Tag: PHLView All Tags
Travel Tech / PHL / US Airways / Social Media / Travel Rants / Technology / Airline Security / Airplane Security / → All Tags
We were going to use this post to turn today's US Airways meltdown at PHLluggage left in the rain, flights boarding at random times, etcinto a Teachable Moment about travel social media. Telling people to work with your on-the-ground reps is pretty much the definition of using Twitter wrong. But we're so blindingly furious at the airline right now that it's probably better for everyone to count to 10.
Maybe next week, after our blood pressure has returned to sub-heart attack levels, we'll have a group discussion about why telling people that they should know better than to wait in your airline's airline lounge isn't a great idea.
Anyway, this storyabout how Android phones might be able to hack airplanesis, first, real news, and second, interesting. So we're going to put aside our theory that US Airways reps are sadistic travel trolls determined to ruin our lives. Instead, how about how an Android app may or may not be able to "modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane"? Added the hacker who wrote the software: "that includes a lot of nasty things."
Videos / Window Seat / SLC / PHL / SFO / → All Tags
In case you needed any more confirmation that the United States is a massive, gorgeous land worth exploring every inch of, we present the short film "DRIFT" by Tim Sessler.
Flying from San Francisco to Salt Lake City, and on to Philadelphia, Tim captures all that "purple mountain's majesty" and "amber waves of grain" boasted about in the National Anthem, just from the altitude of 35,000 feet and in dramatic shades of black, white and gray with some tilt-shift action.
Set down your phone. Open up your laptop or slide on your tablet to properly appreciate this film, and enjoy. We'll be over here daydreaming of our next transcontinental journey.
TSA / BOS / PHL / IAD / LAX / EWR / LGA / Full-Body Scanners / Airport Security / → All Tags
Yes, the new Travel + Leisure survey of "Most Annoying Airport Security Checkpoints" is sort of kind of egregiously shameless link bait. Publishing top 10 lists on the Internet (or in this case top-14 lists) is basically cheating, up there with posting pictures of boobs and cats.
The only thing that's less subtle is putting in something that doesn't quite fit, so that people will argue about the list. Theoretically that's impossible to do on surveys, but that doesn't mean we can't still complain about the rankings. Can you believe they put Dulles TSA checkpoints as more annoying than the ones in Logan? Whoever thinks that's right has either never been to the airports or is an idiot or is a troll.
Also: well played, T+L.
Social Media / Travel Deals / Virgin America / Twitter / American Express / Credit Cards / PHL / → All Tags
Trust the fun new social media stuff to be released during the SXSW Interactive Festival these last few days. The one we're most immediately excited for can actually benefit people outside Austin, but ya gotta be an American Express card holder and a Twitter user.
Got an AMEX in your wallet and a Twitter handle? Okay, great. Read on:
Register your AMEX with the short online form here, get a confirmation email (see sample image below), then go about tweeting specific hashtags to score automatic AMEX statement credits based on your purchases at participating vendors...like Virgin America, the first travel brand to experiment with this technology.
New Routes / Virgin America / Travel News / PHL / → All Tags
Hollywood screenwriters rejoice. When you are needing an authentic cheesesteak to relieve writer's block you can hop on Virgin America and take one of three daily nonstops to Pat's (or Geno's if you swing that way) starting April 10th.
Furthermore, Virgin America will be offering two daily nonstops from SFO to PHL. So if Niner fans want to make a pilgrimage to the Rocky statue if and when they complete their improbable Super Bowl run, now they can. Here is what the Cusher had to say about the latest VX destination:
When more airlines compete, consumers win – with lower fares and better service. Travelers deserve more options than just the typical legacy airline cattle car, and we hope our unique brand of low fares and inventive service will be a breath of fresh air for Philadelphians.
Here is an interesting line in the release, possibly foreshadowing things to come:
Currently, only legacy carriers serve the West Coast-PHL routes nonstop. When entering markets that offer little low-fare competition, Virgin America has historically seen fares drop by up to one-third.
Hmm, sounds like a direct assault on US Air and other lagging legacy carriers. We see a possible 2012 scenario where VX launches in CTL (US Air), ATL (Delta), and Houston...all direct to SFO and LAX of course...stay tuned...
In honor of its newest city, Virgin America is also launching a system-wide “The City of Brotherly Love: Just Got Lovelier” fare sale, with PHL-LAX fares from $129 and PHL-SFO fares from $149* (restrictions, taxes and fees applying). Tickets are available for purchase now at www.virginamerica.com and at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN.
Btw, if you guessed the right city on Facebook, start planning your trip because you just won yourself 20 percent off a flight!
Coffee Travel / PHL / ORD / Airports / Airport News / → All Tags
A single international airline can serve upwards of 50,000 cups of coffee every day. The proof is here. In the sky, coffee is a whole other ordeal, seeing as how it's universally complained about ("brown water") and whatnot. At least the quality, or lack of, has an excusethe fact that you're flying through the air at 500mph+ over god knows where, with an extremely limited galley and overstressed flight attendants.
