physical inspection of the phone is matched to the master database, pinpointing me as the travel guy who has been profiled already as “safe”.
* Only those who opt in are profiled, and anyone can opt out of the system once in, and items like credit card data are strictly off limits.

USA Today: Top Air Travel stories for the week

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

USA Today’s online travel section is always a good place for some of the latest travel news. Today at the USA Today travel blog we learn that Wayne County Airport officials appear to have been living pretty high on the hog courting airlines and other stories:

USA Today Air Travel

Cathay Pacific All Asia Pass

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

For my April China trip I’ve been researching air fares to asia and wanted to note a few interesting things.

My friend has recommended we take All Nippon Airways (Japan) due to an excellent San Francisco to Tokyo to Beijing route which appears to shave several hours off of the normal 20+ hour flight. He also thinks ANA is a great carrier.

I’m finding some of the best deals with Cathay Pacific, but they are just outside of our travel window in April. A current one appears to offer $750 flights SFO to Beijing or Shanghai, but travel must be completed by March 31st. Last year Cathay Pacific had a “Valentines” special that lasted through April and was only $674, but not sure we want to hold off that long to find out if they will run this again.