New aircraft, like the 787 Dreamliner, Airbus AS350 and new 777X, give airlines the opportunity to run longer routes without annoying stopovers. But there is a challenge. How do you keep people entertained and healthy when they're stuck on a plane for so long?
Tagged With air travel tips
If you're travelling interstate, working out the most cost effective transport method can be tricky -- do you grab a taxi from Sydney airport or take the train? Is the skybus your best bet in Melbourne or regular buses? This infographic lists the cheapest, fastest and most luxurious transport options for Australia's eight major airports.
You can usually check to see if your flight has Wi-Fi ahead of time, but that doesn't always mean it will work very well. If you assume you won't have it, you'll be able to prepare ahead of time and lay out a plan for a very productive flight.
He already showed us how to declutter the web using Greasemonkey, and now Lifehacker tipster Paul Fenwick has turned his attention to how to hack the best seat on an airplane. You probably already like to use the check-in kiosk at the airport to try to get a better seat. Paul has some ideas on what the best seat is, and how to get it - whether you're travelling solo or in a couple."The "ideal" seat is one where you have either your preference of aisle
or window, nobody sitting next to you, and near an exit so you can get
on and off relatively quickly. My super-ideal seat is an aisle with an
empty seat on my right, since I can then use that seat (or its tray) as a mouse-mat."Paul suggests you need to avoid the trap of selecting a seat in an empty row of seats, and instead suggests going for a window or aisle seat where there's already a person on the other end of the row. It's then unlikely that anyone will chose to sit between the two of you, and you'll have an empty seat next to you.And for couples?"The trick is to find an empty segment, and to take both the
desirable seats, leaving an empty one in the middle. With luck (if your
flight isn't too full), you end up sitting together, but in much more
comfort. If you're unlucky, there'll be some poor soul stuck between
you, although they'll usually eagerly agree to swap for an aisle or
window seat, so your failure condition is the same as what you would
have had if you sat together to begin with."Thanks for the tip, Paul! Got any other optimal airplane seating hacks? Share in comments please!Optimise your aircraft seat
Two little tips to help air travellers and the people picking them up at the airport - check before you leave the house to see if the flight's been delayed, and make sure you have the airline's phone number programmed into your phone before you leave to pick someone up! Google's just unveiled a new feature for checking flight status - basically you just need to type the airline and flight number into Google, and the first result should tell you whether the flight is on time or delayed, and what the scheduled arrival and departure times are. I tried it for a Jetstar flight, JQ 747 and it worked just fine. Neat.Of course you can check direct with the airline if you prefer (bearing in mind that their websites might not update flight arrival details often enough to be useful). Qantas details arrival times on their website or you can call 13 1223. And did you know that you can get Qantas flight updates via WAP sent to your 2G or above phone? Well, you can - details here.Jetstar has flight information here, or the phone number is 131 538. Virgin's number is 13 6789 or flight details are here.
Many of us will be boarding an airplane for holiday travel in the coming week or so, and web site Upgrade: Travel Better offers five tips for getting an edge on the rest of the poor slobs crowding the airport. For example, put your airline's phone number in your mobile phone's address book, and set up a reminder to check in online as early as possible. How else to you plan to get a leg up at the airport this holiday? Let us know in the comments.
Five ways to get an edge over other air travelers
Adam's guide for power travellers got me to thinking about which Australian airports have free Wi-Fi, so here's a list:
Free Wi-Fi provided by ISPs:
Adelaide Airport (Internode)
Darwin Airport (Internode)
Newcastle Airport (Internode)
Albion Park Aiport, Illawarra (Fish Telecom)
The list of free Wi-Fi spots isn't very comprehensive, so you may need to pony up if you want to get online.
Paid Wi-Fi options
Like anything you buy at airports, Wi-Fi will be pricey. Optus offers Wi-Fi at Sydney's T1 and T2 terminals, and at Brisbane airport. You can buy a monthly subscription or pay $13.20 to set up a casual account which costs $12.10 per hour.
Your other option is an airline lounge. Membership is pricey, but frequent fliers might appreciate that internet access is included. Virgin Blue's member Lounge costs $548 to join, ($349 per year after that) while Qantas Club costs costs $775 for a year (or 150,000 frequent flyer points). However, Virgin Blue does offer a $30 casual rate if you have a Virgin Blue boarding pass, so you can access the Wi-Fi in their Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide lounges.
Qantas covers more airports - they offer wireless at Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gold Coast, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney T1 and T2 and Townsville.
That's about all I've been able to discover about Wi-Fi options at Australian airports. I do know that McDonalds, Starbucks and Gloria Jeans often offer Telstra Wi-Fi at their stores, so it's possible that they may have an airport outlet offering internet connectivity. If you know of other free or paid Wi-Fi spots at Australian airports, please share in comments!
You've already found your cheap tickets and followed every other step of our Power Traveler's Pre-Flight Checklist, and now the day is here. You should already have yourself set up for a relatively stress-free trip if you followed part one of our checklist, but now that travel day is upon you, here's our suggested rundown of to-dos to make sure your travel day goes smoothly, you catch your flight on time and you get there in comfort and style.