Recorded in the TravelCommons studios outside of Chicago at the end of yet another busy travel month – Philadelphia, Portland, Denver, Northern Virginia – but am home this week, keeping to one of my cardinal rules of travel – stay out of any airport Thanksgiving week. In this episode, I talk about a successful experiment of going PC-less on a trip to Portland and give the conclusion to last episode’s story about my mother-in-law being stranded by LOT Airlines. We have listener stories on accelerated boarding on international Delta flights and some tidbits of British Airways gossip on the cause of the 777 crash last January and the havoc around the Heathrow Terminal 5 opening. I then give my review of TripChill, one of the new wave of web-based personal travel assistants, and share some travel tips sent in by listeners. Here’s a direct link to the podcast file.

Here are the show notes from TravelCommons podcast #69:

    • Intro music — Warmth by Makkina
    • Recorded at the TravelCommons studios outside of Chicago
    • Lots of travel, but staying out of airports over the Thanksgiving week
    • Bridge Music — Flow of Know by Twilight Archive

Following Up

    • Booked a long weekend in Portland, Ore entirely on frequent traveler points — somewhat at odds with the spate of media stories claiming that points are practically useless
    • Went PC-less on the Portland vacation — operated only on my iPhone and BlackBerry
    • Apple has to fix the iPhone Safari browser — it crashes all the time
    • Ken Okel provides an audio comment on his boarding experience on a recent international Delta flight
    • A listener provides some juicy tidbits of British Airways gossip picked up in a bar in Geneva, Switzerland
    • Bridge Music — Violent and Beautiful by the Union Trade

Travel Assistant in Your Pocket

    • There’s been some sort of mini-explosion of new web sites offering to be “your personal travel assistant”; sites like TripChill, Tripit and Yapta
    • Been trying out TripChill’s service off and on since their launch last August. Wasn’t impressed at first, but has gotten better
    • TripChill does a better job than any other site I’ve seen in displaying flight alternatives
    • TripChill and its competitor Tripit have well-designed mobile web sites that quickly display your trip itinerary on a BlackBerry or iPhone
    • These travel assistant sites don’t seem to offer much new functionality, but they do offer convenience
    • Wo;; probably keep using TripChill, but as an addition to my travel tool box, not a replacement for something I already use
    • Bridge Music — Me by Lizzi

Listener Travel Tips

    • One listener suggests a “divide-&-conquer” strategy to packing
    • Another listener sings the praises of hotel sewing kits
    • Ian Morgan offers a solution to my problem of forgetting my hotel room number when I go work out — dial it into my mobile phone


  • Closing music — iTunes link to Pictures of You by Evangeline
  • Bridge music from Magnatune
  • Feedback at or right here in the comments section below
  • Direct link to the show

1 comment on “Podcast #69 – Pocket Travel Assistant; More Travel Tips

  1. You mentioned that it would be helpful to be able to access docs on your laptop while you were experimenting with laptop withdrawal. I’ve found that a account is very helpful as well as google docs – both of which I use quite a bit. Of course, you need to be a bit proactive by uploading things that you may need, but it’s a good tool!

    Toodles! And I’m glad to hear that your wife’s pupils are back to normal size!

Comments are closed.