Smartphone Travel Bookings to Increase

January 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Mobile apps are making life so convenient, so easy to function. I have season tickets to the Miami Heat, and I just learned that I can use a function of the Heat’s mobile app to purchase concessions during a game. I don’t even have to pull my wallet out of my pocket. I haven’t used it yet, but the push to use mobile payment sites is everywhere.

We recently read a report from Phocuswright that said the number of travel reservations made from smartphones is expected to increase to 18 percent of all bookings, up from a measly five percent just three years ago. The numbers forecasted for Europe and China are even bigger. I know members of my team use their mobile devices to make hotel reservations and book flights.

Trip Advisor mobile appI’ll admit, something about using a laptop seems more secure, more credible, than using my phone, but I know there’s no basis in reality for that perception. I’m hesitant to say so, but it probably has something to do with my age.

The key is the comfort level each of us has with mobile payments in general. The Phocuswright report says that 48 percent of us were more comfortable with the idea last year than we were in 2013, when only 33 percent felt at ease with it.

What I think will help more people use these travel booking sites with confidence is the development and implementation of mobile deep linking by different providers. Mobile deep linking is a link that just doesn’t launch an app, but starts within a trusted app — for example, being able to book an Uber ride from within the United Airlines mobile app. You already trust United, so you know they’ve worked out the security with Uber’s app.

As these opportunities for mobile bookings and mobile payments increase, I’m sure I’ll get with the program. I just need to try it out a few times first. Maybe I’ll start with a couple chicken tinga tacos at the next Heat game.

Photo credit: Amy Wardlaw (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Choosing Your Luggage: What’s the Best First Piece?

January 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Luggage is a meaningful, practical gift to consider for a soon-to-be-graduating high school or college graduate, or for a holiday gift — Christmas, Mother’s Day, birthdays. As you try to pick that right first, foundational piece of luggage, you need to answer a few questions about the person first.

1. What type of travel will the person do?

Tpro Bold 2 Group Photo

Our Tpro Bold 2 line of bags includes rollaboards and duffel bags.

If your loved one is, say, going college within a car ride’s distance from home, then a large duffel or suitcase makes sense. If the college graduate is going to be relocating to a city farther from home for work or has a job that will require frequent travel, giving a bag that will not need to be checked makes the most sense, like a rollaboard. Believe us, they aren’t going to think kindly of you every time they incur an airline baggage fee. TravelPro has several different sizes of duffels and numerous styles of rollaboards and carry-ons to meet the needs of your young travelers.

2. Is the person an efficient traveler?

This may seem like an odd question, but it’s important to know what this person is like when they travel. Some people are efficient travelers, making wardrobe choices before they pack in order to take only what they need. They don’t need a large bag — a rollaboard will do, rather than a 29″ suitcase. Others want to have room for that extra pair of shoes or an impulse purchase made while on a trip. Asking about the recipient’s packing and travel habits will help narrow your choices, and help you choose between Travelpro’s different sizes and styles of bags.

3. Will they travel regularly?

A semi-frequent traveler, even someone who only leaves home three or four times a year, is going to appreciate a bag that lasts a long time. While it’s no problem to buy a cheap bag for a one-time trip (because you don’t have to keep the bag afterward), anyone who frequently travels is going to appreciate a bag that’s durable and dependable, and will last for years. Even traveling three times a year for 10 years is going to put a lot of wear and tear on a bag, so a bag with a lifetime warranty is ideal. Travelpro offers a lifetime warranty on many of its different luggage collections.

Luggage is an investment that should last many years. Keeping these simple questions in mind when choosing that first piece will ensure it becomes as much a part of their new experiences as the memories they’ll be making.

Five Ways Airlines are Making Travel Better

December 29, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

So you can’t get a less cramped seat these days, unless you fly business or first class. But some airlines are adding perks they hope will help you think better of them while you’re wishing for more leg room. They’re trying to make travel better for everyone, regardless of which class seat you fly.

  1. Suitcase delivery. Through a service called Bags VIP, Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United will all allow you to skip baggage claim entirely and meet up with your bags at your home, office, or hotel, provided it is within 40 miles of the airport. Yes, it costs extra, but if you’re wanting to make the most of a short stay at, say, Disney World, you could use this service to go directly to the parks instead of waiting for your bags.
  2. Food and drinks on-demand. Virgin has found that it’s so “old school” to have its flight attendants push a cart down the aisle to provide its travelers food and drinks. Instead, passengers can order just what they want, when they want from touch screens mounted in the seat ahead of them. The airline reports it sells more items this way. It also keeps the aisles clear for those who feel the need to use the restrooms at the thought of a beverage.
  3. Baggage carousel, Kuala Lumpur airport

