Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Travel Technology

Travel Hacks Galore to Ease the Pain of Hassled Travel

5 months ago

The New York Times published a story a few days ago headlined, Tech Hacks to Make Traveling Right Now Less of a Headache.

The famous Racoon Stealer malware is back ☠️ And it brought new updates that you should know. Source: SurfShark

In the story, the author recommended:

  • Book direct with the airline or hotel instead of gong through a middleman like an online travel agency.
  • Consult JoinSherpa.com to keep abreast of ever-changing Covid lockdown rules and destination entry requirements and use itinerary organizing tools like TripIt. If you are a Gmail user, Google Travel likewise organizes your travel bookings, although it can be glitchy.
  • Track wayward luggage with products such as Apple AirTag.
  • Download the hotel’s app to access functions such as earlier check-in as soon as your room is ready.

Additional Tech Hacks

We’ll add a few favorite tech hacks of our own.

  • Use FlightAware to see the location of the plane that’s hopefully en route for your departure. Some airline apps have this feature. A couple of weeks ago FlightAware informed me that the plane that was scheduled to take me from Puerto Rico to New Jersey would be arriving in New Jersey around 5:20 a.m. while United Airlines misinformed me that flight would be taking off more than an hour earlier. The flight actually took off around 15 hours later.
  • Speaking of United, you can now pre-order beverages and food on some U.S. domestic flights, although it too can be clunky.
  • Sign up for a virtual private network such as Surfshark so that once you arrive at your foreign destination you’ll still able to view apps such as Sling.tv, which wouldn’t otherwise be unavailable.
  • When shopping for deals, make sure to consult mobile apps for companies such as Tripadvisor, Expedia, or Booking.com because sometimes mobile deals will be lower than desktop prices.
  • Download lots of movies to your phone before your flight in case there are slim pickings on board.
  • Contact your cellphone company to see if it will give you a discounted rate for mobile calls in a foreign destination. T-Mobile has such a program, for example.

There are tons of other travel hacks available. Send us your favorites.

Online Travel

T-Mobile Launches Travel Portal in Partnership With Priceline

8 months ago

T-Mobile is getting heavier into travel with the debut of a discount travel website in partnership with Priceline.

The U.S.-based telecom services provider also announced Thursday it is offering free Wi-Fi on certain Delta, American and Alaska airlines flights for T-Mobile customers, and will be expanding its free Wi-Fi services to 210 countries and destinations to customers signed up for certain plans.

In the background, a woman uses Wi-Fi on a Delta aircraft. Photo source: Delta.

T-Mobile Travel is powered by Booking Holdings’ Rocket Travel, and potentially also leverages Booking’s $1.2 billion acquisition of hotel wholesaler Getaroom.

“To meet T-Mobile’s needs, Priceline curated a totally custom and unique combination of travel technology, sales and support services and product, most notably leveraging the technology capabilities of Rocket Miles and Priceline inventory,” a Priceline spokesperson said.

T-Mobile Travel claims to offer exclusive hotel discounts of up to 40 percent, as well as flights and car rentals. Skift didn’t see any short-term rentals in the mix.

Regarding the discounts, Skift found a listing for a queen-bed room at the Shoreham Hotel in New York City in early July for three nights for $730 that was 34 percent lower than on Expedia.com. T-Mobile claimed it was a 37 percent discount.

In addition to the new travel website, Delta, American and Alaska Airlines starting June 21 will begin offering free Wi-Fi for T-Mobile customers on select flights, T-Mobile said. “United Airlines will follow,” T-Mobile stated in its announcement. “And T-Mobile will continue to work hard to keep customers covered on even more airlines over time.”

T-Mobile will also will add certain streaming services on some of these flights for free or at a discount, the company said.

T-Mobile customers who have selected its Magenta Max or Business Unlimited Ultimate Plan will get 5GB of high-speed Wi-Fi, where available, for no extra charge in more than 210 countries and destinations, the company said.

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