In brief: Airport limo tracking and smart check-ins
A car service app for New York and San Francisco, rental car companies charge top dollar for fuel, a new online tool aims to make check-in services worthwhile, and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Order a car service with a clever new iPhone app
A US-based iPhone-based dispatch service, Uber, expands today to New York City from its home in San Francisco. The service connects travellers with local private car companies via their iPhone. While waiting, a traveller can watch the vehicle's progress on their iPhone, The New York Times reports Now if only someone would come up with this option for hotel room service and let us monitor our meal's progress from the kitchen to our room.
A new tool transforms Facebook and Foursquare check-ins into useful travel advice
Yesterday, social travel site Gogobot launched a feature that allows you to easily add reviews of the hotels, restaurants and coffee shops you've checked in at via Foursquare's and Facebook's geo-location services. Michael Arrington, editor of the popular blog TechCrunch, has given Gogobot's new trick a favourable review. He says the site intelligently organizes the records of where you and your friends have been. This organization makes it easier for you to find places that have been well-reviewed by people you know.
Some travellers are paying $9 a gallon for fuel
At 13 major US airports, rental car giant Hertz was recently charging $9.29 a gallon for gas when a vehicle was returned without a full tank, according to a survey by USA Today. Other companies were charging nearly as much, between $8 and $9 a gallon, which on average is higher than what local gas stations were offering, especially at Atlanta, Denver and Miami. Yet even when the per-gallon rate is less than what local stations charge, we think the prepaid gas option is usually a ripoff. Any gas you leave in the tank is like money in the agency's bank account. But as writer Lynne Tillman said in a different context, "Reason is too great a price to pay daily."
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"Oh the indignity of being at Heathrow before 6am, only to realise my secret travel weapon-B&B dry shampoo-is more than 3 oz. Quelle horreur!"
--@sianparry, London public relations professional