Down on the ground, however, no such excuse exists. Which is why we do not understand why airports haven't been paying more attention to craft coffee roasting. Starbucks, schmarbucks. When will airports have pour over coffee bars?
Politics Travel / Airport Security / Airline Security / TSA / Airports / Travel News / Airport News / PHL / → All Tags
The Reuters headline for this storykeeping in mind that Reuters has to remain at least somewhat professional and objectiveis "Crazy Bunny Lady Irks TSA, Gets Arrested." Just from that, you can already tell that everyone involved in this airport security dust-up is going to be very special indeed. There's even confetti involved, because why wouldn't there be?
The video below provides more extensive background, but the basics are straightforward enough. Valerie Baul is a professional clown who dresses up as a gigantic green and pink rabbit and juggles eggs at parties. While going through a PHL checkpoint with a basket of fake eggs, she was asked by the airport's TSA agents to explain the purpose of the colorful trifles. Perhaps in an attempt to demonstrate that purpose, Ms. Baul cracked open one of the fake eggs on the agent's forehead, spraying confetti everywhere including the poor agent's clothes and hair.
Airport News / PHL / Philadelphia Travel / Airports / Jet Lag / Hotels / → All Tags
It's a damned shame that no US airport boasts one of the funky, sleep-at-the-airport Yotels. Those things are amazing. Instead, travelers faced with delayed flights and long nights at the airport have to spring for an airport-area business hotel or a Holiday Inn Express when they likely don't need all those amenities. Just a good sleep is all some people want, and luckily a few Minute Suites are slowly popping up at airports like
PHL just opened their mini-hotel of 13 Minute Suites and 2 workstation cubicles, the second Minute Suites after the original at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. Here's the deal:
For better or for worse, we’ve been in and around our fair share of international airports and we definitely have our favorites. Unfortunately Philadelphia’s airport is not in our top five..or ten...or twenty (you get the picture). That’s why we were excited to hear about the $5.2 billion in renovations, expansions, and Sbarro locations that the airport will be getting over the next several years.
Most of the cost comes from all the updates and upgrades that they’ll be adding to the airport’s runways. The Federal Aviation Administration just gave its stamp of approval to the whole project, but unfortunately things will be a work in progress for the next 12 to 15 years. To help decrease congestion and airline delays, two of the airport's runways will be getting additional space, and they’re even planning to build a fifth runway right along the Delaware River.
Snowpocalypse 2010 / Winter Travel / New York Travel / New York / DCA / IAD / JFK / EWR / LGA / PHL / BOS / Airports / Travel News / Delays / → All Tags
We thought Midwest (not to mention UK) air traffic two weeks ago was a total mess, and that things couldn't get much worse. Turns out we called that putt a little too early. If you're reading this right now, you're not suffering power outages like the 60,000 people in Massachusetts or the 16,000 people in New York or the 2,300 people in Rhode Island or the 40,000 people in Canada. So congratulations on that we suppose.
You're also not reading this from a New York airport, since those have been shut since last night. JFK, EWR, and LGA aren't projected to reopen until 4pm EST today, at which point they will have been offline for about about 24 hours each. That shouldn't be a problem, since it's not like a lot of people live in that region or like this was a weekend where lots of people were vacationing.
Ditto for the wave of airport cancellations that hit all three DC airports, plus Boston, Charlotte, Philadelphia, etc etc. Amtrak between New York and Boston is also shut down, so if you were desperately hoping to get to Logan and take the train into New Yorkwhich you probably couldn't do anywaythat won't work either.
Holiday Travel / Airport News / SFO / PHL / SAN / PHX / AIrports / Christmas Travel / → All Tags
When you go holiday shopping, it's a drag to have to turn down the services of the fantastic wrappers at the store. You decline because when you lug those perfectly wrapped presents to the airport, the TSA will just tear it to shreds. Here's an incentive to bring your gifts sans festive paper and bows: A number of airports will wrap them for free once you clear security. It doesn't make up for the full-body scanning, but it's a start.
San Diego International Airport kicks off its free wrapping December 21 to 24 in terminals 1 and 2 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. The airport will use wrapping paper designed by students in the New Children's Museum's After School Program.
TSA / Airport Security / Stupid Ideas / Travel News / Airports / PHL / → All Tags
Another day, another Philadelphia International TSA agent throwing around his authority for cheap laughs. Last time it was the budding comedian who pranked a college student by planting fake drugs in her luggage, reducing her to tears. This time it's a local sports fan who thinks that pulling aside mothers for wearing Cowboys jerseys is a charming local idiosyncrasy. Now there are two sides to every story and you have to judge individual accusations based on whether they ring true. This kind of rings true:
A Dallas Cowboys fan believes it was her jersey, not security, that led TSA screeners to pull her out of line for additional searches at Philadelphia International Airport... Galen, a mother of three, was on her way to Florida with her husband following the death of a family member. However, she found herself being patted in a plexiglass area in full view of other passengers. The biggest shock for Galen, who never asked TSA officials why she was being singled out, came when a screener walked up to her as she was putting her shoes back on to resume her trip. 'He walked up to me and said "how's it feel to be a Cowboys fan in Philadelphia?" I did tell him "wow,"' Galen said.