    Baggage carousel, Kuala Lumpur airport

  4. Baggage on-time or else. Since 2015, Alaska Airlines has given travelers who have to wait more than 20 minutes for their bags a travel voucher equal to the $25 check fee. This year, Delta added teeth to its similar promise by offering 2,500 miles to those inconvenienced at the baggage carousel. Alaska gives you two hours to report your claim and Delta, three days.
  5. Coat check. What do you do with your winter coat if you’re leaving New York’s JFK for a warmer clime? If you’re flying with JetBlue, you can use its coat check! The service is good only on domestic flights and costs $2/day, but it beats having to lug a parka with your luggage once you get to your sunny destination.
  6. While entertainment options have been fairly abundant on planes for years now, the latest upgrade offered is streaming directly to your own smartphone or tablet. Delta has the most comprehensive service in this category, providing streaming on all but its 50-seat regional jets and on more than half of its international fleet.

These perks show that airlines are betting that providing a customizable, more personal travel experience will create brand loyalty. (We’d still like some more leg room though.)

Have you taken advantage of any of these amenities? What did you think? Let us hear from you in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: David McKelvey (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 video

December 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Travelpro® redefines premium travel with Platinum® Magna™ 2.

Handsomely crafted with superior fabrics and genuine leather accents, this ultra-durable 13-model collection is the pinnacle of fashion, intelligent functionality and design innovation. The result is a truly luxurious roll. Backed by Travelpro’s Worry-Free Warranty, Platinum Magna 2 ensures a lifetime of satisfaction.

Our Platinum Magna 2 bags offer:

  • Duraguard coated twill nylon fabric
  • Sealed ball-bearing inline skate wheels
  • Powerscope handle system on spinners
  • Integrated 4 point expansion stability system
  • Add-a-bag system
  • Full length front pocket and ticket pocket
  • Duraframe framing system provides lightweight and durable molded frame protection
  • Butterfly interior hold down straps
  • TSA Lock
  • Expansion capability
  • Worry-free Lifetime Warranty

10 Things Airlines are Doing to Make Coach more Comfortable

December 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

While the price may not be going down, many airlines are making an effort to demonstrate that they care about their coach customers’ comfort as much as they do about those in business and first class by instituting some changes to the seats and providing amenities.

We found a Yahoo Travel article that showed us some of the ways airlines are working to make coach more comfortable.

A British Airways 747 - coach cabin

A British Airways 747 coach cabin

  1. Air New Zealand, China Airlines, and Air Astana all offer flat bed options in economy class. Dubbed “Cuddle Class” on Air New Zealand, a row of seats can be purchased so that two people can lay flat during the flight. The only catch? They have to purchase the third seat in the row, but it’s only half the price of the other seats.
  2. Air New Zealand is offering the Space Seat in its premium economy class. It gives passengers space and privacy and the couch-style seats rotate for better legroom.
  3. Lufthansa has created a slimmer seats and Delta now offers economy comfort class, which includes priority boarding, 50 percent more recline, four more inches of legroom, and adjustable head and leg rests. Qantas, Southwest, and Virgin Atlantic have also made improvements to their seating configurations.
  4. KLM is offering passengers the opportunity to select their seats using social media connections. We’re not sure this is an improvement or a way to stalk other passengers, but passengers of the Dutch airline seem to have taken to it.
  5. Virgin America, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Emirates all claim improved in-flight entertainment options. Now at least we’re not stuck watching that one film everyone has seen.
  6. Other airlines are figuring out another way to improve entertainment options. OpenSkies and Quantas offer free iPads to stream their in-flight entertainment content, and Jetstar, Philippine Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines will rent an iPad to you.
  7. United, Alaska, Malaysia, and American Airlines have all adopted the Boeing Sky Interior, designed to make the cabin seem bigger and brighter.
  8. LAN Chile, JAL, Air India, Royal Air Maroc, and United utilize Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner planes, which have special air filtration and cooling systems. These filter bacteria, viruses, and odors.
  9. Singapore Airlines has employed Michelin-starred chefs on its longer flights to create more appealing food in all its classes.
  10. Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, JetBlue, and Etihad Airways are all offering amenities kits with items ranging from socks to pillows to toothbrushes.

What are some changes you’ve seen on your favorite airline? How are they (or are they) making coach more comfortable for you? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page.

Travelpro Sweeps Top Two Spots in Awards Competition for Best Carry-on Luggage

December 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

After 3 years of rigorous testing, The Wirecutter Bestows 1st and 2nd Place Awards to Travelpro Luggage

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard® luggage and a market leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design, received an unprecedented honor from The Wirecutter, a cutting-edge source known for its rigorous testing of the ‘best gadgets and gear for people who quickly want to know what to get.’ This site for those in the know and on the go tested 31 bags over the last three years and determined that the Travelpro® Platinum® Magna™ 2 22″ Expandable Rollaboard Suiter is the best carry-on bag on the market. The Travelpro Crew™ 10 22″ Expandable Rollaboard Suiter received the 2nd place award. .

