Saturday, October 25, 2014

Boeing Will Build Its Biggest 787s in South Carolina

A Boeing assembly line employee working on a component for the Dreamliner 787 at Boeing's  production facility on April 27, 2012 in North Charleston, South Carolina
Photograph by Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty Images

Boeing assembly line employee working on a component for the Dreamliner
787 at Boeing's production facility on April 27, 2012 in North
Charleston, South Carolina

Boeing (BA) will
build the biggest version of its 787 Dreamliner family exclusively in
South Carolina at a nonunion plant it built five years ago. It’s part of
an effort to lower labor costs, but the company said organized labor
had nothing to do with its decision.

The 787-10 will become the
first Boeing-designed commercial plane not to have an assembly home in
the Seattle area, where Boeing has built airplanes since the first B & W
seaplane took flight in 1916. The only previous exception was the 717, a
106-seat model Boeing acquired in its 1997 merger with McDonnell
Douglas, which it assembled for less than eight years in Long Beach,
Calif., before ending production of the plane.

Boeing said
Wednesday that the placement of the 787-10 at its North Charleston,
S.C., site had nothing to do with the role of organized labor and was
dictated by the 10 extra feet in the 787-10′s midbody fuselage. That
makes it “too long to be transported efficiently” from the plant aboard
the modified 747 Dreamlifter Boeing uses to fly 787 sections from
suppliers and smaller 787s from the East Coast plant to Washington
State. Overall, the 787-10 is 18 feet longer than the 787-9, which
Boeing builds in Everett, Wash., along with the smaller -8 version. “We
looked at all our options and found the most efficient and effective
solution is to build the 787-10 at Boeing South Carolina,” Larry Loftis,
general manager of the 787 program, said in a news release.

Boeing employees walk past the Dreamlifter, a huge custom cargo aircraft designed for transporting Boeing Dreamliner 787 fuselage sections to Boeing's new production facility on April 27, 2012, in North Charleston, S.C.
by Paul J. Richards/AFP via Getty ImagesBoeing employees walk past the
Dreamlifter, a huge custom cargo aircraft designed for transporting
Boeing Dreamliner 787 fuselage sections to Boeing's new production
facility on April 27, 2012, in North Charleston, S.C.“We
aren’t surprised, but we are disappointed,” said Jon Holden, president
of IAM District 751 in Seattle and a former Boeing employee in Everett.
“Our members have proven time and again that they are Boeing’s best
chance for success.”

Boeing is planning to boost the current rate
of 10 Dreamliners per month to a dozen in 2016 and to 14 by 2020.
Boeing’s Everett plant, north of Seattle, produces seven 787s per month,
meaning all the increase will occur in South Carolina. Boeing
spokesman Doug Alder said that will allow the company to “balance
production rates evenly across both sites.” He said Boeing has no plans
for any work in South Carolina other than 787s.

Boeing opened the
North Charleston plant in July 2011 to build the 787-8 and quickly ran
into problems with production delays and defects that had to be
corrected later in Everett. That work further damaged the company’s
relationship with the Machinists.

The 787-10 holds about 323 passengers and can fly more than
7,000 nautical miles. Boeing has collected 132 orders for the model in
the 13 months since it began selling the plane. The first 787-10 is to
be delivered in 2018, with United Airlines (UAL) the first North American carrier scheduled to receive the plane.

