Category Archives: Travel

Hi Tech Baggage Check

During a recent trip to Hokkaido, we had the change to try ANA’s high tech self-check bag check.


It was actually pretty cool.   You start by scanning your boarding pass from the kiosk or your phone.   It then gives you a bag tag to add to the luggage.  Once that is done you select “ok” on the screen.

The machine then takes the bag, scans the tag, weighs the bag and pulls into the system to send it to the flight.  Below is a video of the process.


Flight to Africa Rant #2 – Virgin Atlantic Missed Opportunity

In my previous post I mentioned I was researching flights. I had a buddy tell me he had flown Virgin Atlantic to the continent previously and suggested I check them out. So I went to “The Google” and entered “Virgin Atlantic to Nairobi” seemed like as simple and informative enough query. The results are horrific – rant below the image.

1. The paid listing to the right is total crap. I gave you a destination – why can’t you message to it. Maybe I would have free movies on my flight to Nairobi – well at least the London leg. This is why paid search fails so often.

2. The highest organic listing has a horrible snippet – I bet they got a gold star for ranking #1 with that. That is why you need to check the snippet. I click anyways and encounter another of my pet peeves – I am on the Nairobi page, from a Nairobi query – why would I want a flight from London to New York. Just a bit of coding would make life easier.

3. The #2 listing is a 404 error. Hello wasted opportunity.

4. The #3 listing is yet another 404 error – do I need to comment?

5. The #4 listing – wow – a special offer – but damn I am 2.5 years too late – why can’t it roll over to a new offer or a generic page – if anything should 404 it should be that page.

Flight to Africa via Los Angeles – Possible Milage Run

I have been asked to keynote an event in Kenya in June. Was looking at some flight options and trusty United thought a good route would be for me to do the following:

Fly from JFK in New York to Los Angeles
Fly from Los Angeles back to the east cost to Newark (the other NYC airport)
Wait nearly 12 hours then fly from Newark to Brussels
Brussels to Nairobi Kenya

Would be nearly 3 days to get there and a ton of miles but I think I may just do the Continental Flight and cut out the coast to coast adventure. Can’t be take some of the stupidity out of these applications?

Hi-Tech Communications Device from Japan

As Motoko and I were going through security at Hiroshima Japan airport last week I notced the sign below and grabbed a pic with my iPhone.

After being wowed most of the week by a lot of new technology this sign wrapped up the week… sometimes simple is just easier…

This is a form of Etch A Sketch that allows people to write on it and and them clear easily.  With all of the new regulations with air travel and many deaf and older Japanese traveling if is great to see that the security team are willing to communicate with people with hearing disabilities.


I also like this photo since I use a similar device to communicate with my SCUBA students during the class.  You simple write on it and then swipe a lever and it cleans it for them or you to respond.