Archive for October, 2011

“Did you know…Virtual 3D Travel is being brought to life?”


virtual travel brought to life
3D PLANET, 3D Interactive Guide








TLabs Showcase on travel startups, featuring Singapore-based 3rd Planet, a 3D interactive travel guide platform for tourism boards and destinations. Terence Mak, CEO and founder of 3rd Planet, brings 20 years of experience in technology application and new media experience…Read more about Virtual Travel


“Did you know…The Zagat picks for good restaurants on a business trip?” (USA Today)

Sommelier pours wine for patrons at Komi Restaurant in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Scott Suchman - Sommelier Kathryn Bangs pours wine for patrons at Komi Restaurant in Washington, D.C.

It’s the red snapper with raspberry chipotle sauce and lump crab meat that makes business trips to Galveston, Texas, special for Greg Newell.  Newell, who works in the software industry and travels frequently, says the red snapper at Rudy & Paco restaurant is one of his favorite dishes.

“I always look forward to a trip to Galveston, so I can stop in for that snapper dish as well as a breakfast stop at The Donut Shoppe, home to the Bronco Burrito,” says Newell, of Riverview, Fla. “Yum.”

Good food and top-quality restaurants mean a lot to many business travelers. They provide a memorable dining experience and a welcome break from the stresses of constant travel. They’re also great places to impress or bond with a client.

Business travelers looking for the best of the best may want to heed the findings of Zagat Survey, which today announces the country’s top restaurants, in its view…Read more about Zagat restaurant picks on a business trip.

“Did you know…What English sounds like to a foreigner?”

What does English sound like to a foreigner? [VID]


Hearing English

Hearing English

GLOTTAL STOPS, LILTS, PITCH – there’s a lot more to hearing a language than just the words. Do you speak German? If not, do you know when you hear someone speaking German? Probably so.

And what about English? More than once, I’ve attempted to hear English through the ears of a non-speaker by eavesdropping on a conversation and going into an almost meditative state, focusing on the sounds and not the words. It only lasts for a few seconds at a time…

One-on-One with Patrick Smith, aviator and author of “Ask the Pilot” air travel column

In this month’s One-on-One blog, ExpertFlyer explores air travelers’ burning questions and gets the answers directly from our recent “Hot Topic” series expert aviator, Patrick Smith. Patrick  is author of’s ASK THE PILOT air travel column and host of the ASK THE PILOT resource site:

Our interview Q&A with Patrick helps take the anxiety and frustration out of flying as he shoots from the hip, addressing frequently asked questions about Turbulence, Cockpit Automation, Myths about Air Travel, What Pilots Fear Most in the Air, and more.

“…a jetliner can no more “fly itself” any more than an operating room can remove a tumor or perform an organ transplant “by itself.”

— Patrick Smith, Aviator & “Ask the Pilot” Columnist,

Can you explain exactly what’s happening when a plane flies through an area of turbulence and why it’s not as risky as it feels?

Turbulence is far and away the number one concern of anxious passengers. Intuitively this makes sense. Everybody who steps on a plane is on some level uneasy, and there isn’t a more poignant reminder of flying’s innate precariousness than a good walloping at 37,000 feet.  It’s easy to picture the airplane as a helpless dinghy in a stormy sea.  Boats are occasionally swamped, capsized, or dashed into reefs by swells, so the same must hold true for airplanes.  Everything about it seems dangerous…Read more about Turbulence. Continue reading →

Ask the pilot series — Part 6 of 6: What pilots wish you understood

Expert Flyer Hot Topics – Where the rubber meets the runway

Expert Flyer is featuring a special six-part “Ask the Pilot” series.  Our expert, Patrick Smith, is an aviator and the author of’s popular ASK THE PILOT air travel column.  He also hosts the ASK THE PILOT resource site: Please enjoy this final installment of our series.

(Part 6 of 6)

Pilot pictured with Plane

What pilots wish passengers understood

What’s the one thing about your job that you wish passengers understood?

In Part 3, I talk about automation myths – that is at the top of the list.  Also, I wish people better understood the term “copilot.”

The copilot – known formally as the first officer – is not an apprentice.  Copilots perform just as many takeoffs and landings as captains do, and are fully qualified to operate the plane in all regimes of flight.  And due to the vagaries of the seniority bidding system, it is not unheard of for the copilot to be older and more experienced than the captain sitting next to him.

In normal operations pilots take turns at the controls. If a crew is going from New York to Chicago to Seattle, the captain will fly the first leg and the first officer will fly the second. The pilot not flying is still plenty busy with a long list of chores: communicating, programming the FMS and navigational equipment, reading checklists and so forth.

Regardless of who’s driving, the captain has ultimate authority over the flight, and a larger salary to go with it (though not as large as it used to be).