Story: Boeing to Crank Out Even More of Its Top-Selling 737 - Businessweek

Why Boeing's 787 Dreamliner Remains a Financial Mess - Businessweek

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner test aircraft in a hangar at Air New Zealand Ltd.'s technical operations base at Auckland International Airport on Jan. 5
Photograph by Brendon O'Hagan/Bloomberg

Boeing 787 Dreamliner test aircraft in a hangar at Air New Zealand
Ltd.'s technical operations base at Auckland International Airport on
Jan. 5

(Corrects Boeing's earnings in the seventh paragraph. )
Amid all the fine financial news Boeing (BA)
can tout—a record order backlog, robust profit margins, a higher profit
outlook—one of the airplane maker’s dreariest performers continues to
be its highest-tech, most fuel-efficient product: the 787 Dreamliner.

continues to lose money on each Dreamliner it builds. The company
expects to reach the break-even point on some models turned out by its
787 program in 2015. In the most recent quarter, production costs rose
again for the 787, which has become one of Boeing’s most popular models
due to its lightweight carbon composite airframe and the resulting lower
fuel burn. The program’s deferred production cost, an accounting
measure of how efficient an assembly program becomes over time, rose 4
percent, to $25.2 billion, in the third quarter, topping the $25 billion
cap Boeing had forecast for the 787 program.

Of course, Boeing
officials insist the 787′s assembly costs will continue to drop over
time as workers improve the efficiencies of the line and the rate at
which they can build new planes. But the airplane—which suffered several
delays before its 2011 introduction and then a grounding due to battery
fires—remains a critical drag to the commercial airplane division’s
financial performance. Wall Street analysts are ready to see black ink
in the program and pressed Boeing officials repeatedly on Wednesday,
Oct. 22, about how quickly the 787 can stop bleeding cash.

“Continuing to make progress. Still got a long way to go,”
Boeing’s chief financial officer, Greg Smith, said in summarizing the
787 program. “We’ve got the enterprise engaged on how to capture

The 787′s troubles have also contributed to weak
performance for Boeing’s stock, which fell 3.5 percent on Oct. 22 and
has now lost 10 percent this year. Boeing’s record order backlog of
5,500 airplanes has not yet manifested itself much in the company’s cash
flow, given that most of the payment for a new jet comes at delivery,
with only a modest payment made at the order. And Boeing faces some
heavy spending for engineering and other development costs on three
major new programs: the largest version of the 787, the 777X, and the
737 MAX, Boeing’s upgrade of its top-selling model.

Boeing has a
backlog of about 850 orders for the 787. It builds 10 each month at two
plants and plans to boost output gradually to a dozen per month in 2016
and to 14 by 2020. It delivered 186 planes in the third quarter,
including 31 787s.

Overall, Boeing earned $1.4 billion in the third quarter, on
sales of $23.8 billion. The commercial order backlog is worth a record
$490 billion. The strong demand for newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft
prompted Boeing to raise its full-year profit outlook to a range of
$8.10 to $8.30 per share, above the former high forecast of $8.10 per

Story: Boeing to Crank Out Even More of Its Top-Selling 737

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Four years later, did Google kill flight search?

When David Sun needs a cheap ticket, he Googles it. When James Pillow wants to fly somewhere, he doesn’t.

Googling, in both cases, refers to Google’s Flight Search
tool, which is the result of the Internet behemoth’s controversial 2010
acquisition of ITA Software, an airfare pricing and shopping
application. The deal had to be approved by the Justice Department and
was subject to a restrictive consent decree. Now, four years later,
experts and travelers are wondering whether they got a better search engine out of it.
Maybe they did.
Google Flight Search, loved by some and ignored by others, hasn’t
turned into the competition-crushing Web site that its critics predicted
it would be. Rather, it quietly evolved into a useful site for air
travelers, one that you should consider including in your next fare
search if you want to save time and money.

Sun, the president of SunBlock Systems, a digital forensics company
in Reston, Va., turns to Google’s Flight Search tool for last-minute
airline tickets. “It’s my default flight search tool,” he says. He
favors the simplicity of its interface and the way it adjusts to his
travel preferences, automatically excluding Baltimore from his searches,
for example.

“I like the way it takes me to the airline’s Web site for final
booking and payment,” he says. “Not only do I not have to worry about an
intermediary if there are flight problems, but I can avoid the booking
fees that other travel sites require for their services.”

But Pillow, who works for a sports memorabilia site in Orlando, is
unimpressed with Flight Search. “I find it very clunky,” he says. The
fact that he can’t make a direct purchase but is referred to another
site annoys him. “It will probably be the go-to tool in the future,” he
says. But “it seems very much in beta at the moment, when compared to
Expedia and others.” (“Beta” is tech-talk for “still being tested.”)

“Like all our products, Flight Search is constantly evolving to
adjust to new technologies and demands,” says Google spokeswoman Anaik
Weid. Internally, the process of improving a product over time is
referred to as “launch and iterate.”

You have to look closely to see the differences between Google Flight
Search in 2011 and today. The interface hasn’t changed vastly. At the
top of the screen, you can enter your destination. (Google tries to
guess your home airport.) You can search by stops, price, airline and

Since I first covered Flight Search in this column, in October 2011,
it has made several noteworthy improvements. You can search for
international flights and book directly through most major online travel
agencies and airlines, including two that were conspicuously missing at
launch — Virgin America and JetBlue Airways. There’s a new map that
shows live fares, which tell you what it costs to fly from your home
airport to another. If you’re trying to save a little money, click on
the little bar to find out when the lowest airfares are available.

Perhaps Flight Search’s best qualities are its speed and
comprehensiveness. It’s blazingly fast, and if you run a few searches,
you’ll find that it offers a mind-numbing number of flight options and
possible combinations, which were considered ITA’s strengths.
(Unfortunately, it doesn’t display all options: There is some Southwest
inventory, but you don’t see prices unless you click through to the
airline’s site, making a fare comparison a little tricky.)

When Google bought ITA and used its technology to create Flight
Search, competitors were worried that it would quickly put them out of
business. But four years later, the companies that had misgivings are
still here. Four online agencies — Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline (which
owns and Travelocity — have a virtual lock on the American
online travel industry, with a 95 percent market share, according to
analysis by PhoCusWright.

“I don’t think that Fare Search has had much impact on consumers,”
says Edward Hasbrouck, a critic of the ITA purchase. But he thinks that
we’re not out of the woods yet. After the Justice Department’s consent
decree expires in October 2016, Google will be able to do what it
pleases with ITA, and that makes people like Hasbrouck nervous. “The
real danger is of Google dominance of personalized pricing,” he says.
“Imagine Google being able to incorporate everything it knows about you
from your use of all Google services into decisions about what price to
put on each airline ticket. Airlines or services with less info on which
to base such price personalization would have a hard time competing
with Google.”

Google Flight Search may not be the flashiest place to shop for
airline tickets — sites like Kayak and Hipmunk, which function like
Flight Search, are slicker and more feature-rich — but over time, it
could become a formidable threat to the establishment. For now, though,
there’s one thing that travelers and its critics can agree on: It’s an
online tool you shouldn’t ignore.

Sid Savara, a technical manager, recently used Flight Search to find a
fare from his home airport, Honolulu, to Los Angeles. “The biggest
benefit to me was the graph that showed me flexible options for
tickets,” he says.

Flight Search allows him to pinpoint the least-expensive fare,
letting him save money on his flight. “It ended up being a
Wednesday-to-Wednesday and was about 30 percent cheaper than the
next-cheapest option,” he says.

Other online agencies offer similar functions, but few are as fast or as intuitive as Google’s.

And that’s pretty much the takeaway. Google Flight Search didn’t blow
up the online travel industry, but it’s a useful fare-search tool
that’s fast, easy and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Kind of anticlimactic, says Keith Hylton, a law professor at Boston
University who specializes in antitrust issues. In the short term,
Flight Search has made fare searches more competitive and given
travelers better ways to find an airfare. But in the long term, Google
Flight Search “might depress innovation,” he says.

After all, why would anyone want to compete with Google?