Platiinum Magna 2 bagsAccording to The Wirecutter, “The Platinum Magna 2 22″ Expandable Rollaboard Suiter easily packs five days’ worth of clothes into the maximum allowed carry-on dimensions and offers many of the premium touches you’d expect from a $500 suitcase for about half that price. Its lifetime warranty also covers airline damage – a rarity at any cost.” Citing innovative features and great value, the website reports that for savvy and sophisticated flyers, this 22″ carry-on model offers the best balance of size, price, reliability, and durability, with high-end details.

Scott Applebee, Travelpro’s Vice President of Marketing, remarked on this extraordinary achievement by saying, “We are honored that the judges recognized two of our outstanding products, even noting that the Platinum Magna 2 is better balanced and less prone to tipping than comparable models, and has a sleeker higher-end aesthetic.” He commented that “The Wirecutter also praised our new built-in garment folder with a removable folding board which increases the bag’s overall packing flexibility.”

As The Wirecutter said about their top pick, the very similar Crew 10 22″ Rollaboard is your next best choice and both bags received excellent reviews. The Crew 10 model, which came in 2nd place, has the same high quality wheels, zippers, and built-in garment folder as the 1st place Platinum model.

The choices of best products determined by The Wirecutter involves an entire team which takes weeks or months of research and testing, including interviews and data from the best editorial and user sources around, and the help of engineers, scientists, and experts. For more information on the competition for Best Carry-On Luggage, visit their website.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard® wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations. Travelpro was honored to once again be voted as the “World’s Best Luggage” by Premier Traveler Magazine in 2014.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

American Launches Live Baggage Tracking

December 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If you fly American or US Airways, you may just find a good use for that baggage claim ticket you receive when you check your bag at the ticket counter. No longer is it only useful if you actually lose your bag.

Now you can use the information it contains to track your bags in real time.

This new free service is an effort by American to reduce the number of bags it reports as lost to the US Department of Transportation. (You probably didn’t know they had to do that, did you?)

In the July 2015 report (interesting reading for a travel nerd), American ranked 10th out of 13 carriers, with four bags lost for every 1,000 passengers it transported.

Palermo (italy) Airport Baggage Claim

Palermo (italy) Airport Baggage Claim

That doesn’t sound so bad, but compared to the top three with the least number of bags lost — Virgin America (less than one bag for every 1000 passengers), JetBlue (1.68/1000), and Delta (1.82/1000) — maybe American felt it was time this process issue was addressed.

In order to track your bag, all you have to do is go to AA.com/baggage and click the “track your bags” link. Enter your last name and either your record locator (which is on your boarding pass) OR baggage ID number from your baggage claim ticket, and you can see a record of each of the six times your bag will be scanned from check-in to baggage claim carousel loading.

The tracking feature is currently available on American’s standard and mobile sites, but has not yet been incorporated into its mobile app.

In our next article, we’ll tell you how USDOT actually determines what constitutes a “lost” bag.

Have you ever suffered a lost bag on a recent trip? What happened? How did you manage? Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

 

Photo credit: Bernhard J. Scheuvens (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons)

Emirates Introduces Wireless Charging in Its Lounges

December 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

We’re so connected to our phones that it almost seems we need a tiny suitcase dedicated to their accessories. If you want your favorite handheld device to be fully juiced before your cross-country flight, you need to be sure to pack the phone’s charger and charging cord, and then you will need an open outlet near the gate where you’re waiting to board your flight.

Not if you’re flying Emirates Airline in Dubai.

According to a Future Travel Experience article, Emirates recently installed inductive, wireless charging trays in its first and business class waiting lounges. While these trays aren’t new to the market, this is one of the first instances where they have been deployed in a consumer environment.

An example of an inductive charging platform. Just set the phone on the pad, and the battery charges without wires.

An example of an inductive charging platform. Just set the phone on the pad, and the battery charges without wires.

This is one time when Android users triumph over Apple users because Android phones are equipped to sync with wireless charging stations, while Apple is still working on their proprietary wireless charging technology.

Mohammed Mattar, divisional senior vice president of Emirates Airport Services explained the decision. “Our aspiration is to provide greater comfort for our customers and a hassle-free, seamless travel experience. Mobile devices are an intrinsic part of our lives, and at Emirates we see free wifi and wireless charging on the go as becoming the norm in the future travel experience.”

We agree. Perhaps some day, airplane tray tables will incorporate this feature, increasing their value from a crumb catcher, drink holder, and armrest to something truly functional.

Do you use wireless charging on your phone? Is it something you would consider? Would you even upgrade to a new phone if you knew you could charge it wirelessly? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons (Wikipedia, Creative Commons)

Business or Leisure Travel: Can One Piece of Luggage Do Both?

