Travel Stories June 10

An IATA Travel Pass app is expected to go live sometime within the next couple of weeks, enabling travelers to prove to airlines that they have received COVID-19 vaccinations and/or tested negative for the infection.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for airlines, representing almost 300 of them …

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Travel Stories December 4, 2020

Seven years later, FCC reaffirms in-flight phone calls will remain illegal

The nightmare scenario of people being allowed to make in-flight phone calls on their smartphones has finally been ended by the FCC, some seven years after it sought passenger feedback on the idea …

Travel Stories June 17, 2019

American Airlines extends satellite-based Wi-Fi to domestic fleet

American Airlines last year brought satellite-based Wi-Fi to its wide-bodied aircraft – used mostly on international flights. The company says that it has now finished doing the same to the narrow-bodied airliners it uses for domestic flights, which is particularly good news for Apple Music subscribers …

Travel Stories March 28, 2019

A new large-scale consumer satisfaction survey from JD Power has revealed bad news for the travel industry. More than 12,000 users of airline, hotel, travel agent, and car rental apps found relatively low levels of satisfaction.

Ease of use was particularly problematic …

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Travel Stories March 25, 2019

There was a time in my life I would have really appreciated OneAdaptr’s OneWorld PD. Starting in the late 1990s, I took a decade-plus detour in my writing career into new product development in the tech sector. This saw me travel to more than 70 different countries, and at times spend as much time out of the UK as in it.

Keeping all my gadgets powered and charged required quite a few power bricks and travel adapters. These days, things are very much easier – and the OneWorld PD is a big step closer to the perfect travel charger for all my iDevices …

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Travel Stories January 27, 2019

The Christmas and New Year holidays are behind us, but China and a couple of other countries in Asia are now gearing up for the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Chinese New Year, or Tet in Vietnam, is the biggest holiday on the calendar over here. It triggers the largest human migration in the world as millions of Chinese working in the metropolises of Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and other buzzing cities head back home to visit their families.

I’ll be leaving town, too, which got me thinking about the tech I’ll be bringing with me. I’m fortunate to do plenty of international travel each year, mainly because flights from Hong Kong are cheap and there are a number of amazing destinations within a couple of hours’ flight. (Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, I could go on…)

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Travel Stories October 18, 2018

Apple patent application describes how Apple Maps could get smarter

An Apple patent application published today describes what Patently Apple suggests may be a new all-in-one Travel app – but more likely describes ways to make Apple Maps smarter …

Travel Stories July 17, 2018

T-Mobile is extending Simple Global, the scheme that pretends to offer you free unlimited data when travelling, to 210 countries – up from the previous 140.

We say ‘get what you pay for’ as what you actually get free of charge is 2G data, but it will now offer a chargeable option for LTE data …

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Travel Stories April 23, 2018

I’ve always travelled hand-baggage-only (except when taking my bicycle with me), and when you carry as many gadgets as I do, that can require some efficient packing.

I usually travel with my MacBook Pro, iPad, camera & lens, drone – and sometimes a test gadget or two. Plus, of course, chargers and cables for all of the above.

The higher power output of the MacBook Pro with Touch Bar means that I can use it as a charging hub, but if you’re looking for standalone chargers, as well as a way to reduce the bulk of a MacBook charger, OneAdaptr has some very neat solutions …

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Travel Stories January 18, 2018

Traveling can disrupt even the best laid plans, and with today’s connected lifestyles, the stress of an unexpected situation is only exacerbated if you’re worrying about keeping your devices powered up. Combine that with the chaos and and spectacle that is the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and you’ve got the perfect storm for a travel headache.

