Everybody loves to travel in the Summertime and it’s no secret that ticket prices are high in the summer. The simple rule of supply and demand will tell you to buy early because summertime demand for air travel is extremely high, especially in the US. Last week I focused on the busiest airports during summer and know I am going to focus in on the most delayed. While many in the top five won’t shock you, I was very surprised not to see ATL. Every time I have traveled through Atlanta in the summer I am always delayed due to weather, most of time because of thunderstorms. It is a testament to the work the ATC do down at ATL that even with bad summer storms the world’s busiest airport avoids delays. The following rankings came from Milescard.com measured from 2005-2014 and reflect the on-time percentages of the flights at each airport.
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Like I mentioned last week I speak some time down south in Raleigh, North Carolina for a wedding on Lake George if anyone out there has heard of it. First I focused on the on the flying and airline aspect, for this week I will apply the tripchi magnifying glass to the airport. This was my second time to RDU and let’s just say the first time wasn’t the best, but it was no fault of RDU. I was flying RDU-BWI on Southwest out of Terminal 1 and was about to board the plane when the PA cracked and the terminal was informed BWI ATC tower had ben struck by lightning and all flights we being diverted. Our flight was delayed 4hrs. So I was hopeful this time would be different.
As we leave 2014 in the dust, its time to look ahead to whats on tap for 2015 in terms of airport tech. As I previously discussed in my Bluetooth tech blog, iBeacons have already started to enter some airports. This is a big deal because now airports and app’s like tripchi can easily connect with passengers that have Bluetooth enabled smartphones. With the vast amount of the traveling public, especially business travelers being smartphone and tech savvy, converting these passengers into revenue is a high priority for the airports.
Today we are very excited to present a guest post with Jennifer from the Deals We Like blog which is featured on the very popular travel blog roll BoardingArea. As a child she learned the frequent flyer ropes from her father, who often got their family upgraded and many times they flew for free. Her passion for travel deals and points started over nine years ago when she graduated college and took a job in consulting. She spent her weekdays hotel hoping and embarking on flights eagerly building her points. Since she was traveling all the time, she decided to master and take advantage of the points and miles game which has morphed itself into an outstanding resource on finding the best travel deals. She is a mother to a baby girl and married to Mr. Deals a fellow deal hound, together they love to travel and grab great deals! If you would like to get in touch with Jennifer you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, on twitter @DealsWeLike and via her Facebook page.
I had a nice sleep and woke up at a leisurely pace for one of the first times on the trip. After taking a much needed shower (you have no idea how dusty it was this time of year), I joined Mesele and Mercy in the kitchen for a breakfast of scrambled eggs and a traditional Ethiopian dish of bread bits soaked in spices and oil and lightly fried. We also had Mercy’s special cinnamon tea, made with a masala straight from the Addis spice market.
I caught the 1200 flight back from Lalibela to Addis, getting to sleep in a little later this morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, and then meet Kassa in the lobby for our final car ride at 1000. It was a semi-tearful goodbye after the long drive to the airport on a hotter than normal. I didn’t realize how said I was to leave until I started to leave! I became emotionally attached to this spiritual city in mind, body, and spirit, and formed a connection with the land and the people. I left my watch (physical watch as well as my metaphorical sense of time) behind, and also my heart.
I woke up around 730 and had breakfast – fried eggs, toast, and papaya juice – in time for my 0830 meeting with Kassa to begin our drive to the Monastery on the Mountain – Asheton Maryam Monastery. It was about an hour car ride crawling up a windy and steep mountain that began right around the Four Olives Hotel in the center of town. Along the way we saw a few interesting things.
This morning I had an 0830 flight to catch from Gondar to Lalibela. I scheduled the hotel shuttle to pick me up at 0700 the night before, and had an early buffet breakfast at the Taye Belay Hotel around 0630. As suspected the hotel shuttle was not there at 0700 (Ethiopian time, after all) – after a few calls to the driver and some urging on my park to the receptionist, the van eventually arrived at 0730. It didn’t matter anyways because the flight was delayed by 30 minutes. This seems to be the norm on Ethiopian Airlines domestic flights.
Gondar, not Gonder. Although I still can’t stop thinking about Lord of the Rings, and hoping that Gondar, Ethiopia will fill me with just as much wonder and inspiration. An early morning Ethiopian Airlines flight whisked me away from the bustling capital city to the more-rural North, and formal (Medieval) capital of Ethopia, Gondar.