Tag Archives: plane

How to Pay Less for Travel With Yapta

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

It always happens… you wait for the best price on a plane ticket to maximize your savings, only to find that a few days later, the price drops even more. What can you do? Don’t most tickets say “non-refundable” when you’re reading the terms of sale at the final confirmation screen? What you might not have known is that quite a few airlines offer some form of credit if the price of your travel drops after purchase. The fine print varies per airline, but a Seattle startup is looking to exploit that policy and empower the user with the information. The company is called Yapta.

Yapta is an airline travel site whose main feature is to track airline ticket prices and provide alerts. You look for a specific itinerary by searching on the site (powered by Kayak), and set up alerts to let you know via email when that ticket falls within your budget. It’s very useful if you don’t want to spend more than a specific amount on a ticket, or if you’re just waiting for the best time to travel.

The other, quite unique service Yapta provides is the ability to tell you if your ticket is eligible for a refund because the price dropped after you bought it. A lot of airlines have a policy on refunding travel credit in the event that the ticket you purchased drops. It varies, but generally if the ticket drops below $150, you’re eligible. Yapta will monitor the ticket while you just watch your email account for notifications!

The site was launched in 2007, and they say there have been more than $300 million in savings. Travel is already expensive, you should be obligated to save as much as possible. Yapta helps us take a huge step in getting that lowest price.

"Heads Down, Stay Down"

Delta 4951 makes emergency landing:

I don’t know what I’d do in this situation (as a passenger). I certainly wouldn’t likely have the composure to record it happening for posterity. Not to make light of a very serious situation, but I’d be preparing to kiss my own “posterity” good-bye.

Click the outward-pointing arrows in the lower right side of the video embed to bring the video full screen (recommended).

Gogo Inflight Problem

The other day, I was on an Alaska Airlines flight to Dallas, TX (on my way to speak at OpenCamp). My dendrites were quite thrilled to discover that the plane was WiFi-enabled. Yay! I realize that some people refuse to pay for in-flight Internet, but… the alternative is to “bored” the plane. Get it?! Anyway…

I fired open my Web browser on the iPhone and was greeted with a simple fee structure for the day:

Okay, $7.95 sounds quite doable. I was expecting it to be a bit more, to tell you the truth. Then, I wondered if I should just sign up on my iPad (since I’d be able to browse the Web easier with a substantially larger screen). That’s when I was smacked with this:

Wait a second. It’s the same Internet, it’s the same access point, it’s the same time of day, it’s the same flight – and somehow, Gogo Inflight wants to charge me $3 less on the iPad versus the iPhone? Something smells fishy – and it’s not the fish from First Class.

Yes, this “pointless” price discrepancy really pissed me off. Most people would use one device over another, never thinking of using both – and, certainly, they’d expect to see a quick explanation of the limitations of either usage model. I wondered, then, if Gogo Inflight was profiling (!) me – thinking that since I was an iPhone owner, I could afford to pay more – versus the iPad, which was seemingly being detected as a laptop?

Then again, can’t a laptop “do more” than an iPhone? Why charge more for one over the other? It made absolutely no sense to me – but before sharing my extreme disappointment with the world (via this blog, since I initially tweeted my concerns), I waited to hear from one of their representatives, who kindly explained:

I’m Caitlin, I work on Gogo Inflight Internet and I saw your tweets about the issue that you had with pricing yesterday. I’ve copied Mike on this email, who works directly with our customer care team. We’re both genuinely sorry that you had a frustrating experience, and wanted to take the time to try to explain what happened.

Our prices are based on both device type and flight time, as our team communicated on Twitter. You can see the basic pricing structure here. However, if flight data is not available, as sometimes happens on our equipment, we automatically default to the lowest price available for that device. It sounds like what happened with you yesterday was that the mobile site (which your iPhone would see) was able to give you the correct price based on flight time. However, your iPad, which runs on our laptop site, didn’t get that data and automatically gave you the lowest possible price. We try to always err on the side that benefits the customer, so you got a lower price since we couldn’t find the specific flight data.

