Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio May
By Sarah J.F. Braley
SIT BACK AND RELAX IN NEW SEATS
Continental makes flying overseas more comfortable... Kodak
puts kiosks in hotels
Lean back and say, “Aaaaah.” Passengers flying
business class overseas on Continental Airlines are in for a treat.
Last month, the carrier began installing new, specially engineered
seats in its BusinessFirst cabins on all Boeing 777s flying
transatlantic and transpacific routes.
The new recliners are 22 inches wide between armrests and push
back to 170 degrees to provide six-and-a-half feet of sleeping
space. Electronic controls adjust the seat to preset upright,
cradle and sleep positions; other buttons control the lumbar
support and leg and footrests.
Also new are privacy hoods, two-level reading lights, more
storage space for personal items and power outlets for laptops.
Installation is expected to be completed by the end of this
Print it. Travelers with digital cameras soon
will be able to print out high-quality photographs at some hotels.
Starting this month, Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak is deploying
kiosks in hotel lobbies, following successful test-marketing runs
at several resorts. The machines take all image-storage media,
including CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Sony Memory Sticks, PCMCIA
cards and CDs.
Security alerts. Northstar Travel Media
(M&C’s parent) has launched a new online system
integrating Weissmann Travel Reports with a new destination
intelligence system from Miami-based IntelGo. The service (www.weissmann.com)
provides travel agent subscribers with real-time news briefs that
might affect a traveler’s itinerary. Agents will be able to
register travelers to receive e-mail destination alerts before,
during and after their trips on such topics as health, security,
entry requirements and political events.
An expanded package integrates the service into an agency’s PNR
(passenger name record) system, allowing companies to track
employees while they travel as well as to generate destination
reports. In an emergency, a firm will be able to compile a quick
report on employee location, hotel and more.
Crossing wires. Two top wireless companies have
formed an alliance, making Web access while traveling a little
easier. Subscribers to the connectivity services offered by Redwood
Shores, Calif.-based iPass Inc. (www.ipass.com) can now log on using the wireless
and wired outlets run by Wayport Inc. of Austin, Texas (www.wayport.net), a
provider of high-speed wireless and wired Internet services.
Wayport is the Internet provider in more than 450 hotels, including
Four Seasons, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Sheraton, Doubletree
and Embassy Suites; in nine airports, and 13 Laptop Lane business
centers in seven airports.
The miles-and-miles-high club. True road
warriors who save up 10 million frequent-flyer miles will be able
to take advantage of suborbital flights that will be available
supposedly by 2004 as an award from US Airways and Arlington,
Va.-based Space Adventures Ltd. Reserving a seat and paying for it
yourself earns you 250,000 miles.
Other space-related awards include earning 5,000 to 75,000 miles
or spending up to 275,000 miles and $8,000 on a Shuttle Launch
vacation package, a trip to Russia for a ride on a zero-gravity
flight, or the Edge of Space trip to Moscow for a ride in a MiG-25
Foxbat jet fighter.
Hazards of the job. While flying, take your
mind off your own trip by reading about a flight attendant’s life
on board complete with a major robbery, lots of passenger
shenanigans, crew slip-ups and fear-of-flying freak-outs. New from
St. Martin’s Press is Plane Insanity: A Flight Attendant’s Tales of
Sex, Rage, and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet, by Elliott Hester (www.planeinsanity.com; www.stmartins.com). After 16 years in the
business, Hester is still an attendant for a major U.S.
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