- August 13th 2012
People are always talking about the future of air travel. We’ve done it ourselves on this blog, looking at the new Boeing 787, the question of airport parking in the future, and even taking a whimsical journey to Star Trek’s final frontier. But a recent story on a new kind of plane made me think that maybe the future of air travel lies in the past.
A recent Daily Mail report highlighted a joint effort by NASA and Boeing to reinvent the plane. That’s because, according to them, we can’t make fixed wing planes much more fuel efficient nor can we get many more passengers into them. The new shape is triangular with a wingspan of 21 feet. The x48C is called a “hybrid wing-body plane”. The prototype can only fly for 35 minutes and go to 10,000 feet, but the organizations hope that within the next 20 years or so, most planes will have this design. The new shape allows for greater fuel efficiency while retaining the level of control that pilots are currently used to.
Sounds like a great idea, but why am I saying that the future lies in the past? Just take a look at the picture of the X48C. The wide wings and general profile remind me of a much missed technological innovation – the Concorde! What do you think?
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- March 12th 2012
Happy Monday! Hope you all remembered to adjust your clocks for the start of Daylight Saving Time 2012 yesterday. Let’s kick of the week with a look at some of the recent air travel news.
US Makes Good Showing in Travel Competitiveness Report
The US is now ranked at No 6 in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011, up from No 8 in the 2009 survey. Ahead are Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria and Sweden, with the UK, Spain, Canada and Singapore trailing to complete the top 10. According to the World Economic Forum, the travel and tourism market is generally healthy, with strengths including the regulatory environment, human resources and political stability. However, the report suggested some infrastructural challenges. Read the full article on Expoweb.
More to Travel in Next 20 Years, Says FAA
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA has predicted that over the next two decades the number of air passengers will double. Between now and 2032, revenue passenger miles will increase by an average of 3.2% per hear with a significant 45% increase in commercial operations over the period. By 2032, the forecast is for 1.2 billion people to take commercial flights on US airlines, compared with an expected 732 million this year. Cargo traffic is also expected to increase significantly over the period, with a projected annual increase of 4.9%. Looks like we’re going to need those bigger planes, after all. (Source: eTurboNews)
UNWTO Forecasts Tourism Growth Read more »
- January 16th 2012
Top of the morning to you and here’s our weekly (ish) roundup of airport and airport parking news.
Off Airport Parking Research
First up, the results of some new research into airport parking, published on the UK’s Travel Daily UK blog. UK firm Looking4Parking has published research showing that 66% of those using airport parking firms save an hour on their journey. And a third of the 1,000 people polled also thought that a meet and greet service saved up to 2 hours. Convenience and cost were among the factors that led people to book with off airport parking firms. Find out more about the airport parking research here.
Looking Ahead to Terminal 4 – JFK Airport
In the New York Times last week, there was a sneak peek at changes happening at JFK’s new terminal 4, due for completion next year. According to the article by Christine Haughney, the structure is beginning to take place. The new terminal will automate baggage screening and speed up security. When completed passenger transfers between domestic and international flights are also expected to work more smoothly. Read more on the JFK expansion here.
Airline Administration Fees
It’s not just here in the US that we have a problem with ever increasing air travel fees. Saturday’s post on the Travel Rants blog saw Darren Cronian talking about administration fees on EasyJet, one of the UK’s low cost airlines. The cause of contention is a new GBP9 (approximately $13.50 at today’s exchange rates) applied to all debit card payments. This fee is more than 9 times the maximum fee charged by banks for debit card transactions. With new European legislation coming in to improve transparency for travelers, Cronian asks:
why is it that every time the government or European Union announces a new legislation, the airlines find somewhere around it, which ultimately costs the consumer money?
Radiation Tests for TSA Employees
We’ve been wondering about the effects of airport scanners for quite a while and the Transport Security Administration (TSA) has generally played down health concerns. However, according to an article in the LA Times, the TSA is planning to test its employees and check their radiation exposure. No tests yet for the scanners themselves or the passengers though.
Save on Airport Parking
Finally, to end today’s roundup, a piece of company news – our latest airport parking discount coupon. If you’re thinking of making airport parking reservations at (MDW) Chicago Midway Airport, (IND) Indianapolis Airport, (ALB) Albany Airport, (ORD) Chicago O’Hare Airport, (JFK) John F. Kennedy Airport or any of our more than 150 airport parking locations nationwide, you won’t want to miss this offer. Just book 2 days or more by January 31, 2012 using the promo code Happy12 and SAVE 10%*. This offer is valid for travel for the entire year.
- December 12th 2011
What are your 2012 business travel plans looking like? If we’re to believe a recent study commissioned by Deloitte it looks like many business travelers are expecting to take at least the same number of trips next year, if not more. The breakdown is largely age divided with only 16% of travelers over 45 planning to take more business trips next year while 27% of those aged up to 44 think they will travel more. Looking back at the figures for last year it seems that a lot of those surveyed anticipated that this year they would take the same number of trips or more than 2010 also 19% expected to travel less either because of the recession because they had changed jobs.
The survey also revealed some interesting trends in accommodation preferences among the respondents. In the 18 to 29 age group 46% of respondents expressed a clear preference for their favorite brand of hotel even if the location was not quite suitable while that figure fell to 37% for those above 30. Related to that, 49% of those in the over 30 age group felt that levels of service and hotel facilities varied widely among hotels in the same group. Only 39 % of those under 31 felt that way.
There was also interesting data on how business travelers use hotels, with 67% saying that they spent time working in their rooms. However, many of the younger business people spent time in executive lounges and lobbies for work. The younger respondents showed a preference for using automated check-ins but this was only a favored option for 19% of those over 45.
How have business travelers reacted to hotel price increases? By expecting better services and better amenities. This was the view of 61% of respondents. In addition 77% said that they wanted free Internet access as a priority. Like other travelers business travelers are concerned about flight and security delays at airports and these are even bigger issues for them than staff and amenities at hotels. Read the full story here.
(Image: Maurice Koop)
- December 5th 2011
Happy Monday and welcome to another travel news roundup. Here are some of the travel stories that caught my eye recently.
More Spending, Fewer Jobs
First, a story in Travel Weekly highlights the results of a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. It shows that despite an increase in travel spending in 2010, indicating a recovering travel market, employment in the tourism industry fell by 1.4%, equivalent to 112,000 jobs. That’s after a significant 7.8% decline the previous year. In contrast, visitor number were up to a record 60 million, with spending up 12% over the previous year at $134.4 billion. Read the full story here.
Higher Fees for the Holidays
Air travelers are no strangers to rising travel costs and it looks like the trend will continue during the holidays. If you want more legroom or more comfortable seats, you could soon be paying more, says a report in the Seattle Times. American, Delta and others are providing these perks but charging more to those who want to book them. Delta’s new Economy Comfort seats, due t be added to the whole fleet by next summer, will cost between $19 and $99 extra. JetBlue offers more space for $10 (short haul) and American charges an extra $4 for window and aisle seats near the front. More details here.