 - Elliott: Google’s Flight Search tool

Monday, October 20, 2014

Travel Movie Tuesday: Lucy and Desi Drive 'The Long, Long Trailer'

From Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck falling in love in Rome to Julia Roberts circling the globe to find herself, film has played an important role in shaping both the golden years and current day of travel. Thus, we present our newest series,Travel Movie Tuesday, where we detail the most inspiring travel films.
Lately our installments for travel-themed flicks have revolved around the past 20 years, so we thought it fitting that we head back about 61 years to highlight the comic genius of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in the breakout big screen hit of'The Long, Long Trailer.' On display is more than the star duo, but the mid-century desire for a vacation home and an American road trip, combined.
Newlyweds Nicky and Tracy Collini start planning their honeymoon when Tracy (played by Ball) convinces her groom (played by Arnaz) to buy a Redman "New Moon" trailer-home. This way, she rations, they could see the country while saving money to purchase an actual home after their trip. Spending a whopping $1,800 for a "home away from home," the pair spend the start of their coupled lives in a convertible Mercury Monterey and, if you remember Lucy, this isn't an ordinary honeymoon.
In of the most famous scenes of the movie, Tracy decides to get a leg-up on the night's dinner while Nicky drives them to the next campground. Nicky, cluelessly singing to himself while driving, doesn't drive carefully enough to allow Tracy to prepare the meal without a mess.
A few wrong turns and inner-city driving mishaps are sprinkled in between perfectly performed musical numbers that make us forget the trouble and fights moments before. The ultimate destination is the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but on the way there the movie poses the question: does travel really bring people together or does it drive them apart?
 || Jaunted

Monday, October 13, 2014

How to Start an Unconventional Life of Travel

I’ve written several posts about following your dreams and stepping outside your comfort zone,
but I haven’t dug in much into the practical steps to actually do that,
especially when it comes to deciding to live the unconventional life of
constant travel.

Jumping in Cueva Ventana

1. The Desire

Let’s start with how much do you really want this? Do you simply wish to go on a long trip or do you feel it deep in your bones that this is something you must do at least once in your life?

you traveled long term before? If not, why not try a solo trip through a
few countries for a couple weeks or more to see how you feel? If you
come back home and feel the desire to continue planning and go out on
the road again as soon as possible, then probably you’re on the right
mindset for long-term travel.

Is this something you’d like to do
now, in the near future, or once you retire? If you want to do it now,
how do you think you’ll finance it? Savings, working on the road, online

These are all valid questions that will help you
understand how much you desire it and will get you on the way to start
planning your trip and life on the road.

Do a test run of your life on the road with a smaller trip and see how
you feel before returning home, just after returning, and some time
after. Understand your feelings to see if a location independent life is
for you.

money from the world

2. Create Funds

speak from my experience that raising funds for your trip takes a long
time (for most people, at least). I wanted to not only save a lot of money while I was working in NYC; I also wanted to have a way of earning some money while on the road.

I didn’t start this blog with the intention to monetize it, by the time
I decided to leave, I knew I had an asset to help me live on the road
at least for a longer period.

A travel blog is not necessary to
live on the road, but it is a good way share your stories and (possibly)
make an income while traveling. But, don’t start a blog with the sole
purpose of making money. Start it because you want to share and bring
value while on the road. Have a focus on your blog and deliver a
message. You can become someone else’s inspiration by sharing your

Otherwise, before leaving, search online for job
opportunities around the world; these can be in the form of working
holiday visas, volunteering, freelancing online, or others.

are there ways to translate your knowledge and assets from an offline
business to an online business? For example, can you consult online,
assist virtually, or even work remotely for your current job?

Google for work opportunities in each destination of interest and see
the requirements to work or volunteer there. If interested, start a blog
way before you leave home and document your process and share other
travel stories (I had my blog for over a year from the moment I started
it to the moment I left). See if blogging is for you and establish your
name in the blogosphere as you prepare for your trip. Also, think of way
you can translate your assets to an online work mode or business.

