Archive for March 30, 2015

Earth Hour at the Airport

While I didn’t spend Earth Hour at an airport (technically), I did spend it on the road. In fact, I was in Las Vegas on the Strip (we stayed at the Mirage). For one hour on Saturday at 830PM PST, Las Vegas went totally dark (from the outside). Anyone hanging out on the inside, at the casinos or the shows, wouldn’t have noticed (my parents and I were actually at an Elton John show) – but if you were flying overhead, you would have seen a near-zero footprint radiating from the Strip.

Earth Hour Las Vegas

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Funny Airport Codes

iata icaoWith the unfortunate news of the GermanWings crash, I wanted to keep it light and fun this week. Airport codes can be a funny thing and sometimes leave you wondering how they are created. There are two types of Airport Codes: IATA and ICAO.

IATA stand for the International Air Transport Association which is a trade association of the world’s airlines. These 250 airlines, primarily major carriers, carry approximately 84% of total Available Seat Kilometers air traffic. IATA supports airline activity and helps formulate industry policy and standards. It is headquartered in Montreal, Canada with Executive Offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

ICAO stands for International Civil Aviation Organization it is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It codifies the principles and techniques of international air navigation and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. Its headquarters are located in the Quartier International of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Read more

Spring in to airport travel with the tripchi airport app!

Yay, Spring – the Vernal equinox has officially arrived, which has hopefully spurred some wanderlust and restlessness for your inner travelphile via the tripchi airport app.The tripchi airport app is of course is there for you while you’re killing time at the airport with the tripchi airport app.We wanted to highlight two pretty nifty apps you can use in planning your travel – the first is Hopper’s recent app foray called GTFO (Get the flight out) – also called Flight Tonight. Get it on iPhone here. We’ve been trying it out lately, but have mixed feelings since the flights it offers tend are fairly expensive.The second is a money saving flight app we discovered after catching up with one of the founders, Eric Lanier, here in Denver. The app is called FareScout, and it helps give you an accurate picture of how much a given flight (route) costs based on historical data averaging. Then, it tells you whether now is a good time to buy your flight. FareScout can also send you notifications so that you’re in the know if the flight price is expected to increase or decrease. Get FareScout on iPhone here.

Of course, we recommend using both of these apps in tandem with the tripchi airport app, which will show you how to make the most of your time at the airport. We’ll tell you your dining and shopping options, as well #layovertips, such as airport art and other lesser known airport hacks and adventures.

tripchi airport app company update: We are hard at work integrating Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) as our next airport. We are also about to roll out the Surprise Me feature, which gives you a recommendation based on everything we know about you (your flight time, location, and  interests from Facebook) on what you should do at the airport. We’d love your feedback on the tripchi mobile website.

How can you help? If you are in the airport or airport retail industry, can you pass your connections our way? We are looking for contacts at: DEN, IAD, DXB, AUS, SFO, HKG, SIN, and PIT, but we’ll take all leads as we are building out new airports rapidly. Read on for the monthly blog highlights of the tripchi airport app!

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St. Patrick’s Day at the Airport

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day. Airports around the US and Ireland donned their finest scally cap, poured a pint of Guinness and illuminated their hallways green in celebration.  Let’s take a look at how some airports celebrated the day the Irish way.

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Pi Day at the Airport

Pi Day Smithsonian

Picture courtesy of The Smithsonian Associates

Oh, Pi Day – how I love you! Let me count the ways! There are at least 3.14159 reasons, and you don’t have to be a nerd to enjoy it – and, best of all, you can experience Pi Day at the airport! For those of you who are not up on your math humor, pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference (distance around the circle) to its diameter. It’s also Einstein birthday (even though technically he would have been on the European dates).

Let’s see what some of the airports around the world did for Pi Day at the airport celebrations. And, this is a very special Pi Day – called Super Pi Day – because the day this happens this year, 03/14/15, are the first four decimal points in the digits of pi (and won’t come again for another hundred years). Hopefully you made your celebration count!

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Plane Ticket Buying Process

How we buy plane tickets has certainly changed over the years. In the early days of flying just finding a carriers schedule required a significant amount of effort. Say you wanted to fly from Boston to Chicago, you would have to call up the airlines that fly out those airports, line up the days you need to go and hopefully buy the ticket. You could also consult a travel agent who would have an OAG schedule guide to figure out which flight they can get you on and then call up the airline and buy the ticket on your behalf. Now the process is much simpler and can be done completely online.  Today I wanted to share the ways I buy plane tickets, my methods and process. I would also like know how our users go about buying tickets and what works best for them. Suggestions are always welcomed.

