2013-09-10 TravelTech News Review

Online Travel Industry

  1. Search for a room while you drive: Ford adds @hotelsdotcom to its voice-operated dashboard | Tnooz
    This is kind of cool but it would be cooler if a live agent wasn’t needed to complete the booking.
  2. 5 Travel Startups to Watch This Week – Skift
    A couple of interesting ones here. Beeline is an OpenTable competitor with priority access (think HotelTonight for restaurants and nightlife). TheSuitest is a hotel search and booking engine for comparing size, amenities, view and quality of rooms.
  3. Big bang? When ‘big data’ gets too big | Travel Industry News & Conferences – EyeforTravel


  1. Hotel sues guest for posting review on TripAdvisor about bed bugs | Tnooz
    The guest’s actions leave some reason for doubt, but the hotel is not doing itself any favors by suing him.
  2. Limited-Service Hotels are Enjoying a Renaissance Among Travelers – Skift

Air Travel

  1. World’s largest airliner: Is bigger better? Atlanta opens to the Airbus A380 – CNN.com
    “…nearly six years after the Superjumbo entered service, it’s unclear whether bigger is necessarily better.” Having flown on a Singapore Airlines A380 recently, I can report that the upper deck is quieter than other large aircraft and the plane feels a little more roomy. However, because few airports accommodate the large plane and sales to date total less than 300, flying on the “SuperJumbo” will likely never be as widely experienced as on its predecessor, the Boeing 747.
  2. Study Reveals Which U.S. Airlines Have Roomiest Seats >> Have Tips, Will Travel
  3. The 9 Air Passenger Experience Innovations of 2013 – Skift
    Our own SEATAC is awarded Best Arrivals Experience for the live performances and other music-related exhibitions recently instituted there.
  4. Southwest Airlines Reminds Football Fans Why In-Flight Live TV Is So Good – Skift
  5. Thai Airways Criticized on Social Media for Blacking Out Logo After Crash – Skift
  6. Are pilotless planes within reach? – CNN.com
  7. Place your bids for Business Class: Airline upgrades now up for auction – CNN.com
    “…bidding is blind; customers enter how much they’re willing to pay, and if that number exceeds other bids (and the airlines keep that information top secret), they win. The cost of an upgrade is extremely variable, depending on the airline, season and route.”
  8. Food for long duration airplane flights to eat and avoid
  9. If AA-US Air merger fails, rivals ‘will clean their clocks’
  10. Ask the Captain: What are those strange sounds on a plane?
  11. Another Amelia Earhart Will Try to Fly Around-the-World | AirlineReporter.com | Blogging on the airline business

General Travel News

  1. The U.S. States that Lost and Gained Visitors in 2012 – Skift
  2. Travel Marketers Urge Fixes for Gmail Promotions Tab – Skift
    Marketers don’t like being relegated to the third tab, but I bet most users like it.
  3. Tokyo Will Host the 2020 Summer Olympics – Skift
  4. Russian Olympic Officials Say They Need IOC’s Help Managing Anti-Gay Fallout – Skift

Consumer Travel News, Advice and Deals

  1. Travel Prices in Myanmar (Burma) |
  2. Nepal Probably the Cheapest Place to Travel Right Now |
  3. Thailand Launches Tourist Court to Help Stop Scams, Improve Tourist Safety || Jaunted

Destinations and Experiences

  1. Reuters TV | Oops: new sun-reflecting London skyscraper melts cars
    There’s actually a spot like this here in Bellevue WA, albeit not hot enough to melt plastic in cars. At the right time of year, it’s significantly warmer along a stretch of sidewalk on the southeast corner of NE 4th street and 106th Ave NE.
  2. 6 charming and affordable European cities you haven’t visited yet | Fox News
  3. British Airways apologizes to man who bought promoted tweet to complain about service | Fox News
    I’ve found Twitter an effective way to get recalcitrant airlines customer service divisions’ attention, but I have never resorted to a promoted tweet.
  4. Monday Inspiration: Strasbourg, France >> Have Tips, Will Travel
  5. The Dream Dubai Will Take the ‘Tallest Hotel in the World’ Title When It Opens Next Year || HotelChatter
  6. A visual tour through the landscapes of Iceland | Matador Network
  7. Why Iceland is Not Just a Stopover, But a Destination – PART 1 | AirlineReporter.com | Blogging on the airline business

Denise’s Picks

Because Denise Jones deserves her own category, especially since she always gets her stuff together faster than I do 🙂