Moving in Mongolia
Maybe this is how they downsize in Mongolia?

3. Downsize Your Life

most cases, no matter how tied and settled your life is, there are ways
to free yourself to have a location independent life. For me it was
relatively easy since I didn’t own a house, but I know of many long-term
travelers who have sold their house to travel long term and used that
money to fund their life on the road, or rented their house to have that
rent money as an income to help their finances.

I, on the other
hand, simply went from renting a one-bedroom apartment to living with
roommates to save more money before I left New York.

I sold
everything I had (or donated to friends) to raise money and the
valuables I wanted to keep I sent to my mom’s house (just a few bags).

know of travelers who also sold their cars to save more money since
they had plans of living on the road for a long period, so it made

Try to not keep things on storage facilities, as that will
consume extra money on a monthly basis. If possible, downsize to the
bare minimum and store at a relative or friend’s house.

After deciding for how long you want to travel, identify what could you
sell, rent, and get rid off. The less you have, the freer you’ll be and
feel while on the road.

In Varanasi, India

4. Understand And Change Your Spending Habits

I didn’t use to buy coffee or clothes on a regular basis, but I loved
going to concerts, which happened quite often in Madison Square Garden.
When I decided to save money for travel seriously, that unnecessary
spending was cut off my budget.

I also used to go out on dinners
every weekend and spent roughly $30 per meal. That was out too. I
cancelled cable TV since I could watch anything I wanted online, and
became more conscious on where I spent every dollar of my paycheck. The
more I could save, the more I could travel.

But, beyond cutting
spending, the trick that helped me the most was “paying myself first”.
Immediately after I received every paycheck, I would first transfer a
large sum (up to 50% sometimes) to my travel savings so that I had to
force myself to live only with the remainder.

In addition, I
scheduled automatic transfers of $20 to my savings every Friday. While
it is not much, small amounts “hurt” less psychologically than big
chunks, plus, in the long run, those $20s add up to a good travel fund.

Do a spreadsheet with all your spending and see what is not necessary.
Get rid of that. Prioritize your savings by paying yourself first. Save
additional small amounts on a weekly basis to help boost your savings

Train Schedule in Rome

5. Create A Plan, But Be Flexible

idea for this trip was something completely different from what I ended
up doing. I wanted to start in Australia, then bought a ticket to start
in Kenya, but ultimately I started my trip in Belize.
On the road, flexibility will be key to most of the things your do and
opportunities that will knock on your door. Be open to stray from your
plans if you think it is worth it.

Planning is good since it will keep your grinds in motion, but don’t be too focused on sticking to that plan,
because believe me, it will never happen. Life on the road is dynamic
and influenced by so many foreign variables we can’t think of before
hand. So, create a general framework of a plan and play around it. For
example: Plan to be in a certain country or region for an amount of
weeks or months, but don’t plan every city in detail – plan that on the

Be open to learn new skills on the road, and even before, as
they may help you shape the course of your location independent life or
simply give you new experiences.

Keep all options open and don’t
despair if there are moments in which you don’t know what to do. That
happens. It is on these moments where you need to try new things and see
where they may lead you.

planning some of the logistics of your trip, but be open to changes
should they be necessary or beneficial. Learn new skills you’re
interested in (for example, teaching English as a second language?).

Carrying Sulfur in Indonesia
Carrying sulfur in Indonesia is not one of my strengths.

6. Focus on Your Strengths

Architecture school we are told that we “know a few things about
everything and everything about a few things.” This I believe is true,
and it still applies to my life on the road. But, while I’m open to
learn a bit of everything, I still keep a focus on my strengths and main
interests. For example, you don’t see me writing here about food
(unfortunately). It is not my strength, so I leave that to other people.
I still love to eat, though. I focus on the adventure and architecture
side of travel, not only from my blogging perspective but also on my
travel decisions, since they help me enjoy more these new experiences.
This focus also helps identify who I am in this online world and make me
more suitable to certain opportunities where my strength fits better.

