Friday, 21 October 2016

Headed to one of the 10 most dreaded? (2016)

Waiting in Sao Paulo airport 2014
Check out our Layover Ideas for the World's Worst Airports (2016)
creativecommons image gord99 on Flickr
Sleeping in Airports has just released their 2016 Best and Worst Airports Survey results. We're delighted to see a new category this year: the Best and Worst Airports for Layovers.

It goes without saying that's it's easy to find things to do at the Best Airports Overall and Best Airports for Layovers. It can be a little more challenging pass your time at the WORST Airports Overall and WORST Airports for Layovers.

2016 WORST Airports Overall
1. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) - was #2 last year
2. Juba International Airport, South Sudan (JUB) - new to the list
3. Port Harcourt International Airport (PHC) - was #1 last year
4. Tashkent International Airport (TAS) - was #4 last year
5. Santorini Thira National Airport, Greece (JTR) - new to the list
6. Crete Chania International Airport, Greece (CHQ) - new to the list
7. Crete Heraklion International Airport, Greece (HER) - new to the list
8. Caracas Simon Bolivar International Airport (CCS) - was #5 last year
9. London Luton International Airport, England (LTN) - new to the list
10. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) - was #3 last year

2016 WORST Airports for Layovers
1. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport (JED) *
2. Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines (MNL)
3. Los Angeles International Airport, USA (LAX)
4. New York Newark Liberty International Airport, USA (EWR)
5. Miami International Airport, USA (MIA)
6. Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China (CAN)
7. Beijing Capital International Airport, China (PEK)
8. Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport, USA (IAH)
9. Paris Charles de Gaulle, France (CDG)
10. New York John F Kennedy, USA (JFK)
* = also on Worst Airports Overall list

Of course, just because an airport didn't make the list, doesn't mean it isn't dreadful. A lot depends on who responds to the survey and their experiences. And the current circumstances impacting resources. Of particular note this year:
  • 3 Greek airports on the overall worst list (the economic burden of refugees?)
  • 1 London airport on the overall worst list (Brexit, anyone?)
  • 5 of the 10 worst airports for layovers are in the USA (election distractions?)
The good news? In Layover Ideas for the World's Worst Airports (2016), our sister-site has suggestions about you to survive your layover if you find yourself headed to one of the dreaded, on either list!

So, we've taken on the challenge of layover suggestions for both of the WORST lists: the WORST Airports Overall and WORST Airports for Layovers.

Related resources
Sleeping in Airports 2017 Best and Worst Airports Survey - cast your vote!
WiFox: free airport WiFi
Brexit and the impact on travel - travel bloggers
Brexit and the impact on travel - new stories
Airport Beacons 2.0
Airports of the Future - New Perspectives

Thursday, 13 October 2016

WiFox: Free Airport WiFi

On the balance of things, last week was a pretty good week for travelers in search of airport connectivity.

On the downside, we are hearing reports of some airports cutting back on free WiFi. Whaaattt? It's apparently true, according to articles in both Travel+Leisure and Travel Weekly. Are they crazy? If airports haven't learnt anything about what passengers want, they are totally missing the point of the "passenger experience" (PaxEx) movement.

On the upside, WiFox has got travelers everywhere talking! WiFox is a continually updated interactive global map of free airport WiFi spots. WiFox features both free airport WiFi information and restricted-access airport WiFi, complete with passwords.

You can follow @foxnomad on Twitter
We can all thank Anil Polat, the techie, blogger and world traveller (aka Robin Hood hacker) who created the app.

A digital nomad who has been living on the road for the past 5 years, Anil has clearly thought of everything:
  • A low price for the iPhone and Android apps makes WiFox affordable for all 
  • The WiFox website version is free - perfect for travelers
  • An offline version of WiFox can be easily downloaded prior to travel, giving you the information when you most need it
  • Users are encouraged to submit passwords to WiFox when they discover restricted-access airport WiFi during their travels

Giveaway: enter to win 1 of 20 promo codes for a free copy of the WiFox App (ends at midnight on October 16)!

Isn't life grand?

Our suggestion for airport authorities who are worried about the annoying their rent-paying tenants who are offering WiFi access to their customers only - and wish to keep it that way:
Wake up and smell the virtual roses: implement, bring back or keep FREE AIRPORT WIFI for all airport visitors.

Related resources
WiFox App Provides WiFi Passwords for Airports Around the World - Hole in the Donut
Find Free Airport Wi-Fi With This Interactive Map - Life Hacker
WiFox App - FoxNomad
@foxnomad - follow Anil Polat on Twitter
#WiFox - check out the hashtag on Twitter

Suggested reading
Brexit and the impact on travel - travel bloggers
Brexit and the impact on travel - new stories
Airport Beacons 2.0
Airports of the Future - New Perspectives
What is a Data Driven Airport?

Haunted Attractions

Do you plan to visit a haunted house this Halloween?
Just in time for Halloween, the Haunted Attraction Association (yes, there is such a thing) and USA Today's 10Best Local Experts collaborated to create the Top 10 Haunted Attraction Awards.  The resulting Top 10 Haunted Attractions in the USA were recently named.

