Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hotel Allowing Guests to Pay with Fingerprints

The Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel will now allow registered guests to pay for items around the hotel with nothing more than their fingers. This new system is being deployed throughout the hotel's bars, restaurants, club area and elsewhere so users can get access to a number of services such as event bookings, food and beverage and every other service provided by the hotel.

The technology comes from a Spanish provider called Pay-Touch and is essentially a biometric scanner which checks and matches the user's fingerprint against a pre-registered and verified image. Last year the hotel armed their guests with wristbands with RFID tags so they could check-in automatically and share content on Facebook. The idea is that guests can head out for an evening without having to take along any cash. To help promote the system, registered users will be given priority access to the hotel's events. The hotel would like guests to register ahead of time online and log their details and prints at booths once they arrive. The company says the technology is fully compliant with PCI-DSS security standards and also allows users to register more than one payment card to be credited with each purchase.

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Airline No Longer Offering Pre-Boarding for Young Families

Earlier this week United announced that they will no longer offer pre-boarding for families with young children, unless they are flying business or first class. Many are questioning if this is fair, and what repercussions might result. 

The airline adopted the new policy to simplify boarding and to reduce the overall number of boarding groups. Most airlines are still boarding families before most coach passengers. The move comes as airlines increasingly charge fees for passengers to board early and sit in certain seats. It will be interesting to see if other airlines follow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

World's Largest Airport is now Larger than Ever

The world's busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, is now even bigger as it opens its new international terminal that's being touted as the city's "new front door" for the world. The $1.4 billion terminal adds an additional 12 gates to an airport that already has 195. But local officials say the new terminal, titled the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal, is necessary to keep Atlanta and its airport at the forefront of global aviation.

Southwest will be making good use of the new terminal as it expands in Atlanta and is looking to expand internationally. The new terminal features soaring glass windows that give passengers views of the airfield throughout the terminal. Even at the check-in counters, passengers can watch takeoffs and landings as counter agents process their reservations. It also has a separate entrance, which will be the airport's second, symbolizing the "new front door." Adding a second entrance is designed to help reduce airport lines by funneling international passengers through the terminal. Best of all the design eliminates the requirement for Atlanta-bound passengers to "re-check" their checked luggage after customs and pick it up at baggage claim. They will be able to keep their checked bags and exit the airport after clearing customs and immigration. The new gates will free up other gates for domestic traffic.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Top Ten Airports in 2012

Skytrax has announced the 2012 results of their annual airport survey based on extensive and detailed questions asked of passengers worldwide. These are their results.

Korea’s Incheon International Airport came in first place again, followed by Singapore's Changi International Airport, and Hong Kong InternationalAirport in third place. Amsterdam's Schiphol came fourth.  In fifth place was Beijing's Capital International Airport. Sixth and seventh were Munich and Zurich, following by Kuala Lumpur's International Airport.  Number nine in the 2012 honors list was Vancouver's International Airport with Japan's Central International Airport taking the tenth place.

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Titanic II to be Built

Just weeks after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, Australian billionaire Clive Palmer announced his plans to build a modern-day replica of the Titanic, naming it Titanic II.

Mr. Palmer has already signed an agreement with the Nanjing-based CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the ship as part of a planned fleet of four luxury liners.  It is scheduled to be completed by 2016, when it will sail it's maiden voyage from England to New York, just as the original Titanic was scheduled to do. Titanic II will be "just as luxurious as the original Titanic", but with "state-of-the-art-21st century tchnology and navigation and safety systems", Palmer said. 

The new Titanic will have identical dimensions to the orginal, will feature nine decks, 840 state rooms, fitness centers, swimming pools, libraries, and restaurants.