Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Signed up for Zipcar....

I've finally signed up for Zipcar. I was worried that the fact that I have not driven under a US license for 3 years would make sign-up more difficult, but it didn't.

Good article this month in the New York Times on Zipcar, the company and the service.

I should get the card in a few days, and then I'll check out the service. In actual fact I rarely need a car except for business trips (which almost invariably I fly to anyway). But, it will be nice to have the option of driving somewhere, especially in the summer.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Accidental Stowaway?

A 21-year-old JetBlue employee rode from New York to Boston Saturday in an airplane’s cargo compartment, officials said today. “Even after talking to him we were a little uncertain as to how it happened,” said David Procopio, a state police spokesman. “This may have been accidental.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009



"A Tunisian pilot who paused to pray instead of taking emergency measures before crash-landing his plane, killing 16 people, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court along with his co-pilot."

From the Irish Times:

Monday, March 16, 2009

The road less traveled in Ireland

Today Show feature on exploring "less traveled" parts of Ireland.

I can certainly relate to the driving style - in Ireland that is how I drive on rural roads (bothereens, in the Irish language - "little roads") - 50 miles an hour and "assuming that another car is not coming in the other direction".

Friday, March 13, 2009

United's Door to Door Baggage

United offers a door-to-door baggage delivery service in conjunction with Fedex. The cost, $79, is still a lot higher than any airline's baggage fee (well, for a first or second bag anyway). I've always wondered who is the target customer for this? Certainly, people who are worried about losing bags would use it. Or maybe people who have difficulty carrying their bags. I'd love to see some statistics about how many people actually use this...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Continental's Mileage Calculateor

I've often wondered does Continental's Mileage Calculator encourage people to take more convoluted, longer routings in order to amass more miles? Hmm....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Coachella Radio on Pandora

If you're going to the Coachella music festival in California next month, check out Pandora's Coachella Radio station. It's a good way to hear some of the bands playing there:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Alain de Botton "On going to the airport"

It's just a 5 page essay in a slim book called "On seeing and noticing", but "On going to the airport" by Alain de Botton has to be the most beautiful thing I've ever read about travel. Has anything more lovely ever been written about a 747:

"On a grey day from the edge of the runway at Heathrow, a 747 appears at first as a small brilliant white light, a star dropping towards earth. It has been in the air for some twelve hours. It took off from Bangkok at dawn. It flew over the Bay of Bengal, Delhi, the Afghan desert and the Caspian Sea. It traced a course over Romania, the Czech Republic and began its descent, so gently that few passengers would have noticed a change of tone in the engines, above the coast of Normandy. From the ground, the white light gradually takes shape as a vast two-storied body with four engines suspended like earrings beneath implausable long wings. In the light rain, clouds of water form a veil behind the plane on its matronly progress towards the airfield. The plane is a symbol of worldliness, carrying within itself a trace of all the lands it has crossed; its eternal mobility offering an imaginative counterweight to feelings of stagnation and confinement. This morning the plane was over the Malay Peninsula, a phrase in which there lingers the smells of guava and sandalwood. And now, a few metres above the earth which it has avoided for so long, the plane appears motionless, its nose raised upwards, seeming to pause before its sixteen rear wheels meet the tarmac with a blast of smoke that makes manifest its speed and weight".