Friday, September 07, 2007

User-Generated Airports and Airport Wifi

I saw this on new service from Updates.Orbitz.com on TechCrunch.com:




It is basically a user generated airport news services where users can instantly post the good and bad things they are experiencing at US airports -- like parking problems, unusual TSA delays, flight delays, etc. -- as seen in the Youtube.com video, above. This is in addition to more static information about airport and flight conditions.

Do people really use things like this? I suppose I might if I spent a lot of my life in really large airports that have enough geeks using them to generate some useful up-to-date information, and if wanted to shave off some potentially wasted minutes. However, I do not fly through SFO or LAX that often. For my main hub aiport, PHX, the latest postings tell me that 4 hours ago there were long lines at the US Air and Southwest checking counters -- so what else is new? The lines are almost always long at those two airlines. In my opinion, air travel these days is so unpredictable, the best insurance is to arrive early and be prepared to wait. I may be wrong, but I think that user-generated information can have its limits.

There was a user generated gem in the comments on the TechCrunch posting. It was for AtLarge.com -- a site where users submit reviews and tips on wireless connectivity at airpoirts around the world. I found it one of the better looking and most useful sites of this kind that I have seen. Travelpost.com has a good listing of paid airports wifi services, but no user reviews like AtLarge.com, which is a real plus!


And remember to watch out who/what you are connecting to at an airport, as there have been reports of fake wifi services out to capture your personal information. JiWire.com also has a good guide to using airport wifi, along with a summary of availability at US airports.

PS: I found two other site that have reviews of airports around the world: AirlineEquality.com and ReviewCentre.com. Both have more of a discussion forum approach and have a limited number of airports and/or reviews. And, of course, neither is "live" like Update.Orbitz.com.

1 comment:

Pum said...

Another airport wifi service guide web site that you should take a look at is airportwifiguide.com. I discover this one on a post about airport wifi on vagablogging.net (a long-term independent travel blog.)

I try out airportwifiguide.com and like that it has ratings for other intangibles factors beside the wifi cost like wifi signal strength, connection speed and waiting area comfort.
I like that they also include links to airport terminal maps and an airport contact phone number.

Thanks for a nice post. I will have to try out AtLarge.com next.