TAKE ACTION: Understand your strengths and focus on them. Still, be open to learn about everything, as stated before.

Jumping in Rio Blanco, Belize

7. Take The Plunge

analyzed yourself, your finances, your trip, so now all you have to do
is take action to make this a reality. You’ll be afraid –I certainly
was– and this will not be an easy process, but keep your mind strong and
don’t sidetrack from your goal.

TAKE ACTION: Take action!!!!

Lastly, I’d like to recommend Wandering Earl’s How To Live A Life of Travel
guide since it is one of the most complete guide’s on becoming location
independent that I’ve ever read. He goes into detail on how to work
abroad, finance your trip, plan everything, and more.

| GloboTreks

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

5 ways to sleep better at hotels

Getting to sleep and staying that way can be the supreme challenge when on the road. (Photo: 900hp/Flickr)
Travel can be the enemy of sleep. I’ve spent too
many nights in hotel rooms—as you probably have, too—unable to fall
asleep (after all, it’s only whatever-o’clock at home) or tossing and
turning (who could be stomping down the hall at 3 a.m.?). It’s
all-the-more frustrating because you know getting a good night’s sleep will be essential to performing well at your business meeting in the morning.

Sure, you can use medication or melatonin to help regulate your sleep
when traveling. But there are also some simple, non-medical ways to
ensure a peaceful sleep while at hotels.

>Bring your own alarm. Use an alarm on your phone or go old-school and bring along a travel alarm. Do not rely on a wake-up call from the hotel or trust your ability to properly set an unfamiliar alarm clock. Important:
if you aren’t using the hotel alarm clock, be sure the alarm is set to
“off”, so it does not go off in the middle of the night. If you can’t
figure out how to do that, just unplug it.

>Keep neighbors at bay. Always ask for a non-adjoining, non-connecting room when you check in. (Not sure about the difference? Read this.) Sounds from noisy neighbors can seep under the door and disturb you.
If you get stuck in such a room, take a preemptive strike against
interruption by rolling up a towel and placing it along the crack at the
base of the door.

>Do not disturb. Always hang the “Do Not Disturb”
notice on your door. Hotel staff will respect that, and rowdy guests in
the hallway might quiet down if they know someone is trying to sleep.
Call the hotel operator and ask for all calls to be blocked. If
you are not using your mobile phone as your alarm clock, turn it off; if
you’re using its alarm, set notifications to silent.
Slide the door bolt across so you won’t worry that someone may inadvertently enter your room.

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 12.00.50 PM
A good Bucky eye mask and earplugs can help ensure slumber (Photo:
>Travel equipped. Keep a set of comfortable
eyeshades and earplugs permanently packed. Airline amenity kits usually
come equipped with these, so they’re a great source for maintaining
stock. There are two types of earplugs: the more common type is made
with expandable foam. A less common, but much more effective type is made of soft wax or silicone
that completely seals off the ear canal. Beware—moldable earplugs work
so well that you could sleep through an alarm or wake up call. Both
types can be found at your local drugstore. If you’re caught
without earplugs, just ask—most hotels can provide them. And if your
room’s curtains won’t close tight and you forgot eyeshades, use a slacks
hanger in the closet to clamp the curtains together.

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>White noise. Try using the hotel room heater or
air conditioning fan to provide enough “white noise” to drown out
disturbances. When doing so, be sure the switch is set to “on” instead
of “auto” which can make the fan go on and off throughout the night.
There are also several helpful white noise apps to use with your smartphone.

>Location, location, location. At the hotel, choose a room on a higher floor, away from elevators, ice machines, hotel bars, stairways or entryways. Or simply ask for a very quiet roomfront desk staff usually know which areas of the hotel are the most peaceful. Also, north or west facing rooms are less affected by early morning light.

