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- iHaveNet.com: Travel
By Ed Perkins
Not all airline ideas are bad -- every once in a while, a big line comes up with something that actually helps consumers. On the other hand, the bad ones keep coming, as well, and, as I've noted before about the airline business, nothing gets copied faster then a bad idea.
One good idea comes from Virgin Atlantic: taxi-sharing from airport to downtown. The line is partnering with Taxi2, a startup company that actually operates the service. It's already up and running, in beta, and expects to expand rapidly.
The idea is simple: Before you start your trip, you log onto the site, indicate your arrival airport and time, download and print an identifying Taxi2 sign. If possible, the site matches you with another traveler -- preferably on the same flight; if not, someone arriving within 15 minutes or so of your flight -- and you can arrange meeting details. Then, on arrival, you display the sign and look for another person showing the sign. You can also use the system "blind," with no prearranged meeting, and see if you can find someone else with the sign. Either way, you meet, compare downtown destinations, agree on how to handle payment, get into a taxi, and go. If neither your match nor any other Taxi2 user shows up within 15 minutes or so, figure "kismet" and find some other way to town. There's no serious risk: Taxi2 doesn't charge anything, and if you can't find a match, you're no worse off than if you hadn't tried.
The system is ideal for single travelers, for whom airport taxi rides can be quite expensive. At London/Heathrow, for example, the current black taxi fare to a central area is at least 50 pounds (about $83). Fares to town from Washington/Dulles, Los Angeles, and Newark are also usually $50 or more.
Currently, Taxi2 is focusing on New York and London, but there are no inherent geographical limitations. And there's no inherent reason it couldn't be used for trips to an airport, too. Taxi2 also expects to add connectivity to mobile devices soon. To try it, log onto www.taxi.to (no .com). FYI, the Website www.worldtaximeter.com currently calculates taxi fares between any two points in 22 cities around the world, with more to come.
Another good idea, this time from
And now for the worst idea.
© Ed Perkins On Travel
Travel | New Airline Ideas, Good and Bad