  1. KVS Availability Tool: Global Flight Availability, Award Availability, Fares, Timetables, Seat Maps
    If you are a frequent-flyer-mile-hoader like me, you often get told by call center employees that seats aren’t available for your mileage redemption. I now use The KVS Tool, and just cashed in for 2 tickets to Cambodia after being told that there were no seats left.  I can’t recommend this tool highly enough:
  2. What traveling has taught me about home | Backpacking Diplomacy
  3. World’s 100 best beaches – CNN.com
    A list of the world’s 100 best beaches (I’ve only been to 7, how about you?)
  4. 8 hot destinations for bicycle travel in 2013
    I’ve biked the Loire, it’s amazing!
  5. The world’s most colorful cities – CNN.com
  6. TSA Causes Traveler to Miss Flight After He Calls Sandwich ‘The Bomb’ || Jaunted
    A traveler calls his sandwich “the bomb,” and the TSA acts appropriately. Oh wait, they don’t.
  7. 20 of the world’s most beautiful World Heritage Sites – CNN.com
  8. The best 100 restaurants in the world, are mostly located in Europe – Skift
  9. London’s Top 10 Architectural Monstrosities (Including Some Tourist Favourites) – Vagabondish
    London’s top architectural monstrosities…I disagree with Harrods, and where is the London Eye??
  10. Budget Travel Vacation Ideas: World’s Most Beautiful Museums | Travel Deals, Travel Tips, Travel Advice, Vacation Ideas | Budget Travel
  11. 4 Ways to Save Money Now So You Can Travel Later – Vagabondish
    People always ask how I manage to travel to lots of far-off places. This article sums up how to do it pretty well.
  12. 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist | Bored Panda
    22 amazing places that really, truly exist (note: I’ve been to some, but my photos didn’t turn out like this!)
  13. 41 Places To See Before You Die (Part I) | Bored Panda
    Got a travel bucket list? Want one?
  14. The Official CBS Amazing Race Casting Hompage : The Amazing Race Casting
    I think you should apply for The Amazing Race. You know you want to…
  15. 3 Ways to invest in local economies | Vagablogging :: Rolf Potts Vagabonding Blog
    When you travel, strive to spend your money in the local economy. Here is how to make your visit more authentic, local, and meaningful.
  16. Are These 4 Excuses Keeping You From Realizing Your Travel Dreams? – Vagabondish
  17. Paul Templer, River Guide Swallowed By Hippo, Retells Harrowing Near-Death Experience (VIDEO)
    And if you ever think “I’ve had a bad day at the office,” or “my vacation sucks,” tell yourself “At least I wasn’t eaten by a hippo today”
  18. Disappearing wonders: 10 world heritage sites in danger
    These 10 World Heritage Sites are in danger of being overvisited and over-loved.
  19. Builders bulldoze big Mayan pyramid in Belize – Yahoo! News
    And if great historical sites aren’t being destroyed by tourism, they’re just plain being destroyed.
  20. Vacations Boost Pleasure, Expedia Study Finds | Media Room | Expedia.com
    And, finally…our beloved employer proves that vacations boost pleasure in life.

Security and Privacy

  1. How the NSA Spies on Smartphones Including the BlackBerry – SPIEGEL ONLINE
  2. Firm That Tracks Foreign Hackers Gets $30 Million Funding Round – Digits – WSJ


  1. Apple Unveils Faster iPhone, and a Cheaper One, Too – NYTimes.com
    While I appreciate the 64 bit processor, the fingerprint reader and the incremental camera improvements, I’m not detecting much excitement in the press and certainly not in the stock market.  If I were an incumbent Apple user and my contract was up, I might buy one, but otherwise, the reality distortion field just isn’t there any more.
  2. Apple iPhone 5s hands-on video and impressions | The Verge
  3. Apple’s Reputation for Innovation Is Now Its Greatest Liability | Wired Business | Wired.com
    Article opines that the new Apple phones are incremental improvements rather than innovations.
  4. Thinking about iPhone Pricing | strat?chery by Ben Thompson
  5. A Long Fall for Taiwan Smartphone Maker – NYTimes.com
    HTC is a bit of a mess at the moment and I don’t think that Android is going to save them. Samsung is the only company making significant profits from Android handsets.
  6. Smartphones try fashion makeovers to stand out from pack | Reuters
    They’re all copying the iPhone 5C—they’re so desperate that they copied it before it was announced. Everyone knows that Apple leads the field in innovation.
  7. Microsoft holding Surface 2 event on September 23rd in New York City | The Verge
  8. Windows Unit Gets Fresh Leaders in Phones, PCs and Xbox – Ina Fried – News – AllThingsD
  9. Wndows 8.1 now available on MSDN and TechNet following developer complaints | The Verge
    The original policy of not making Windows 8.1 available to developers proved once again Microsoft’s penchant for shooting itself in the foot.
  10. Worries That Microsoft Is Growing Too Tricky to Manage – NYTimes.com
  11. Google offers new concessions to avoid fine in EU antitrust case | Reuters
  12. Instagram Pictures Itself Making Money – WSJ.com
  13. Facebook exec: We’re solely focused on being a mobile platform | VentureBeat

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