Here's that list, along with a bit more information on each, and a few other ideas while you are in the area... [continue reading on our Layover Ideas blog].

Want more layover ideas?
• Read more stories on the LayoverIdeas Blog
• Explore cities worldwide on

Related resources
Mugging: are you a target? 10 resources
Spot the deadly fake taxi on your international travels!
Dealing with taxi drivers
Dealing with touts
Airport arrival advice

Friday, 7 October 2016

Beware the Barnacle

Barnacle Macro
Barnacles (creative commons image callony on Flickr)
No, we are not referring to the above, but a new kind of "barnacle" that has been hitting the news this week in the world of parking enforcement. We'll let some media excerpts tell the story...

"Returning to your car to find a ticket tucked under the wiper sucks. So imagine how you’d feel finding a six square foot block of yellow plastic splayed across your windshield, rendering it impossible to see a thing." WIRED

"It's called The Barnacle. No, it's not the pesky sea creature you find stuck to the bottoms of boats. It's a contraption only humans could create. The Barnacle takes your standard, old parking ticket infraction to a whole new level." CBC Radio

"The Barnacle is certainly strange, but
anything is better than getting booted."
"Using two industrial-grade suction cups, the Barnacle mounts to a car's windshield, which unlike a boot, allows the car to be towed. The Barnacle comes with a screen to let the parking offender know why it was installed, and a credit card reader, so they can pay to have it removed. If the offender tries to drive off, an alarm will sound." Road and Track

"Personally, I think The Barnacle is the perfect punishment for a parking criminal. It’s bright, yellow, and obnoxious. Everyone who passes by will know you've done wrong. Also, good luck getting it off or ignoring it!" Daily Buzz

The Barnacle website
@ThisIsBarnacle on Twitter
Don't worry, there are no plans to deploy the devices at airports, and that's not really the target market.

At this point, the Barnacle is being piloted in two USA cities - Allentown, Pennsylvania, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Who knows if the parking officials in your city are paying attention...

Related stories on the Barnacle
This New Form of Parking Enforcement Sucks. Like, Actually Sucks - Wired
This Weird Windshield Blocker Could Replace the Parking Boot - Road and Track
New Barnacle “Parking Ticket” Covers Entire Windshield, Won’t Come Off - The Daily Buzz
Got a stack of tickets in your glovebox? You may find a Barnacle stuck to your car - Road Show by CNET
Forget the wheel clamp, security firm reveals stick on 'Barnacle' that blocks the entire windscreen - Daily Mail
The Barnacle: A new kind of parking ticket coming to a windshield near you? - CBC Radio (audio and video links)

More stories and resources from IHateTaxis
Ray the Parking Robot Valet
Brexit and the impact on travel - travel bloggers
Brexit and the impact on travel - new stories
Airport Beacons 2.0
Airports of the Future - New Perspectives
What is a Data Driven Airport?

Monday, 3 October 2016

Lily Airlines Fine Dining

Crew add an authentic touch
The reasons weren't clear right away, leaving the residents of Wuhan, China to wonder why a rusting, derelict Boeing 737 appeared on a busy street in their city.

Among the rumours in the city of 11 million, capital of the Hubei Province in central China, were an open-to-the-public flight simulator, or a restaurant (what, no hotel or nightclub rumours?).

It turns out the restaurant rumour was true, and the grounded airliner has opened for business.

Guests 'board' the Lily Airways Restaurant via a gangway and are served by staff sporting airline-themed uniforms. Rest assured, no standard airline fare is served onboard: the fine-dining menu is prepared by western chefs.

The aircraft was acquired from bankrupt Batavia Air. an Indonesian company, by a Chinese business man, Li Yang , for 35 million Yuan. The plane was partly dismantled, towed and reassembled on-site.

The bonus? There is actually a flight simulator in the cockpit, for those who are willing to fork out the extra cash.

For more photos, check out these news pieces:
Now that’s going to cause some serious traffic jams! A passenger PLANE appears in the middle of busy road in China - Daily Mail
First look inside China’s £4 million fine-dining restaurant converted from a retired Boeing 737 - Jet Line Marvel
This Restaurant Is Inside a Boeing 737 - Food and Wine
LOOK: Restaurant opens inside a Boeing 737 in downtown Wuhan - Shanghaist
Photos: China Unveils Its First Restaurant Inside an Airplane - China Aviation Daily
Airplane restaurant opens in Wuhan - China Daily

Related resources
Review: The Airplane Restaurant, Colorado Springs - One Mile at a Time
The Burning Man 747 - IHateTaxis Blog
Awe-inspiring homes and buildings made out of old airplanes - Gizmodo
Top 10 Ways To Recycle Airplanes - The Very Best Top 10
10 Odd Uses for Airplanes - Wacky Archives
Fine Dining In a Converted DC-10. Plus - Ask The Pilot

More from IHateTaxis
What I learned from my taxi driver
Brexit and the impact on travel - Travel bloggers
Mugging: are you a target?
Famous Fare: Nimoy Drives JFK
Spot the deadly fake taxi on your international travels!