The B.A.T. (Bay Area Traveler) has moved! See www.travelskills.com

September 9, 2009

Ready to throw your iPhone out the window? (video)

Filed under: technology — Chris @ 8:29 pm

Frequent travelers living the Bay Area have lovingly embraced the iPhone perhaps more than anyone else in the country. (Ooooh! Ahhhhh! Kewl! Hey, check out this new app! Lemme take your pic!)

But that love is getting put to the test as iPhone users, who pay significantly more for their phones and their service plans than most other cellular users, experience dropped calls and slow data retrieval with no end in sight.

Paying a premium should mean that you get premium quality in return. But based on anecdotal evidence, and a recent rash of negativity in the blogosphere, it’s clear that iPhone users, especially those in the Bay Area, have had it.

Interestingly, most of the vitriol is directed at AT&T, and not Apple, the maker of the iPhone. (AT&T holds an exclusive contract as the sole provider of the iPhone…for now.)

For most of the last two years, AT&T has acted in true Ma Bell fashion remaining mostly silent on the issue, or offering up vague statements about billion dollar network upgrades. None of that made folks who have to walk outside their home or office to get a signal feel any better.

But now that the complaining has reached fever pitch, AT&T is launching a social media campaign to fight back.

So, iPhone users, meet “Seth the Blogger Guy” in this AT&T-produced video and let us know what you think. Do you believe what he’s saying? Do you think your service is going to get better? Or do you still want to throw your iPhone out the window? PLEASE leave your comments below!

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April 15, 2009

MORE WI-FI ON AA FLIGHTS.

Filed under: American Airlines,technology,Virgin America — Chris @ 11:37 pm

If you’ve enjoyed the awesomeness of in-flight Wi-Fi on American’s flights between SFO and NYC, you’ll get a charge out of this news: The carrier announced that it will expand Wi-Fi access to another 300 aircraft (all MD-80’s and 737-800’s) over the next two years. Delta already has 100 planes equipped with the same system and intends to have it’s entire fleet wired in the next year. Virgin America will have it’s entire fleet wired by June; Alaska and Southwest are ready to join the bandwagon soon.

February 12, 2009

The Austere Business Traveler

Filed under: Business Travel,technology — Chris @ 12:43 am

The Economist Intelligence Unit just released an extremely interesting new study on the state of business strechdollartravel and it’s not hard to guess the findings. Business travel is going to get a lot more “austere.” (Sounds so much better than “cheap,” doesn’t it?) Anything that hints of excess is out…way out. As a result, the new focus of business travel is going to be more about productivity and efficiency and less about comfort or status. We’ll be taking fewer, shorter trips. We’ll be downgrading hotel tiers, but sticking with trusted brands when we do so. We’ll demand tools like high-speed internet that make us more productive in our rooms and we’ll use the hotel minibar, gym or business center less and less.  Don’t even think about flying business or first class.  And get used to new “collaborative technologies” like Webex and Telepresence when it comes to internal facing meetings. Get ready, folks…time to embrace a new era of simplicity and self-service when it comes to biz trips.

January 15, 2009

Me, too! United to Offer In-flight Wi-Fi

Filed under: technology,united,Virgin America — Chris @ 6:29 pm

United Airlines has joined Virgin America, American and Delta with today’s announcement that it will begin offering in-flight internet service to customers on  p.s. flights between New York – Kennedy,  SFO and LAX starting in the second half of this year. Like the other carriers, United will use Aircell’s Gogo in-flight internet service that allows passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices to surf the net, check email and IM over a high-speed connection. United says it will charge a flat fee of $12.95 for the service.  (NOTE: While airlines are making a big kafuffle about in-flight Wi-Fi, the fact remains that it’s currently on very few planes. Virgin has it on one, Delta and American have got it on about 10 each.)

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