December 10, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If you travel regularly for business, you probably have your routine down to a science. You certainly don’t check your luggage; you can’t afford to wait at the carousel or risk losing your bag due to an airline foul-up. But what if you don’t travel very often, and want to invest in a bag that can be used for both business and leisure travel?

We know all travelers want durability, but those who travel regularly for business need something that will withstand rigorous use. Worse than losing your luggage is using alternate luggage because your bag has to go in for repair of a damaged wheel, a broken telescoping handle, or a malfunctioning zipper.

Platinum Magna 2 Luggage Collection

Platinum Magna 2 Luggage Collection

Our Platinum Magna 2 and Crew series bags are backed by a lifetime warranty and come in models ranging from backpacks, computer briefs, totes, garment bags, Rollaboards and Spinners in a variety of sizes. The Platinum Magna 2 collection warranty also covers damage caused by airline baggage handlers. Hybrids are also available in the Platinum Magna 2 series such as a business organizer with a laptop or tablet sleeve in the front pocket of a Carry-on Spinner.. It eliminates the need for another carry-on to manage as you maneuver through airports and hotels.

While these same bags will accommodate an efficient leisure traveler, our lighter weight Maxlite Collection, which includes soft and hardside versions, has spinners and rollaboards in a variety of sizes for leisure and business travel. These are tested to the same performance standards as our Platinum and Crew series for frequent business travelers.

For the leisure traveler looking for luggage that can go anywhere adventure takes them, the T-Pro Bold 2.0 series offers a line of nine pieces, ranging from a backpack to drop-bottom rolling duffels to spinners, each with special features for the leisure traveler’s specific needs.

What will work best for leisure depends on what type of travel you’ll be doing. If you need to conform to the ever-increasing airline restrictions or you travel mainly by car, we have a bag that will meet your demands. However, the more casual adventure look of T-Pro Bold 2.0 may not be suited to the button-down business image you’re trying to portray on your next business trip.

What do you think? Do you prefer a one-bag-fits-all approach, such as a Rollaboard and backpack, for all kinds of travel? Or do you prefer the right-bag-for-the-right-job approach, and carry specific bags on specific trips? Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Atlantic Luggage Debuts the Amazingly Innovative Unite 2 Collection to Much Acclaim

December 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Unique Features Offer Travelers the Ultimate in Convenience, Style, and Value

Get ready for family travel with the newest offering from the market leader in lightweight, affordable luggage, Atlantic®, where, as they say “Life is a Trip!” The Unite™ 2 collection will make your imagination take flight with design innovations such as the Link2Go™ System which connects luggage together, so you can easily push two pieces with one hand.

Atlantic Unite2 GroupThis system gives traveling families the option to roll more pieces, more easily by connecting luggage together, allowing you to roll through busy airports with much less effort. The Atlantic Unite 2 collection with the updated Link2Go system is a unique way to attach two attractive Spinner models together. It couldn’t be easier. Just connect the Spinners back-to-back with the side Velcro straps and you’re ready to go. In addition, you can roll up to four pieces at once using a combination of a quick loop on the back of the carry-on models and the Link2Go system.

But the exciting new features don’t stop there. How convenient would it be to charge your smart phone or tablet while traveling? Atlantic has solved that problem with the addition of an external USB port and integrated battery pouch in the Carry-on Spinner model which provides convenient access to power electronic essentials on the move. Masterfully versatile and lightweight, the affordable Unite 2 is perfect for family travelers who need an extra hand and electronic devices that are always charged for immediate use.

“This stylish collection is value packed in every component, including tapered expansion which adds up to 2″ of room while increasing stability, durable crash protection, and 360 degree spinners which roll effortlessly,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands which includes Atlantic luggage.

Atlantic Unite2 USB PortPleasing even the most demanding customer are additional features such as multi-stop telescoping handles, low-profile carry handles, and a mesh lid pocket that provides handy space to keep shirts and blouses wrinkle-free. The Atlantic Unite 2 Collection also includes adjustable hold down straps, a side mesh pocket, and a built-in wet pocket, perfect for storing toiletries or wet clothing. In keeping with Atlantic’s commitment to quality, the Collection comes with a 10-year warranty.

Available in black and blue fabric colors, the Atlantic Unite 2 Collection consists of a soft tote, wheeled tote and 21″, 25″ and 29″ expandable Spinners.

About Atlantic® Luggage

Since 1919, the Atlantic® brand has been synonymous with affordable, value-added and lightweight luggage. As a market leader in the lightweight luggage segment, from cleverly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic-branded luggage comprises superior quality and durability. Whether for business or recreation, travel is more pleasurable with Atlantic luggage, part of the Travelpro® family of products. Please visit the Atlantic Luggage website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard® wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations. Travelpro was honored to once again be voted as the “World’s Best Luggage” by Premier Traveler Magazine in 2014.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

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