5 Airlines Bringing Geek Chic

Traveling soon? If you’re a geek, you have certain things that are important to you in an airline. They need to be accessible, approachable. Preferably they have wifi or some kind of gadget-sexiness happening. They engage bloggers and go the extra mile to support the new media ecosystem. They understand the economy of favors and that if folks are taken care of, the airlines themselves will be taken care of.

As a frequent traveler, I know the airlines that match up to my “geek chic” likes. In no particular order…


I don’t get to travel JetBlue all that often because they fly out of Dulles, which is a good hour away with favorable traffic. However, when I flew out of Boston to San Francisco last month, JetBlue was available on Twitter to help me navigate the painful ticket lines and get me to my gate on time. The airline manager at Boston Logan was contacted to ensure I got where I needed to go.

Virgin America

Another airline that, at this time, flies only out of JFK and Dulles on the east coast is Virgin America. I flew Virgin America last year to BlogWorld and they were new – in fact, I covered them briefly before they launched. With in-seat media centers and USB ports at every seat, it was a geek paradise. They were planning internet access at the time, but it was not yet available. I’m not sure if it is now, but I’m due for another flight on VA to see exactly what they are up to these days.

Southwest Airlines

For a discount airline, Southwest may have the best crossover between traditional benefits and new benefits. They highly value online participation by rewarding early check-ins online with better seat opportunities. In addition, they are very active on Twitter and can be found at many new media events. Besides that, they have a hub in Baltimore so they are the locals.

How can you not like an airline that, at Blog World Expo this year, handed me a bunch of peanuts to distribute for free to US Airways flight-mates that have to pay for every stinking thing on the inferior airline?

American Airlines

Less Robust, but still moving in the right direction, is American Airlines who recently announced wifi on their flights. According to Engadget, wifi will run $10-13, but if you want to surf the web on those cross country trips, AA is the airline to do it on.

Air Canada

If you’re in Canada, or plan to fly there, you may want to consider Air Canada. Though not all flights have the in-seat media centers, many of the larger flights do. The Media Center is not quite as good as Virgin Americas in my opinion, but in flight entertainment always is better than talking to a talkative old woman going to see her grandson.

Bonus: United Airlines

United isn’t all that great of an airline, if I’m honest, but they do offer one sexy feature for plane geeks. You can listen to Air traffic control on Channel 9 of all flights. Boring, yet entirely interesting all at one time.

Weekend Productivity Tip: TripIt Calendar Feeds

I just posted my August travel over on my personal blog. If your schedule lines up, give me a shout and let’s get together and talk about WordPress, or tech world gossip, Lijit, or Technosailor.com, or anything. Doesn’t matter. I like meeting people.

But as I’m coming in to land on this Friday, I thought I’d leave you with a productivity trip. If you don’t use Tripit and travel a lot, as I do, then shame on you. Start using it. You won’t be sorry.

If you keep all your travel arrangements in Tripit, you can of course use it from the web or mobile device like a Blackberry or Treo, but you can also pull all your travel arrangements directly into iCal, Google Calendar, Outlook or any calendar you use that supports the ICS data format (almost all do).

Here’s a look at what my calendar looks like for August as I’ve subscribed to my Tripit Calendar.

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Have a great weekend.

Bonus Productivity Tip in regards to Tripit: Using Tripit is as simple as forwarding confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com. Really. That’s it. 99% of the time, Tripit can parse those confirmation emails and plot your entire trip for you.

August Travels

Crazy August. The only good part is that I get to escape the crazy heat of the mid-atlantic for a good portion of the month. And I don’t really mind travelling.

Here’s the rundown. Time will be limited but if you’re around, give me a shout. Would love to grab a beer, catch up if we’ve met, get acquainted if we haven’t.

  • August 5-6: Detroit, MI – Ford Motor Company tour and blogger outreach.
  • August 12-15: Boston, Mass. – Working vacation to see the Red Sox and meet up with some of the local social media heads. There’s a party Thursday night thats open if you RSVP. Or maybe we grab coffee?
  • August 15-17: San Francisco, CA – WordCamp SF. I’ve been there for two years straight and this year isn’t going to be different. Also speaking at the event on the issue of Discoverability.
  • August 24-26: Boulder, CO – Making a brief stint over to the DNC festivities. Otherwise, hanging with the Lijit folks.

Give me a shout if our schedules might line up.