Photo Credit @NY Times

Photo Credit @NY Times

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Layover in Paris with LayoverinParis.com #Layovertip

For today’s blog, tripchi caught up with LayoverinParis founders, Anna & Emmanuel, to learn about some #layovertips when our tripchi travelers have a layover in Paris.

Anna&EmmanuelAnna and Emmanuel are the two co-founders of Layover In Paris. As frequent flyers who are always on the lookout for new trips, they doesn’t mind spending 6 hours or more in airport stopovers, provided they will be able to go explore the nearest town! With Layover in Paris, they want to offer a simple and original way of enriching the experience of travelling.

LayoverinParis sounds like a great resource to figure out what we can do on a long layover in Paris, rather than just sitting at Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG)! Can you tell us more about this great #layovertip?

Hi Chandra, and thank you for this opportunity to share with your readers what can be done in Paris on a long layover!

Every day, thousands of travelers layover in Paris airports and don’t venture outside – even those with a long layover in Paris: 6 hours, 8 hours, even a night! They often have a lot of questions, which can prevent them from heading in to the city:

  • What can I do?
  • What is the best way to go to Paris?
  • Where can I store my luggage?
  • And, above all, how can I be sure to get back in time for my flight?

At Layoverinparis.com, we are here to help them make the most of their layover. They can add a trip within a trip with our layover tours, designed to Paris travelers them the best of our city, Paris, including:

  • the Eiffel Tower
  • Notre-Dame
  • Montmartr
  • And yes, a welcome box filled with macaroons 🙂

During their tour, we will take care of everything: the luggage, the transportation, and watching the clock. We’ll do the worrying, so you can do the wandering!

What do you suggest for a “stay at the airport” layover in Paris? This would be a layover less than 4 hours or so.

With less than 4 hours, you won’t have enough time to get out of the airport. Luckily, Paris CDG is full of resources and there are so many things to do during this time! Shopping, obviously, in one of the Duty Free stores dedicated to the French art de vivre. But you can also treat yourself with a massage at the airport spa, Be Relax, or just enjoy the WiFi – free since the 1st of January!

What about 8 hours?

Let’s go for a Parisian day! With 8 hours, you can go to the Eiffel Tower and take a #layoverselfie for your Instagram before heading to the heart of the city, Notre-Dame. Mona Lisa and Le Louvre during your layover? Yes you can! And, if you book before your layover you can get a skip-the-line ticket. This is our most popular tour and a great #layovertip for tripchi travelers.

For me, the best way to go into the city is the train network, the RER B. It’s cheap (€10), fast (45mn) but above all, reliable – no traffic jams! At the end of your tour, don’t forget to stop for a coffee break. As Anthony Bourdain points out in his famous layover series, the goal is not to see everything, but to get the best experience!

What about an overnight layover at CDG?

Of course, you can stay at a hotel… or, you can use this fabulous opportunity to understand why we call Paris “The City of Light”. Start with the Eiffel Tower (Closed at 11PM) before heading to Montmartre for a night tour of “La Butte” and the Moulin Rouge. If it’s not Monday, you will always find good music there. And, if you want a (really, really) good cocktail, aim for the El Professore, 7 Rue de Choron.

Alternative: If you want to take a cab, Uber works very well in France – the price is set at €45 and you will escape the French taxi. 🙂

What one “airport tip” would you share with our readers about CDG?

Enjoy it! Paris CDG has always done well in the airport rankings, but recently it’s done a tremendous job reinventing itself again, and providing better amenities to its guests. Now, you will find that everyone speaks English, so your layover should be very easy! Just ask any of the helpers staffing information desks for help if you are in a jam.

A bientôt à Paris!

-Anna & Emmanuel

P.S. We encourage you to check out the LayoverinParis.com website to book your next tour when you have time to kill on a long layover at CDG!

LayoverInParis

Top 5 Warm Weather Destinations

caribbean-vacation-resortWinter weather got you down? I know in some parts of the United States (I’m looking at you Boston) winter came in full force with blizzards and daily bitter temperatures. The best way to escape the cold is to fly far, far away. For many in the Northeast and Midwest of the US the Caribbean, Florida and Mexico seem to be the destination of choice.  Today I wanted to share with you today my top 5 warm weather destinations to escape the cold. Please keep in mind these are only destinations I have visited. I am more than open to listening to what is your favorite escape the snow destination.

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Airport loyalty programs compared

In one of our last blogs, we talked about some of the key features of airport loyalty programs. Today, we are going to take a closer look at a few successful and unsuccessful airport loyalty programs, and analyze the good, the bad and the ugly. In the end, only one airport loyalty program can win – which one will it be?

In today’s blog, we will take a look at theree types of airport loyalty programs across three different airports – London Heathrow International oAirport (LHR), Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) and Dallas Fort Worth (DFW).

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