Things I Find Interesting On Wednesday, January 29th 2014

The airline boarding pass hasn’t changed since before I hit puberty.  Honestly, probably since before I was born.  Someone has published their thoughts on how to re-engineer this placeholder document to something much more useful.  It’s an interesting theory and I think it makes a lot of sense.  Even with the massive increase in mobile boarding passes there’s still a large chunk of the population that don’t travel frequently and likely won’t adopt mobile boarding passes anytime soon.

Thanks to my friend David F for pointing this out to me.

Starwood is rolling out features that turn your mobile phone into a key that opens your hotel room door.  I do like this idea but not for the same reason Starwood is trumpeting it.  I do value the actual check-in process with a human being.  Hyatt has had an option for a number of years to use a kiosk which I always bypass in favor of a human at check-in.  Where I see the value in the phone as a key card is for when I misplace my key.

I generally exercise whenever I’m traveling for business.  I try to make it a point to put a key in my gym shorts but I can’t say I’m 100% accurate at that.  But I always have my iPhone since I listen to music while I work out.  I see a good bit of value in knowing I always have a way to get back into my room regardless of my ability to keep track of key cards.

This doesn’t seem like the type of feature that will pay for itself.  Updates to hotel locks aren’t cheap and key cards are.  Saving some front desk time probably doesn’t equate to a reasonable return on investment for lock updates, especially for properties with older door lock technology.

I’d label this as cool, but not mind blowing.

Delta’s new safety video.  I don’t normally post stuff about Delta or stuff from Facebook, but this one is pretty darn funny.  If you were born prior to 1975 this is a must watch, if just for the big hair.

Uber (the ultra-awesome car service) continues to run into resistance from a variety of different fronts.  The government resistance is nothing new.  Cab unions are powerful folks and they’ve used their heft to get legislation passed that impedes Uber’s ability to succeed.  This article also details some Uber drivers who feel Uber is keeping their tips as well as some background on the debate as to who’s really responsible when an Uber driver does something wrong.  It’s also worth noting that their CEO, Travis Kalanick, is pretty widely regarded as a first class ass.  When you’re that abrasive (see Steve Jobs or Lance Armstrong) it can tend to generate outsize criticism when you stub your toe.

I certainly would like to see Uber survive as it’s a great part of my travel resources.

Hope you’re traveling somewhere fun this week!

About the Author

My goal in life is to fill my family’s passports with stamps, creating buckets of memories along the way. You’ll find me writing about realistic ways for normal people to travel the world, whether you’re on a budget or enjoy luxury. I also enjoy taking us on the occasional detour to explore the inner workings of the travel industry.

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  1. The problem with the boarding pass concept is that you still have to fold it. I don’t like folding my boarding pass. I could fold it along the perforation right now and it would fit just fine (for my tastes) into my passport. So if he wants to make size part of the issue he should figure out how to make it smaller without folding. Also, not all boarding passes have perforations these days, especially when printed at a kiosk.

    1. Scott, I’m guessing he was working with that size assuming airlines wouldn’t want to change equipment specs. I’m also guessing that the printing technology is probably old enough that switching stock sizes wouldn’t be easy given existing software.

      An amusing exercise but not one I see coming to fruition. And, Passbook works just fine for me.

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