Earlier this month, I spent 5 days in Las Vegas for CES 2018. With me came The Carry-On, modern and thoughtfully designed luggage with USB power sent over to try out by Away. Over the course of the show I put The Carry-On to the test, traversing miles of hotel, casino, and airport carpeting to bring you my thoughts. Let’s take a look at how well it held up and how it kept my devices charged…

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Travel Stories January 17, 2018

Startup offers pay-per-day automatic travel insurance triggered by your phone’s location

Unless you travel frequently enough to justify an annual policy, arranging travel insurance is just one more thing to think about when planning a trip. Financial startup Revolut now offers a solution to that: pay-per-day travel insurance that kicks in automatically, based on your phone’s GPS location …

Travel Stories July 14, 2017

U.S. Border Protection can search devices but not cloud accounts, as searches climb dramatically

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has advised a Senator that while it has the power to search electronic devices and examine all data stored on them, these powers do not extend to searching data stored in the cloud …

Travel Stories July 3, 2017

Abu Dhabi International Airport, which has just been exempted from the ban
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When the Department of Homeland Security implemented a ban on laptops and tablets being carried in hand baggage on US-bound flights from a number of international airports, it seemed obvious that this was going to hit airlines hard. This has now been confirmed by an AP report …

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Travel Stories May 25, 2017

Gatwick Airport, the second-largest of London’s airports, has installed around 2,000 iBeacons to help passengers find their way around the terminals.

While phase 1 of the project is rather basic – merely showing people where they are on a digital map – the second phase will provide augmented reality navigation, guiding passengers to their gates by overlaying arrows on live images of the terminal. The airport is also considering a more ambitious third phase …

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Travel Stories February 13, 2017

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As someone who prefers to travel handbaggage-only, gadgets can often prove a challenge. As I like to keep up with photo editing as I go, I generally travel with my MacBook Pro as well as iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch and a compact camera. Not only do I need space for the gadgets themselves, but also the associated cables and chargers.

But for a trip to Havana last week – a destination I finally managed to check off from my bucket list – I decided that I could get by with two camera batteries and use my MacBook Pro to charge everything else …

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Travel Stories July 7, 2016

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Online check-in is great when travelling hand-baggage only, but doesn’t save much time when you have hold baggage. The waiting in line you used to have to do at check-in you now do at the baggage-drop instead.

But luggage-maker Rimowa has a solution. Its latest luggage range has a built-in e-ink display the exact dimensions of an airline baggage-tag, and your airline app can transmit the correct details to the bag via Bluetooth. A dedicated drop area then lets you skip the queues …

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Travel Stories May 9, 2016

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T-Mobile today announced a deal with Cuban carrier Empresa De Telecomunicaciones De Cuba, S.A. (ETECSA) that will see its customers get access to voice, text and data while traveling to Cuba as well as lower rates on calls to landlines and wireless phones in the country from the US. expand full story

Travel Stories December 1, 2015

British Airways reports near-quadrupling of Apple Watch app usage, will soon handle bag-drop too

British Airways has revealed that use of its Apple Watch app rose by 386% between June and October, and the airline is responding by introducing new scanners to allow Watch owners a faster way of dropping any hold bags, reports Advance.

Customers will be able to slide their wrists under the new ‘Scan and Go’ devices to scan their boarding pass, print their own bag tags and speed through the airport. A total of 136 of the new gadgets are being installed at check in desks across Heathrow’s Terminal 3 and 5, and will be ready for use on 15 December.

The scanners can also be used with the smartphone app.

BA’s app provides access to real-time flight status, gate information, a countdown to the departure time and the weather at their destination, as well as displaying a QR code that can be used at both Security and the gate.

The airline is planning an update to the iPad version which includes Highlife entertainment listings, allowing customers to peruse the in-flight movies prior to boarding.

Via Gizmodo

Travel Stories October 9, 2015

PSA: Apple’s iPhone 6s CDMA spec change makes AT&T’s model its best worldphone

When Apple introduced the iPhone 6s at its September 9th special event, it billed the new model as the “best phone for traveling around the world,” thanks largely to support for “23 bands of LTE wireless networking.” But that day, the new iPhone’s tech specs page told a more complex story: Apple advertised a seemingly U.S. and Puerto Rico-specific A1633 iPhone 6s with 23 LTE bands (including AT&T’s exclusive band 30) but no CDMA support, while Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and every international carrier outside China got an A1688 iPhone 6s with 22 LTE bands and CDMA support. Clearly, the “best phone for traveling around the world” would be the international A1688 version, right?