Additionally, purchasing on a laptop, netbook, or iPad actually allows you to switch back and forth between that device and any mobile device, although you can’t use both devices at once.

Sorry, guys – but I don’t buy it. In fact, I’m even more confused now.

Why is Gogo Inflight charging less to allow the user to do more?! That’s Caitlin’s assertion: if you buy access from the iPad (“laptop”) for $4.95, you can switch between devices in-flight, but if you buy access on your iPhone for $7.95, you’re stuck with one device?

Dude. Seriously. Gogo Inflight needs a serious altitude adjustment.

Every person should pay the same amount for a flight, regardless of device. Once access has been paid for (once), let the user flip between devices so long as only one of them is on the network at any given time – lest they pay extra for a second device.

Anything less than that is just… devicist.

My Favorite Kind of Plane

WiFi

I love it when I have to travel and there’s a huge Wi-Fi Friendly sign displayed. This means I can get some work done, send out a few hundred emails, tweet about every cool thing I see or simply FaceTime with friends on my new iPhone 4.

I’m heading to the Bing Crosby Theater in Spokane, Washington. I will be speaking at an event there tonight: Social Media and Marketing, Advertising and PR Community Event. I will not be giving a set presentation at this event. Rather, I’m going to host an open discussion where people can ask their social media questions and we can all work together to come up with the best possible solutions.

How to Entertain Yourself on an Airplane

Both @flyhawaiian [a good group to follow if you wanna know more about traveling to Hawaii] and I are asking… How do you keep yourself occupied when flying?

suddenlysmilee: I sing… I believe I can fly 🙂

about 5 hours ago

LashaKrikheli: Interesting magazine articles. iPhone. Book.

about 5 hours ago

lrv94: I would say either sleep, or if your flight has wifi then use the internet!

about 5 hours ago

1lyserg2: on a plane? iPhone all the way

about 5 hours ago

iThomasina: Flying? Sleep. And try not to snore. Audiobooks are good too. And there&#39s always the amazingly awesome in flight magazine! XD

about 5 hours ago

Bethanyb17: I watch a movie, listen to music, or read a book or magazine to keep myself occupied while I am flying.

about 5 hours ago

pierce40: when i am flying i tend to listen to music with a good set of in-ear headphones to isolate sound. The other is to sleep!

about 5 hours ago

VOIDMunashii: DS, reading, sleeping (if possible), complaining about the lack of legroom.

about 5 hours ago

hectic92: watch tv.

about 5 hours ago

lalalolly88: I become immersed in a good book 🙂

about 5 hours ago

mehalchin: Old fashioned here, I like to catch up on hard copy reading materials while flying; altho I am increasingly using iPod too

about 5 hours ago

jondthompson: Last time I flew, I was amazed at the feeling of sitting in a backwards facing chair. Of course, I was one of six in the plane

about 5 hours ago

jondthompson: Including pilots. Normally, I just enjoy the flight and the tops of clouds/rolling terrain below.

about 5 hours ago

robertohoyos: sleep and keep my arm to myself.

about 5 hours ago

mviloria1: first skim through the airplane magazines then read a non-fiction book. when all else fails watch podcasts and listen to music

about 5 hours ago

g3houdini: ipod touch podcast

about 5 hours ago

paperfairy: I usually keep flapping my wings. Don&#39t you?

about 5 hours ago

SuziBeerman: — I read or nap. It is a great relief to have quiet time for hours at a time.

about 5 hours ago

grumpytechs: I hit myself with a sledgehammer if rum and Coke doesn&#39t do the trick.

about 5 hours ago

twobears29: I just keep telling myself “don&#39t say bomb” over and over again.

