Archive for Tag ‘Travel‘

Heading to Denver for DrupalCon

Next week I’m off to Denver for DrupalCon 2012. Since DrupalCon 2008 (which was in Boston) I’ve done both SXSW and DrupalCon each year, but that was proving to be a bit of an overload, so this year I’ve dialed back, skipped SXSW, and chose DrupalCon instead. I’ve found it consistently more useful.

I’ll be attending the Drupal in Education Unconference Monday, and then the main conference Tue-Thurs. (See my schedule of sessions).

I’m most looking forward to:

Though like all good open source conferences there are many time blocks where there are 5 or 6 sessions I’d like to attend.

It will also be my first year at DrupalCon as an official CMS Myth Mythbuster – looking forward to bringing some Drupal community perspective to myths about CMS.

Stuck in the Middle with You

The first part of this week I was out in Los Angeles for the inaugural Magento Imagine eCommerce conference (more about that to come). En route, I ended up trying (via standby) to get on an early flight for one leg (ATL to LAX), and just got squeezed onto the flight as the last passenger.

This meant five hours plus in a middle seat in coach. Nothing to write home about — this certainly falls in the first-world-problems camp — just the average run-of-the-mill experience that makes traveling tiring.

The next day, I got this in my email:

Excellent, proactive customer service. Never got one of these before – maybe it only comes with a certain level of Medallion Status?

Not that 500 sky miles is going to make any significant difference (and never mind that of course on every full plane there are lots of folks in middle seats) but I thought it was quite clever to notice and simply acknowledge that the much heralded benefits of being a frequent flier didn’t apply in this case.

Good work Delta, and thanks for the aisle seat on the way home.

TripAdvisor joins the Private Travel Club Club

Trip Advisor's new invite-only travel offering

TripAdvisor is joining Jetsetter, Kayak, and TabletHotels (good summary here) to offer a private sales site for hotel accommodations with the interestingly named “snique.” (I realize they’re going for “sneak,” as in “sneak away on a trip” – but I can’t help but read it as a contraction of “is unique?” or a “snick” as in snicker).

Can TripAdvisor’s brand support the claim of exclusivity? I think we all know at this point that the “invite only” exclusivity of private-sales sites is really about promoting an image rather than keeping out the unwashed masses. If I got invited, as someone who’s rarely if ever really used TripAdvisor (despite travelling frequently), everyone is getting invited.

Clicking through the email invite (above) results in this signup screen:

Snique's Sign Up Options

I like the idea of offering Facebook based signup, though when I tried it all I got was a cryptic error:

Not a very useful error message

Also, given that this is an exclusive, invite-only, member drive site – shouldn’t they already know my email address, name, zip, etc? They knew that at TripAdvisor, in order to be able to send me the invite.

Doesn’t feel very exclusive to fill out such a sign up form. Ultimately, though, the proof of value will be in the deals – let’s see if they justify the brand.

Dear Dopplr

Dear Dopplr

While I’m very happy with your ability to share my trips with my friends, and I appreciate the semi-annual personal report, I need to share something with you.

I’m never going on a trip to Delta, Canada.

Read more…

Dopplr import fail

I use Dopplr and TripIt, to keep track of traveling colleagues, update people on my own travel, and just generally simplify life. (I’ve blogged about each many times as well: see posts containing dopplr or TripIt).

I’m getting tired of Dopplr’s consistent FAIL on a common (for me) use case- a one day trip to NY on Delta.

Whenever I forward such a confirmation here’s what Dopplr does:

Thanks for sending us a message by email.

We automatically created a trip to Atlanta, GA, United States (from Newburyport, MA, United States) between February 10th and February 13th

We won’t share coincidences from this newly-created trip with your fellow travellers until February 18th. This is to give you a chance to check and correct any problems in interpretation.

If you’d like to check, go to [link removed]

Yours sincerely,
The Dopplr Team.

The problem is, I’m not going to or from Atlanta – that’s where Delta airlines headquarters is, sure, but it’s a long detour on the Boston->New York route.

I’m also not travelling Feb 10 to Feb 13, I’m leaving and returning on the 13th, and the trip was booked on the 10th.

I can (and do) go in and manually fix the trip in Dopplr, but in this type of case TripIt’s import feature just works.