Monday 19 October 2015

Headed to one of the 10 most dreaded? (2015)

* * Click HERE for 2016 * *


Read below for 2015:

Sleeping in Airports has announced the results of their 2015 Best and Worst Airports Survey.

While we are inspired by the airports on the Best Airports list to book long layovers to enjoy them, those on the Worst Airports list is another matter.

1. Port Harcourt International Airport (PHC) - new to the list
2. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) - was #2 last year
3. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) - was #3 last year
4. Tashkent International Airport (TAS) - was #5 last year
5. Caracas Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS) - new to the list
6. Port au Prince Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP) - new to the list
7. Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport (KBL) - new to the list
8. Ho Chi Minh City Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport (SGN) - new to the list
9. Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport (ISB) - was #1 last year
10. Paris Beauvais International Airport (BVA)- was #6 last year

Keep in mind that just because an airport doesn't make the list, doesn't mean it isn't really bad. As the list is generated by airport users, other dismal airports that either received less visitors, or just less passengers inclined to vote, may drop off the list itself. In other words, don't be surprised to find last year's losers haven't improved.

The good news? In Layover Ideas for the World's Worst Airports (2015), our sister-site has suggestions about you to survive your layover if you find yourself headed to one of the dreaded!

Related resources
Sleeping in Airports 2016 Best and Worst Airports Survey - cast your vote!
Lousy Lagos Airport layover review
Layover Ideas & Things to Do Anywhere in the World
Go running on your layover
Roundtrip layover tours from airports

Thursday 15 October 2015

New hope for Toronto's UPExpress

UPExpress airport train at Pearson station
creative commons image chriskillam on Flickr
After a beleaguered start, it appears there may be hope on the horizon for Torontonians who watch the city's airport train cars pass by empty.

The Globe and Mail has reported of a rumoured takeover of the Union Pearson Express by the city. In the article, Toronto Mayor John Tory "acknowledged that the idea is just a 'passing reference' in what is expected to be a lengthy report on the feasibility of his $8-billion SmartTrack, which would run on the existing GO rail network and has a planned stop in the Pearson airport area."

Passing reference or not, we can't help but be optimistic.

The Union Pearson Express on a busier day
creativecommons image sweetone on Flickr
While the building of the new Toronto Airport train was much anticipated, doubts about ridership arose immediately after the fare structure was announced (see our blog post Toronto joins the 21st century with Pearson airport train).

Since beginning service in June, UPExpress trains have been running largely empty, with few but the most flush travellers, and an occassional local, paying the steep fares. For an international airport, served by thousands of local workers, Toronto deserves better. Let's hope the SmartTrack will get the Toronto Pearson Airport train on the right track.

YYZ Airport train: fast, but not cheap
creativecommons image chriskillam on Flickr

Related resources
Staff report hints at Toronto taking over Pearson express train
Pearson airport express trains 90 per cent empty
Union Pearson Express — the train Toronto loves to hate
What travellers want – and at the right price
Clean Train Coalition on UPExpress diesel design

Wednesday 14 October 2015

The elusive Kabul Taxi

You can't actually take the 'Kabul Taxi'
It seems not everyone is amused by Kabul Taxi, the satirical Facebook page that provided an outlet for Afghans tired from years of unrest.

Since summer, Afghanistan's spy agency has been paying attention to to the page, and threatening to shut it down. It's a compliment of sorts, and the scrutiny has led to greater exposure for the fake taxi page.

While reportedly removed, we still found the Kabul Taxi Facebook page, with 60,000+ likes and recent posts. Even if you can't understand the language, the photos give you insight to the irony and biting commentary on life and politics in the country.

What's next? We were amused to see comments on the Kabul Taxi page suggestion variations, including Kabul Bus, Kabul Jet and more.

Whatever the outcome, we wish peace and whatever comical relief that gets the people of this resilient country.

Related resources
Kabul Taxi is Blocked on Facebook. Long Live Kabul Taxi!
Afghan satire 'Kabul Taxi' angers spies, scribes summoned
A street car named satire: 'Kabul Taxi' lampoons Afghanistan
Afghans flock to Kabul Taxi, a satirical Facebook page that spares no one
Kabul Airport (KBL) transportation guide (real information, no fakes here!)

Thursday 1 October 2015

Uber news recap - September 2015

Uber driver in Dubai
creativecommons image khawaja of Flickr
Here are a few of the Uber vs taxi war stories that made news in September...

This story out of San Francisco, the birthplace of Uber

Nice to see a little competition coming into play in the city of play, Las Vegas. It was certainly needed, as Forbes revealed in 2013 (Taxi credit card scam does not stay in Vegas). 

If you're watching the ridesharing phenomenon unfold around the world, you'll be interested in the news coming out of Brazil, as Rio puts the brakes on the service.

Didi Kuaidi, China's ride-hailing service, has hit the ground running, creating a spark of interest in how the ridesharing industry will unfold in this Communist country.

The fix is in in Edmonton, it seems. Price fixing is a serious charge in Canada, but does this pass the sniff test?

Finally, a great piece from FastCompany about why the sharing economy, and ridesharing in particular, just makes sense. If you're mired in the debate, whichever side of the debate you are on, have a read for some fresh perspectives:

Related resources
Dear Canadian Taxi Monopoly: your Uber Boogie Man doesn't scare me
Taxi Truths campaign puts lipstick on a pig 
Canadian Taxi Monopoly is attempting to curb consumer choice
Uber provides the taxi industry a good kick in the pants