Archive for Chandra Jacobs

Airport food trucks and mobile dining

Foodies of all shapes and sizes will enjoy this week’s tripchi airport app blog on airport food trucks and other forms of airport mobile dining. Spurred to research this topic by the recent HMS Host Press Release on airport food trucks, we’ll take a look at the best airport dining options that are in a mobile format.

Airport food trucks - courtesy of HMS Host

Airport food trucks – courtesy of HMS Host

The food truck craze that swept North America in the last 10 years is also now taking hold in the aviation industry. Thanks to forward thinking airport restaurateurs like HMS Host, property management companies, and airport authorities too, an airport dining revolution is taking place right in front of our eyes.

The HMS Host press release highlighted why airport food trucks/mobile dining ventures are attractive to the airport restaurateur. The logic goes like this: if an airport restaurateur can distribute airport food trucks strategically throughout all gates, and not just in the concourse hub/mall areas, more people will find accessible food options and spend more money. The other attractive selling point to the business owner is the ability to be mobile and move from gate to gate, possible as flights arrive and people get off the plane feeling hungry (this idea of course may not be approved by the airport authority and therefore may not be viable).

Besides just the obvious short-term profit-driven reasons why airport food trucks are a good idea, companies like HMS Host also see these channels of food delivery the key to a broader innovation strategy. For HMS Host, that includes mobile app integration with Grab and Kallpod, including airport delivery services. Kudos to Grab to doing what tripchi could not do (point of sale integration).

As such, HMS Host has been on the forefront of innovation around the concept of airport food trucks. In fact, the company recently launched several airport food trucks and carts.

  • E Komo Mai Wagon at Honolulu International Airport
  • Wiki Wiki Wagon at Maui International Airport

Both of these mobile dining options offer locally oriented specialties fused nicely with global tastes. You can check out some Hawaiian BBQ chicken tacos with crunchy slaw as well as other tasty snacks.

Wiki Wiki HNL - airport food trucks example - courtesy of HMS Host

Wiki Wiki HNL – airport food trucks example – courtesy of HMS Host

Here’s a few more airport food trucks that we like:

  • Chicago O’Hare’s Mobile Ala Cart
  • Memphis International Airport’s Food Cycle. This option is mobile to the extreme because it actually delivers food to travelers at their gates.
  • Tampa International Airport’s food truck initiative in the cell-phone waiting lot. This airport program started in 2012, and the schedule for which airport food trucks will be by when are located on the Tampa airport Facebook page.
  •  San Francisco International Airport’s allows three airport food trucks outside of Terminal 1 every Thursday. Don’t forget that tripchi covers SFO in the tripchi airport app.
  • Long Beach Airport’s “Truck’n Tuesday” has a different group of airport food trucks every week.
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport’s daily food cart serves hots dogs and bratwurst.
  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport’s Twist of Spice food trailer has been serving wraps, paninis and Mexican food in the cellphone lot since 2013. tripchi covers SFO in the tripchi airport app.

Some airport officials at SFO commented that they only make $300/month with an airport food trucks operation, and that the primary driver to airport food truck introduction was to improve the passenger experience. Whatever the motive, profit #paxex improvement, tripchi is glad this trend is taking airports by storm. Someday soon, airport delivery services will be ubiquitous – airport food trucks are the first step towards that inevitability.

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

Airport Halloween 2016 Spooktacular

This week’s blog takes a look at the celebrations across the world focused on making the airport Halloween 2016 experience one to remember.

First of all, it’s not only airports that get in to the spooky spirit this time of year – airlines like to celebrate as well with discounts, scary updates to their websites, and often unique airport Halloween 2016 passenger experiences. For example, Scoot Airlines, one of the Low-Cost Carriers (LCCs) in Asia, is running a 50% off promotion Just enter the discount code “SCARY” when you checkout on their website.

Scoot gets in the Airport Halloween 2016 spirit

Scoot gets in the Airport Halloween 2016 spirit

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

Traveling Around Brazil

CJ Traveling Around Brazil - in the plane

CJ Traveling Around Brazil – in the plane

I spent the last two weeks traveling around Brazil, and I thought it would be fun to roll up my journey as well as some travel hacks I observed while there. You might have already seen my blog on flying to Rio on the Dreamliner, but did you check out what happened next?