Wrong. This week, Apple started selling a SIM-free, unlocked iPhone that works with “any supported carrier worldwide, such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint in the United States.” Hidden inside a text link titled “Learn more about the SIM-free iPhone,” Apple notes that the SIM-free iPhone 6s is model A1633 — the AT&T version, not the one sold internationally. How could this make sense?…

Travel Stories August 12, 2015

El Capitan Flight data

Flight tracking apps have been popular on iOS for as long as the platform had the App Store, and this fall Apple is baking a key function of those apps right into the operating system. A little known feature called ‘flights data detector’ is included in both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan but was not highlighted on stage during Apple’s WWDC keynote. As one Reddit user highlighted, the feature lets iOS automatically detect when text is referencing a flight and allows users to actually check on the flight’s status and progress with an attractive interface. Here’s how it works on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac… expand full story

Travel Stories May 27, 2015

Over the past six months, I’ve published quite a few tutorials to help Mac users improve the performance of older computers, as well as some great guides to the best Mac accessories across a variety of categories. Today, I’m tying them all together in this handy, one-stop roundup of the best Mac accessories and upgrades.

This guide walks you through everything: in one place, you can learn about the best Mac hard drives, RAM upgrades, docks, keyboards, trackpads, stands, bags, and travel accessories out there. And you can also get free apps to improve your Mac’s storage and responsiveness, find plain English explanations of your Mac’s technical specs, and learn about the little security screws Apple uses to tamper-proof its machines. There’s a lot inside, so you may want to bookmark this piece for future reference!…

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Travel Stories April 20, 2015

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Traveling with any MacBook is a lot easier today than it was five or ten years ago. Apple’s latest laptops consume much less space than their predecessors, and last much longer when they’re in active use. Whether it’s on a seat-back tray or resting in your lap, your MacBook can deliver quite a few hours of productive work time, video viewing, or even gameplay without assistance. But it can do even more if you bring the right accessories along.

My goal is to help you choose the best items to carry with you on the road — the type of items I’ve spent years testing. The picks below are highly practical and focused to make good use of space and address real-world concerns that many travelers have. Read on!

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Travel Stories April 14, 2015

EasyJet’s new app provides end-to-end proactive guidance to air passengers

European no-frills airline EasyJet seems to have taken a full-service approach to its new app, dubbed Mobile Host. The app aims to provide proactive, location-based guidance to passengers from one end of their journey to the other.

The app begins with check-in reminders, guides you to the baggage-drop if you have luggage, tells you when your gate is open and navigates you there, opens your boarding pass when you get there, and directs you to the correct baggage carousel on arrival. The service goes live at London Gatwick Airport today, with other airports to follow.

easyJet’s Mobile Host is a joint initiative with Gatwick and combines live data from the airports information systems, using Google indoor maps, together with a passenger’s booking details, location and flight time.  The result is personalised instructions and updates for passengers during their journey.

The app is currently iPhone-only, and is available in seven languages. The new app was not on the App Store at the time of writing, but if you download the current app, it should update.

EasyJet last updated the app a few weeks ago to add support for the Apple Watch. It was one of the first European airlines to support Passbook boarding passes, and started using iBeacons for location-based alerts last summer.

Travel Stories December 15, 2014

Foursquare’s location discovery app lands on the iPad

Earlier this year, Foursquare pulled a Facebook and split its mobile app in half with check-ins moving to a new app branded as Swarm and location discovery and recommendations becoming the sole focus of its Foursquare-branded app.

Both apps were iPhone-only for iOS users as Foursquare relied on a mobile site for iPad users wanting to check-in from a tablet, but now that Foursquare has become a full-fledged Yelp competitor with its own dedicated app to finding new places to travel and venues to review, Foursquare is giving users a native iPad app as well.

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