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…

JetBlue

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.

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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.

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SXSW Guest Posting

ShayDC.jpgIn just over 36 hours, I’ll be boarding a flight to Austin, TX. This will be my second trip to SXSW – last year was a mixed bag for me but then the whole trip started out on a bad note and it through the rest of the week into a funk. This year, I’m anticipating better results and a better time.

Meanwhile, I’ve asked Shana Glickfield and Chris Parandian to guest post here while I’m gone. You’ll get sporadic posts from me as well.

Shana is better known as the DC Concierge and is an absolute genius when it comes to “things to do in DC”. Chris is the CEO of MobileDiner, a DC-based company working in the mobile space, particularly as it comes to introducing new mobile technologies to enterprise business.

mobilediner.jpgNeither of these folks have been instructed as to what to write. I leave it up to them. Maybe a fresh perspective or topic might be a healthy little distraction for a week. Also, if you’re from DC and making the pilgrimage to Austin this week, make sure you come out the the bloggers lounge on Tueday at 3pm CST to the live recording of District of Corruption. It will be the live from Austin open-mic edition and we want to talk to you on the air.

Thanks again Shana and Chris for filling in for me while I’m gone.

Photo Credits: Photo of Shana provided by Shana; Photo of Chris via Jonny Goldstein

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