Archive for July, 2008

BWI Light Rail to the Airport

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

The East Coast trip went differently than planned and I wound up at Dulles on the way out, but on my return via Baltimore I took bus and light rail right into the Airport. The light rail (and I think Marc Trains as well) deliver you to the terminal, so if you can get to Light rail via bus you are looking at a 1.60 fair to the Airport from most Baltimore locations. At about 90 minutes this is probably somewhat longer than Shuttle times, but I doubt by too much.

DEN Denver Airport – Free WIFI Throughout the Airport

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Kudos to DEN Denver International Airport for their free excellent WIFI which only requires you to view a 30 second video spot before access. Shame on BWI Baltimore for having advertised (and tried?) free WIFI but now offering only paid hotspots at 9.99 per day.

Let’s see – would I rather watch a 30 second spot or pay 9.99? Getting “paid” $10 per 30 secs is like getting paid $1200 per hour, so rather than be annoyed with the Zappos ad at DIA I’m happy to have watched it and thanks for paying me (relative to BWI’s system) $1200 per hour while I did.

Supershuttle at BWI

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

I have only ridden the Supershuttle once before – usually on East Coast we have a car waiting.

Based on these opinions: http://www.propinions.com/opinions.php?s=9718545&page=4

Supershuttle offers a good service at a good price. My trip from BWI Baltimore to a house about 20 miles north is only 24+tip (interestingly their online form requires the tip field to be filled out. I don’t like that since I’d prefer to tip based on service, but …)

Rather than book online I think I’ll wait until I’m at SFO and confident of my arrival time. I’d hate to prepay and then have delays, though I’m assuming they’d refund if you can’t use the service?

Baltimore BWI to Dulles IAD and IAD to BWI by Ground Transportation

Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Baltimore BWI and Dulles are both very popular east coast hubs, and in my experience you can often find good fares from the West Coast to BWI when other Airports are as much as twice the price. Although there is an inconvenience factor you can get back and forth between these two airports either with a dedicated taxi or shuttle at about $75-$95 or, if you are willing to be a little adventurous, try this which to me seems the best option all things considered and costs only about $15:

Take the Washington Flyer Coach to the West Falls Church Metro station.
Take the
Metrorail to the Greenbelt Metro station and board a BWI Express Metro bus.

OR you could take the Metrorail to Union Station board a northbound MARC Penn Line train to BWI.

This is from the Washington Area Airports page:

BWI Airport

The Airports Authority does not provide a dedicated shuttle between the airports.

Below are options between Dulles and Baltimore Washington International Airport.

  • Direct travel: Washington Flyer taxi (estimated fare $97.00 and 60-70 minutes travel time) or SuperShuttle shared ride van service (estimated fare $75.00 and 70-90 minutes travel time) are available between Dulles and BWI. The other options may require connecting to other modes of transportation to get to your final destination.
  • Other travel modes: You can also use Washington Flyer Taxi (estimated fare $30.00 and 15-20 minutes travel time) or SuperShuttle shared ride van service (estimated fare $20.00 and 20-30 minutes travel time) or Washington Flyer Coach (estimated fare $10.00 and 15-20 minutes travel time) for ground transportation to the West Falls Church Metro station. From there, you could take the Metrorail to the Greenbelt Metro station ($3-$5) then board a BWI Express Metro bus. You can also take the Metrorail to Union Station board a northbound MARC Penn Line train to BWI.

Baltimore City via public transportation

You use the Washington Flyer Coach (estimated fare $10.00 and 15-20 minutes travel time) for transportation from Dulles to the West Falls Church Metrorail station. From there, you could take the Metrorail to Union Station, where you can board a northbound MARC train to Baltimore.

Study: Over 600,000 Laptops lost and stolen at Airports

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Dell commissioned a study which suggests a huge number of laptop computers are lost at US Airports. The MacWorld summary says that some 637,000 laptops are lost in Airports each year, most at TSA security checkpoints (!).

This last item make me somewhat suspicious of the methodology of the study by Ponemon. If people are forgetting laptops at security it should be easy to return to the checkpoint and recover them since they’d both be on the “passed” side of the equation. If they continued with travel I suppose it would be hard to contact TSA and identify the machine given unless the TSA is really ineffectively processing lost items.

My initial guess is that the sample size on the study was low and the questionaire biased to increase the “lost” factor, though I’ll try to look into this remarkable study. 637k laptops would have a value approaching $500,000,000 making this a huge economic and security issue since the study also suggested the computers have a lot of confidential company data.

If these are getting stolen who is doing this? TSA people? That seems very unlikely, and the idea that people are *forgetting their laptops* at checkpoints also seems dubious. The idea that strangers in line are stealing the units also seems unlikely as a crook would not be likely to “hang out” at airport security checkpoints, though I suppose this is possible.