Here’s the road-map of my least epic adventure traveling around Brazil:

  1. Oct 15-16: Exploring Santa Teresa – Day 1 – read it here
  2. Oct 16-17: Rio in 2 Days – Ipanema, Corcovado, and Sugar Loaf – read it here
  3. Oct 17-20: Iguazu Falls – 3 Days in Paradise – read it here
  4. Oct 18: Paraguay from Brazil via Iguaçu – read it here
  5. Oct 19: Iguaçu National Park in Brazil – read it here
  6. Oct 20-21: Sao Paulo in a Day – #layovertips – read it here
  7. Oct 21-22: Manaus daytripping in Brazil – read it here
  8. Oct 22: Amazonian adventure – read it here
  9. Oct 23: Amazon Gero Tours – Into the Jungle – read it here
  10. Oct 24: Off the grid in the Amazon – read it here

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

Flying to Rio on the Dreamliner

Recently, I decided to take a spur of the moment trip to Brazil with some friends and got to do so flying to Rio on the Dreamliner.

Here was my itinerary for Friday, October 7th (2016):

  • DEN-IAH 310PM-626PM UA1874 (787 Dreamliner)
  • IAH-GIG 930PM-925AM UA129 (flying to Rio on the Dreamliner)

My visa and passport came via FedEx overnight from Travisa the morning of October 7th, just in time to make my 310PM flight out of DEN so that I’d be flying to Rio on the Dreamliner. See more about that Visa process here.

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

October Airport Restaurant Month 2016

HMSHost Airport Restaurant Month

HMSHost Airport Restaurant Month

This week we’ll be covering October Airport Restaurant Month returning to an airport near you. Last week we wrote about the DEN Oktoberfest beer tent coming back to the airport, and this week’s October Airport Restaurant Month blog extends the foodie theme one step further. This year’s October Airport Restaurant Month will also be at DEN, in case you’re looking for another #layovertip after you check out the beer tent. You can follow the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #AirportRestaurantMonth, and participate in person October 1 – 31 this year.

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

DEN Beer Garden – it’s back!

DEN Airport logo - DEN beer gardenJust in time for the Great American Beer Festival AND Oktoberfest, DEN Airport unveils it’s annual tradition – the DEN Beer Garden! For the third year, from September 30 – October 10, 2016, you will be able gain admission for $10. In exchange, you will get get a souvenir glass and 10 2oz samples (Beer Flights) from a variety of Colorado breweries at the DEN beer garden.

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

Aircraft Paint Jobs – Top 5 Best Liveries

For this week’s blog, we’ve decided to roll-up the commercial aviation industry’s best aircraft paint jobs. More and more airlines are using their planes’ exteriors as yet another means of marketing and brand expression. Some are serious and iconic, like American Airlines’ new livery, and some are more playful, like Air New Zealand’s “The Hobbit” themed aircraft paint jobs, and All Nippon Airlines rendering of Pokemon Go on its exterior. This is the next wave of airline/aviation marketing after the latest foray into novel, cool, and sometimes downright hilarious in-flight safety videos (like Delta’s “find the meme” video”).

Here’s our favorite five best aircraft paint jobs in the industry over the course of the last five years – tweet us if you’ve flown in any of these planes (#picturestoproveit)!

  1. Air New Zealand (NZ). Arguable my personal favorite since it’s a continuance of the Lord of the Rings theme that NZ has taken on over the years, this “The Hobbit” themed Boeing 777-300 livery is probably my top pick for best aircraft paint jobs. Even though it debuted in 2012, it is still arguable one of the best. NZ’s cohesive brand marketing and associating with the Lord of the Rings dynasty was a bold move to encourage travelers to get out and tour New Zealand. A wonderful example of destination marketing partnering with an airline.

    Best aircraft paint job

    Air NZ – Best aircraft paint job. Photo: Brandon Farris / AirlineReporter.com

  2. Kulula Airways. We rank Kulula’s “Flying 101” livery as one of our top picks of best aircraft paint jobs for use of humor and risk-taking. This plane was apparently designed in-house by Kulula’s graphic design team as part of the airline’s greater strategy to demystify air travel. You can learn more about it here.

    Kulula Airlines has one of the best aircraft paint jobs

    Kulula Airlines has one of the best aircraft paint jobs

  3. All Nippon Airways. NH had a grand plan to piggyback off of the success of Pokemon and launch a livery under the brand Pokemon Jet. The airline even has an official website that details the various Pokemon-themed aircraft paint jobs and characteristics.
  4. GOL. Brazil’s Low-Cost Carrier G3 put together a creative and football (soccer) themed Boeing 737 livery with aircraft paint jobs focusing on the World Cup. The carrier was also named the official transport for the Brazilian national football team. The exterior was creating with the help of local street artists Os Gêmeos painting portraits representing the people of Brazil.

