While Australia’s largest carrier is busy sorting out its issues around the A380 and at the same time celebrating its 90th anniversary, the red continent’s neighbour, New Zealand, is occupied with a different sort of aviation milestone. “MileSTONE” is the perfect word here, as Wellington’s airport (IATA: WLG) reveals this Sunday its newest addition called “The Rock”.
The Rock is the new extension of New Zealand’s capital International Terminal (I reviewed the airport about a month ago; you can read that review here). Continue reading →
I must admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Google, but even I have to acknowledge that every now and then they provide some really great services. The latest one is their “free holiday Wi-Fi at 30,000 feet”. Google teamed up with AirTran, Delta and Virgin America to offer free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi on every US domestic flight from 20 November 2010 through 2 January 2011. Continue reading →
With cheap flights to Bangkok readily available, the city has become a preferred destination to both first-time travellers and repeat visitors. Serving all is the new Suvarnabhumi Airport (IATA: BKK) which replaced the aged Don Muang Airport in September 2006. Continue reading →
There have been many articles about scary or plain (got it?) dangerous airports in the past, for example this one here from the Sydney Morning Herald in 2009 which even names JFK Airport in New York as one of them due to its congested flight paths it shares with Newark and La Guardia. Our friends over at CarHire.org (yes, you read that right; I don’t know either what car hire has to do with scary airports, but who cares?) went further and provided a top-25 list of the scariest runways. All but one include direct YouTube videos which of course helps to illustrate the point. Continue reading →
Most people flying to New Zealand probably arrive at either Auckland or one of the two main airports on the South Island, Queenstown or Christchurch. But, oh boy, do they miss out! Not on magnificent airport infrastructure (sorry Wellington!) but definitely on an adventurous landing into Wellington International Airport (IATA: WLG). It was, without a doubt, the windiest approach into an airport that I’ve ever experienced – and l’ve experienced a few! Plus, they tell me that was a calm day! These guys here seem to agree with me. Continue reading →
It seems as marketers are increasingly often utilising airports to promote their products and services in a “hands on way”. Remember that “Hello Kitty” gate at Taipei International? This time it’s the hotel chain Courtyard by Marriott showcasing their redesigned hotel lobbies in three US airports:
Travelers looking for a better place to sit than the terminal chairs, and whose laptops (and bodies) could use a little recharge are in luck when making a stop at Chicago, Atlanta and Denver airports. To promote their new lobbies, Courtyard has built full sized lobby replicas complete with comfy couches, booths, electrical outlets, HD TV’s and GoBoards (touch screen televisions with local news and attractions) that travelers are invited to experience firsthand. They will be up until mid-November and will be staffed 24 hours a day by a brand ambassador who can help with any questions people may have.
So make sure to head to one of these areas and relax for a few minutes while your laptop gets that long awaited recharge. Currently you find the first of the 3 lobbies at Chicago’s O’Hare airport (IATA: ORD) and later in the week they will also come to Atlanta (IATA: ATL) and Denver (IATA: DEN).
Here is the original press release:
Courtyard Brings New Hotel Lobby to Frequent Flyers Weary travelers now have place to relax and recharge in three of the nation’s busiest airports
Chicago, Illinois – September 15, 2010 – Courtyard by Marriott is creating an airport oasis for stressed out air travelers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. For the next two months, the deep exhales and soothing sighs of relief you’ll hear at O’Hare will be frequent flyers relaxing and recharging in Courtyard’s new lobby. In addition to O’Hare, the lobbies have been recreated at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson and Denver International airports.
At O’Hare, the popular lodging brand has brought the new Refreshing Business lobby to the main corridor of the ticketed area at Terminal Two. The lobby provides travelers with the perfect place to sit and relax or catch up on work while powering up their laptops before the next flight.
Courtyard by Marriott wants air travelers to experience the new design and sample amenities that can be found at 190 Courtyard hotels across the U.S., which has received rave reviews from business and leisure travelers.
The program brings the lobby zones to places where travelers congregate. It was launched on September 7th at an event in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal featuring a special performance by six-time Grammy Award winner John Legend.
The design is contemporary and stylish, and gives travelers options and flexibility to make the most of their time on the road. Courtyard by Marriott designed the lobby to be an environment for guests to work, relax or socialize, whether traveling alone or in groups.
Some of the Courtyard by Marriott Refreshing Business lobby amenities featured in the airport lobby zones include:
flexible seating options including a communal table and more private media booths with high-definition televisions
ample electrical outlets so guests can plug-in and charge their mobile devices and laptops
the brand’s exclusive, interactive GoBoard® technology – a 55-inch LCD touch screen packed with local news, business and sports headlines from USA Today. Guests can also navigate the touch screen mapping feature to find restaurants, local attractions and print directions.
“Guests who have stayed in Courtyard hotels with the Refreshing Business lobby have raved about the new concept,” said Janis Milham, vice president and global brand manager, Courtyard by Marriott. “Our goal with this lobby zone program is to make travelers who have yet to experience it aware of our new product, and what better way to reach these travelers than at major airports.”
By the end of this year, our owners will have spent nearly $190 million to put the new lobby into nearly 260 Courtyard hotels. The brand expects to have 500 hotels with the new lobby by the end of 2011.
Ever heard of Ngurah Rai? I bet not. How about Denpasar? Maybe heard it once before? Where do you think it is? Alright, it’s in the title of the post, so let’s not play games. But seriously, why don’t they just call the airport Bali International? At least certain flight booking sites like Kayak allow you to search for “Bali”. But then, there are no other commercial airports on this island of the Indonesian archipelago anyway.
But since I’m supposed to write a review of an airport I shouldn’t muck around with naming conventions too much I guess. So, let’s look closely at Denpasar International airport (IATA: DPS). In fact it’s nowhere near Denpasar either. Alright, alright. I’ll stop it. Hmm, what can I say? The airport doesn’t offer too much actually. Bali, after all, isn’t particularly on the cutting edge of economic development. Don’t get me wrong, the charming island is doing fine but it still has that “2nd world” feel about it. Maybe that’s exactly why it attracts Millions of tourists each year.
Most of us would probably first arrive in Bali before we depart. What I mean is, the arrival procedure is probably the thing that’s going to be of interest to you first. And what a procedure it is! Fresh off the plane and bursting with holiday energy you first need to join the queue to pay the entry visa (make sure you bring US$ 25 in cash per person). With the visa voucher you then queue for the actual immigration officer. Check which line is the quickest before you spend 15 minutes looking at the queue next to you moving past swiftly. After that it’s straight forward: find the luggage carousel, pick up your luggage and head towards the taxi counter outside the terminal building and off you go on your Balinese holiday.
Leaving the country requires, you guessed it, another queue and more cash payments. They call it “airport service fee” and it comes in the amount of Rp 150,000 per person (about US$ 16). So don’t spend all your Rupiahs before you head back to the airport or you will have to pay a penalty exchange rate at one of the conveniently located little exchange stalls right in front of the service fee counter.
Once you’re in the inside of the terminal, you will probably still have some time to kill as most airlines require you to check-in 2 hours prior to your departure time. So, let’s look at my list of things to do: