I'm flying to Munich tomorrow for a very difficult training course and most certainly not to drink vats of Weissebier out of gigantic steins. Oh no. At IBM we have a fantastic system for booking travel. It is called the Online Travel Reservations (or because we are IBM, OTR). You just go to the travel page on our Intranet and using the drop down menus select where you want to fly from and where you want to fly too. It figures out the best airports and the best times for you, works out what class you should use (in my case normally cattle) and books it for you. Of course it will also book hotels, hire cars and just about anything else you need for your trip.
However, the one thing it won't give you is a ticket. When you get to the airport you hoof your credit card into the self service ticket machines and it allows you to find your booking, pick your seat, check you in and spits out your boarding pass. Now that is really smart. Virtual service all the way through from booking to climbing on board the plane. The only problem is that I still can't get used to turning up at the airport without a ticket in my hand.
Monday, June 05, 2006
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I've done it many-a-time now, it sure beats queuing (although as it becomes more popular the queue will shift away from the check-in desks to the check-in kiosks).
Check-in at home is an interesting proposition too, and I had the same lurching "will this work?" feeling as I travelled to Gatwick. It was a good experience, I just had to drop off my suitcase and that was that. Well, apart from the long queue thru security of course.
Mixed experiences. Gutted when we went to Lisbon in May only to find the 'Fast Bag Drop' queue was as long as any other!
HOWEVER there's always the t#**^r who thinks he and his good lady wife are somehow above the rest of we aspirational plebs, assuming that we are all hanging about for a laugh, proceeds to pop straight along to the front and ask the lass walking up and down the line to check his details immediately... and she did!! Straight through for him. I didn't even see a bruised metatarsal... felt like giving one though.
Ah well. Lib dems want to tax planes by a heap so we'll all be walking to 'olidays soon.
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