    GOL - World Cup themed aircraft paint jobs

    GOL – World Cup themed aircraft paint jobs. Photo courtesy of CNN

  5. Norwegian Airlines (DY).  Although not out yet, DY plans to unveil a Roald Dahl tail-fin “hero” on its Boeing 737-800 planes later this year. Roald Dahl, while not Norwegian (he’s British), is of Norwegian descent. He is famous for writing children’s classics like James and the Giant Peach as well Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Dahl was also an aviator. Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch for association, but it’s still cool either way. According to Norwegian Airlines:

    Roald Dahl is widely regarded as the world’s number one storyteller. Many elements of his universally-loved stories are said to have roots in the Norwegian tales that he heard from his family and from visits to Norway as a child

Well, those are tripchi’s top 5 best aircraft paint jobs. As always, feel free to leave a comment and let us know if we’re missing one. Or, tweet us @tripchi with some pictures of you with your favorite aircraft paint job. Keep calm and fly on!

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

Airport napping pods – now at AUH

If you’ve been traveling a lot lately, you may have noticed a recent airport trend where you can grab Zzz’s in airport napping pods.

Westin Denver Airport Hotel

Westin Denver Airport Hotel

Checking in to an airport hotel is one way to catch some zzz’s in between flights. But, this method has been around for decades. Check out this tripchi blog where we discuss the opening, for example, of the latest DEN Airport hotel. Other airports that feature airport hotels include DXB and Changi – airports outside of the US have actually been the most on the forefront when it comes to airport napping trends.

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

Labor Day Travel Wrap 2016

Today’s Labor Day travel wrap is brought to you by the letter S and the number 5, as in September 5th, 2016 (Labor Day, for those of you outside North America). Hopefully you got to do something as awesome as I did (I flew from DEN to LAX for a sailing expedition).

Sailing through Labor Day travel

Sailing through Labor Day travel

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

tripchi airport app newsletter – summer recap

Aug 2016 summer recap – travel on until the end of summer

tripchi airport app newsletter

Your summer recap – now that the impending end of summer is officially upon us, we all get one last opportunity to spend those hard-earned vacation days and go somewhere meaningful before the grind returns. One of the places you may want to consider is Cuba, now that the travel restrictions have eased for Americans and now that there are direct flights from the US into several Cuban cities. Another place to keep on your radar is Iceland – with the Icelandair European stopover program fares are cheap, and it promotes a vacation to several places in one for a Europe and Iceland combo. I was pricing out some flights to LHR via Reykjavík on the outbound or the inbound in late September/early October for $1400 to complete my summer recap trip.

Airport of the month Club for our summer recap edition: PIT Airport is one of the featured airports in the tripchi airport app and also is going through a bit of a revival/renaissance. We liked PIT so much from the perspective of an Airport 2.0, that we thought PIT Airport would be another interesting regional airport offering to include in the tripchi airport app. PIT Airport is the second busiest airport in Pennsylvania – and the 47th-busiest in the United States. Here are some fun facts about PIT in case you visit it for your summer recap travel:

  • Fun Fact #1: PIT airport has the longest runways of any commercial airport in PA at 11,500 feet (3,500 m).
  • Fun Fact #2: PIT is a US Airways hub, handling 26% of the airport’s traffic. Now that Southwest and AirTran have merged, combined they will have a larger share. Here’s a cool Southwest sign that can be found in the Southwest terminal.The third largest airline at PIT Airport is Delta.
  • Fun Fact #3: PIT Airport is one of the largest airports by acreage in the US – its 12,900 acres (52 km2), makes it 4th, just behind Denver International Airport, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, and Orlando International Airport.
  • Fun Fact #4: PIT Airport is routinely listed on OAG Worldwide’s short list for the world’s best airport. Also, in 2011 Conde Nast Traveler ranked PIT Airport 7th best for business travelers.

This is not surprising considering the convenient and easy to navigate layout of the airport, with a central AirMall shopping center that is the hub to 4 concourse spokes. It’s a smaller scale version of Charlotte-Douglass International Airport. You can read more about PIT here.

If you’re looking for a #layovertip or dining or shopping options during that long(er) layover or summer recap travel, of course you can bring up the tripchi airport app and find a listing of what’s around you based on your flight time andthe Concourse you’re leaving from. If you’re passing through any of the airports we cover, we’d love to get your feedback! Find these tips and more on the tripchi airport app.

New to the tripchi airport app community? tripchi is your passport to explore the airport. We roll up dining and shopping options, charging stations, as well as airport art, airport secrets and #layovertips. And, you can browse lounges, find special deals and offers, and track your flight information. It’s now available on the Android through this direct download (click here), and will be on the Google Play store soon. For all you iPhone users out there, our plan is to roll the tripchi airport app out on the iTunes store next.

We’re currently looking for feedback on the Android app (send us an email at contact@tripchi.com).

How can you help?

  1. In the aviation industry? Pass your airport connections our way? We are looking at running a limited trial to prove that we can help not only airport guests, but also airports.
  2. Flying soon? We need your help to source more and better airport content. If you’d like to write for us or contribute your airport findings, shoot us an email: contact@tripchi.com.

Read on for the monthly blog highlights!

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Chandra is passionate about travel and technology....

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