Business travel, odds and ends
Apologies for the dearth of posts lately, but I have been extremely busy with work and traveling every week for the last few months. Apropos of that, here is a link to The Economist's business travel blog, Gulliver.
Coincidentally, there was a post yesterday that touched on one of the tenets of facilitating comparisons in data, ensuring that you are comparing apples to apples:
Economist Dean Baker, of the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research, had a good catch last week. USA Today reported on Tuesday that airlines were seeing "signs of improvement" in their April passenger numbers. But Baker knew there was more to the story:
Come on folks, when you do year over year comparisons of air travel you have to remember things like holidays. Easter was in March last year, and April this year. This should mean that, other things equal, a year over year comparison of air travel for March will look bad and a year over year comparison for April will look good. So, why is USA Today surprised by the uptick in April travel?
That's reporting as expected from USA Today, home of the most gag reflex-inducing data visualization in any publication I see, thanks to free copies at virtually every hotel chain in America.
Also of potential interest to other business travelers are Dan Pink's travel tips, from DanPink.com:
- Never get sick again
- Bring down da' noise
- Four road food rules of thumb
- The rule of HAHU
- More hygiene!
- Stay connected
- Zip through security
Though I'm a frequent traveler, he still provided some interesting and amusing insights, like why I try desperately not to be the bottleneck in the security line at the airport (and he is right about that).
On a related note, as I mentioned on this site's Reading page, Pink's book, A Whole New Mind, provides some food for thought about the changing nature of the working world and skills you can acquire that will help you roll with the punches. Oprah evidently thought highly enough of the book enough to give everybody a copy at my brother's graduation last Spring.
And as long as I'm doing a travel post, here are a few more resources I use:
- Farecast: airline pricing agent that predicts whether fares will rise or fall, i.e. whether to buy now or wait to purchase tickets
- U.S. domestic airline fee chart (last updated 5/9)
- SeatExpert: find the best seats on your plane, searching by airline, flight number, and departure date (Lifehacker article)
- WhereTheLocalsEat: helps find good restaurants in unfamiliar places, if you like to skip chains, like I do (Lifehacker article)
- MeetWays: find a point of interest, e.g. coffee shop, halfway between two addresses (Lifehacker article)