In brief: Airports' new spin on phone charging
Many airports are set to debut lock-your-phone charging stations, Australia's smart luggage tags turn out to be not so smart, a slideshow captures famous singers in transit and more. Here are the stories that travellers are buzzing about:
Lock-your-phone charging stations coming to airports
For years, major airports have offered free charging stations for specific models of phones and digital devices, but you had to stand by and guard your gizmo while it juices up. Now kiosks from KeoConnect allow you to lock up your phone and leave it charging while you wander the terminal. Choose your own code to lock the device and stash it in a shell, as if it were a small hotel safe, reports KioskMarketplace. In the US, about 60 Hudson News bookshops have signed up to install the free stations soon, Tnooz reports.
Video: Qantas tests luggage tags that "talk"
On Monday, we told you about experiments by the airline Qantas at Sydney, Perth, and other Australian airports with high-tech solutions to common airport hassles, such as slow check-in lines. But we didn't tell you about the airline's attempt to replace paper luggage tags with plastic tags that have wireless chips inside. The idea is you attach a re-usable plastic tag to your bag, and a machine wirelessly encodes the chip with your itinerary details. The bag then talks to scanners at every stage in the luggage-shipping process: from airport, to airplane cargo hold, to baggage carousel. The trackable tags allow Qantas agents to pinpoint where your bag is in the system, like FedEx does with packages. But as a surprisingly wry video from ZDNet Australia shows, the machinery isn't ready for prime time yet.
Famous singers in airports
The Beatles at Heathrow Airport, with a hundred fans standing on the roof. Judy Garland, posing glamorously in a terminal lounge. Nat King Cole, relaxing with a cigarette after a flight. These, and images of other celebrities, can be found in a nostalgic slide show of singers in airports by The Albany Times Union.
The mega re-tweet
We scour Twitter to highlight a standout travel tweet.
"I love cheap Asian airlines. There's no safety briefing or seat pocket cards. You just get in the plane and hope for the best."
-- @dcurtis, Dustin Curtis, a digital entrepreneur, tweeting during his extended stay in Thailand.