 - TravelSkills

Monday, October 6, 2014

U.S. Outbound Tourism Snapshot for May 2014

Asia and Latin America are both the benefactors of an
improving U.S. economy that is giving residents the ability and
confidence to travel overseas again.

— Samantha Shankman
Daniel Foster  / Flickr

The number of U.S. citizens traveling abroad in the first six
months of 2014 increased six percent year-over-year to 32.6 million,
according to monthly statistics released this week by the U.S. National Travel and Tourism Office.

Every month, the NTTO releases data regarding recent travel
activity, including details about outbound travel from the United
States. This is the most recent month for which this information is

Slightly more than half of those travelers, 53 percent, crossed
borders to Mexico (38 percent) and Canada (15 percent). The other 47
percent of U.S. citizens traveled overseas, with the Europe and the
Caribbean, unsurprisingly, capturing the greatest market share.

Worth noting is that Asia captured 7 percent of the market share in
the first six months of the year, which was more than Central America (5
percent) and South America (3 percent) despite the distance and higher
airfare needed to get there.

Monthly statistics; however, show a slightly different trend.

In June, U.S. outbound travel grew 10 percent to 7.3 million
travelers. The regions with the highest growth in terms of inbound U.S.
visitors were South America, up 21 percent, and Mexico, up 14 percent.

Asia still experienced growth, but at a slightly slower rate of 8 percent.

U.S. Citizen Travel to International Regions in 2014 by Month (000s)

Regions Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Total YTD % Change YTD Market Share YTD
North America 2,439 2,442 2,846 2,750 3,031 3,693 17,202 14.1% 52.7%
Europe 578 497 807 868 1,306 1,614 5,670 4.8% 17.4%
Caribbean 499 550 705 630 624 743 3,751 9.2% 11.5%
Asia 376 313 397 382 379 424 2,272 4% 7%
South America 128 138 155 123 144 208 896 4.1% 2.7%
Central America 219 226 283 214 209 301 1,452 10.2% 4.5%
Oceania 52 63 60 41 46 45 307 6% 0.9%
Middle East 140 119 141 142 162 181 885 10.8% 2.7%
Africa 24 21 28 28 36 41 177 -0.5% 0.5
 – Skift

Should You Arrange An Airport Transfer?

In the good old days of package holidays, the return transfers from
the airport to your hotel, a suitcase in the hold and a meal on the
plane was usually included in the price. Now, so many elements of
package holidays have been stripped out to make the price sound lower.

The last two occasions when we’ve gone on package holidays, to
Madeira and Cyprus, we found it almost as cheap to hire a car as to pay
for our return transfers from the airport to our hotel. Having the hire
car meant that we could organise our day trips.

Should You Arrange An Airport Transfer?
However if you’re staying in a city, I don’t see much point in having
a hire car. Parking spaces can be difficult to find and parking rates

On our recent trip to Budapest and Prague, I organised taxi transfers
through the hotels at which I was staying. It cost 30 Euro from
Budapest Airport to our city centre hotel, and 21 Euro from our Prague
city centre hotel to the airport (we took the train from Budapest to
Prague). Our taxis were punctual and comfortable, the journey time was a
lot shorter than using public transport. I thought that the price paid
was good value for money for four passengers.

When I went to Chicago with our son Simon, Blacklane Limousines
offered us a complimentary transfer.  I thought that after the 7 hour
flight from Edinburgh and getting through US immigration, it’d be great
to get to our accommodation quickly. I decided to request a pick up time
one and a half hours after our scheduled time of arrival at Chicago
O’Hare Airport. The price included a 60 minute wait time after the pick
up time. As our flight arrived early, we came out into the arrivals hall
twenty minutes before the pick up time. Five minutes later, I received a
text and email to say that our chaffeur had arrived.

Deciding whether you should arrange airport transfer will depend on
the price, the location of your accommodation and the available
alternative routes of transport.