about 5 hours ago

LindseyGroepper: I try to catch up on some zzz&#39s if in window seat. Don&#39t underestimate the dorky travel neck-pillow

about 5 hours ago

ArttLaFlamme: I don&#39t fly I pull the John Madden and travel via bus on land.

about 5 hours ago

LGatCEA: ipod, catch up on podcasts, macbook pro, watch a movie or read a book. Can&#39t sleep. wish i could on a plane.. but just can&#39t.

about 5 hours ago

chena007: I either watch movies or play games 🙂

about 5 hours ago

gWhiteNights: zzzzzzzzzzzz

about 5 hours ago

maritbergh: read a good book or listen to music or sleep 😀 btw im norwegian and i can show u how to pronounce KJØTTKAKER 😀

about 5 hours ago

schottsi: i read a book, usually on my iphone. wish i could sleep on the long flights.

about 5 hours ago

AnthonyTuch: mile high club is a good way 😉

about 4 hours ago

ToniMorenoURV: Solving Sudokus.

about 4 hours ago

Sharonrey: By running my fingers through the hair of the passenger next to me. Then when they request a seat change, I listen to my ipod

about 4 hours ago

blindkangaroo: usually one of three things. Reading, sleeping or listening to podcasts

about 4 hours ago

WebGalPat: If my husband is the pilot, I am usually in a death grip on the seat cushions. Otherwise, watching movies on my iPhone!

about 4 hours ago

Flander_Mi: sleeping or movie on laptop

about 4 hours ago

n3vqh: by flying the plane… FAA Prefers I do that …

about 4 hours ago

householdhacker: Netbook + airline wifi

about 4 hours ago

I_PRODUCTIONS: Remember your not falling

about 4 hours ago

cbgfilms: when flying I take my videocam, & film stuff like the lady behind me who sticks her bare foot between the crack of my seat.

about 4 hours ago

Ebzeek: play psp lol they have great battery life and you can download movies onto them

about 4 hours ago

cliff538: When flying it&#39s; iPhone: watching podcasts, reading books on Stanza. MacBookPro: trying to better Photoshop skills.

about 3 hours ago

Frezkee: delta wifi and lots of movies

about 2 hours ago

shand1: Flying? I read or sleep, or watch the airline TV. I&#39m afraid of heights, lakes and pools.

about an hour ago

KayDee28: reading is always a win when flying. I always seem to obsessed with gadjets to ever sit down and read 🙂

about an hour ago

Why I Love Flying Virgin America Airlines


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

I recently flew on Virgin America airlines, for a trip to California. Traveling life doesn’t get much better than this, I’m telling you.

I had access to wireless Internet. I was able to watch some television via Hulu and even keep an eye on my Email. There was a USB plugin and a regular AC outlet right at my fingertips. Heck – I even had a nice glass of wine! The seats were actually comfy, and I had enough room for myself and my stuff.

Packing for a trip is another matter all together. I don’t check bags, so I have to figure out a way to fit everything I might need into a carry-on. The “personal item” is always a laptop bag filled with assorted tech gadgets, cables and paraphernalia, of course. Being a dude, it’s easy for me to pack light when it comes to clothing. Being a geek, it’s difficult to whittle down the gizmos I will need at any given moment of a trip.

Getting through airport security sucks – we all know this. However, I’ve gotten it nailed down to an art form now. I know to pull my laptop or tablet out of the case prior to putting it on the belt. I don’t wear baggy clothing. I don’t have anything in my pockets that I wouldn’t want the guards to ask about. I know better than to attempt to bring anything fun or questionable on the flight with me. I smile at the guards and acknowledge them as I walk through the metal detector, letting them know I appreciate that they have a job to do. These tips may not seem like much, but I haven’t been pulled aside for a dreaded pat-down yet.

Can you think of a better way to travel? Leave me a follow-up comment, and let me know what your favorite way of travel is. Which airline do you prefer, and why? Do you even fly? Personally, I love to fly and I love to travel. Virgin America has it going on!

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video: