5 Travel Hacks For a Last-Minute July 4th

As the temperatures rise across the country and the summer weather sets in, many people are daydreaming about a vacation.  If you don’t yet have anything planned for the 4th of July weekend, here are the top Independence day travel hacks which may help you plan a successful impromptu holiday weekend.

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1. Surf for last minute travel deals

Many resources are available to help make an impulse getaway a reality. Surfing sites like Travelocity, HotelTonight, and The Flight Deal can help land a great last minute vacation at a fantastic price. For a low-hassle, all-in-one experience, Travelocity allows you to book air, hotels, and rental cars in the same transaction. If you’re looking for something more spontaneous (but also at a great price), HotelTonight allows you to book an amazing last-minute hotel room at cut-rate prices.  The Flight Deal is perfect if you are looking to fly to your next destination, as it features truly remarkable flight bargainsoften to international destinationswith clear instructions on how to get them.  

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2. Take a day off before or after your holiday to maximize your vacation

Jenna and Micah of Wander The Map offer several tips for maximizing your vacation with the limited amount of vacation days that American workers are notorious for having.  July 4th falls on a Monday this year, which means  it’s possible to take a short three day trip using up no vacation time, or an entire nine day vacation using only four vacation days.  Using the federal holiday allows you to get the extra time that you want away from your day-to-day life and extends the duration of your extra-special trip.

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3. While on vacation, use your autoresponder to disconnect.

While you’re on vacation, be on vacation. Instead of worrying about the office, your clients, or your workload, focus on spending quality time with the friends and family you’re traveling with; if you’re traveling alone, focus on what sights to see or where to eat. Embrace your e-mail provider’s autoresponder with an out of office message, indicating when you’ll be back and able to reply to business matters.  

If you have tasks that must be done in your absence, hiring a digital assistant through a site such as Taskrabbit can get the job done for you while you’re away enjoying your time off.

Taskrabbit’s platform allows users to connect with others willing to perform the chores or errands that you cannot or do not want to perform.   Their interface is easy to use and remarkably intuitive at matching the requester with the “taskrabbit” who completes the duty.

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4. Missed that connection and worried about your bag?  No worries, it’s already there.  Send your stuff ahead.

Missing your connection or flight hurts in the short-term, but the thought of losing your bag with the airline either can be the biggest gut-punch of all.  Fortunately, there are many ways around the problem of having your bag stranded in the airport; you just have to plan a bit in advance.  Luggage Free and Send My Bag are two godsend services that allow you to pack your bags and ship them to your final destination before you even take your Wingz ride to the airport.

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5. Get ahead of the crowds by checking into your hotel in advance online.

Many hotel chains such as Hyatt, Hilton, and Disney now allow you to check in online prior to your arrival to cut down on time spent in lines. Hilton’s online check-in system allows you to select your exact room with the hotel’s floor plan. And since checking into your Disney hotel is a unique experience in and of itself, the happiest place on earth gives you the ability to use their dedicated guest services lines to ensure you still get to interact with the sights and sounds of each place you stay.  

There are ample opportunities available this week for the last-minute traveler, and if you’re willing to dedicate a few minutes of planning, you and your loved ones are destined for a great holiday.

Do you have any travel hacks for last-minute travel?  If so, please share!

 

$1 rides all around Austin!

It’s been a wild few weeks in the Austin area, and today we’re launching one of our most thrilling promotions ever: $1 fares for first-time riders.

From now until July 1st, new Wingz users can schedule a ride within Greater Austin and pay $1 for the first 20 miles of their journey. It’s important to note that although you have to request your ride by July 1st, the ride can take place within 60 days of booking.

What’s more, we’ll be donating the $1 fare to Caritas of Austin, an awesome local non-profit helping fight poverty, hunger, and homelessness within the community. We’re delighted to have found a great organization that works diligently to provide housing, food, education, and employment to those in need around Austin neighborhoods. Please consider donating even if you don’t plan on taking advantage of the promotion.

To schedule your first Wingz ride, simply download the app and book. No promo code is needed to get your $1 ride in Austin.

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If you’re already a Wingz user, there remains incentive for a great deal. If you share the word and your friends sign up for Wingz using your unique referral code, you’ll still get your $5 credit when they take their first ride! Get a deal and do some good with Wingz, now until July 1st!

For additional details on the promotion, check out our terms and conditions.

 

Top 5 Apps for Business Travelers

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Business travelers are an important market of the travel industry that reportedly spent $175 billion in 2015 according to the US Travel Association.  These travelers take more than 405 million long-distance business trips a year, meaning there’s 405 million chances for weather patterns to shift, flights to be delayed, and plans to get changed; with that in mind here are the top five apps that make traveling a breeze for the frequent flyer.

TripIt

TripIt is a free app that helps the business traveler organize all of their plans into a single location by consolidating e-mails, calendars, and travel documents for easy access.  The app allows users to share information via e-mail, direct link, or through social media.  The paid version of the app, TripIt Pro, is $4.09 a month and offers advanced features like real-time flight alerts, fare refund notices, and tracking of reward-program points.

WeatherPro

Developed by MeteoGroup (which is the number one private weather provider in Europe), WeatherPro is a powerful app that offers seven-day forecasts and weather reports for more than two million locations around the world.  WeatherPro ensures that business travelers know what to expect when they arrive in their destination city, and for only $2.99, it is an inexpensive tool that ensures travelers pack everything they need for success.

CityMapper

CityMapper was originally developed for commuters but is used frequently today by business travelers everywhere to get around their destination city just like a local.  Currently in 31 cities around the world (with plans for future expansion), CityMapper is an easy to operate, free app that gives users the best point-to-point directions with the available public transportation options.  For cities that offer a bike share program like London and San Francisco, it pinpoints the whereabouts of all bike locations and includes how many bikes are available.

LiveTrekker

The developers of LiveTrekker promise a solution for travelers who end up creating a large amount of data and digital content on their journey, utilizing the help of high quality maps that friends and family can also access.  By employing precise GPS technology, LiveTrekker allows users to take pictures and video of specific locations with the added bonus of commenting à la most social media platforms. For the busy business traveler that may not get much free time, this is an easy way to keep track of the many sights that are quickly experienced during a business trip.

App in the Air

App in the Air is billed as the personal flight assistant that makes sure users don’t miss another flight.  In addition to keeping track of everything related to the flight—even including the type of aircraft used— App in the Air offers information on airports, weather, and the local currency for the frequent business traveler. The app can be used with TripIt to sync flights and travel information allowing for easy organization, but perhaps most useful for the busy business traveler is the Timeline feature, which keeps a timer for when check in for flights start, when check-in closes, and the terminal location.

Safe travels!

 

Hating the Wait? Here’s How to Bypass Your TSA Troubles

The Today Show has been airing story after story about the country-wide struggles that have plagued the TSA over the past few months, and while there will always be a vocal group on social media that’s ready to decry the shortcomings of airport security, some of the statistics presented in their latest reports were eye-catching.

Evidently 35% of people who work for TSA quit within the first year, with an average 117 people each week walking off the job. The agency’s spike in employee turnover is occurring at the worst possible time for travelers in the US, which has seen a 7% increase in the number of passengers so far this year in comparison to 2015 numbers. One of the latest debacles occurred recently in Phoenix, where 3,000 checked bags weren’t able to get to their flights in time due to a screening error by TSA employees. Their miscue was made worse when each of the 3,000 bags had to be shuttled to either San Diego or Tuscon for their eventual sorting and shipment, since PHX didn’t have the capacity to screen for explosives.

All this commotion is troubling for the frequent traveler, and only re-enforces our belief that those who spend a lot of time in airports should be utilizing every time-saving step they can. To avoid long lines, there still remains two prominent avenues for riders worrying about the wait.   

  • TSA Pre-Check: You might be crabby for having to spend $85 and a couple hours with the very organization you’re trying to circumvent in the first place, but TSA’s in-house pre-screening program is still truly the best way to avoid the worst part of the airport lines. With availability in 160 airports and 12 different airlines nationwide, it’s easily the most wide-spread option available at the moment. It’s basically the airplane equivalent of paying Disney for a FastPass.
  • CLEAR: A third-party player in the game of security bypassing, CLEAR is a bit pricier ($179 per year, whereas that $85 charge covers your for five years) of a service but is much easier to deal with from a logistical standpoint. Their spiffy 30-second spot brims with an electro-house thump that might not really get that specific point across, but CLEAR’s sign-up process is a relatively quick in-and-out procedure. You’ll still have to visit the airport to wrap up your application for fingerprinting, but it’s really only a 5-minute stop that’s available at multiple locations in each airport they service—which is 13, as of today.

We hope your future travels are line-, stress-, and delay-free.

 

 

Introducing WingzAround in Austin

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Last week we launched our airport ride service in Austin and received a Texas-sized welcome.

That same week, some pretty weird stuff was happening:

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The departure of certain on-demand, ride-sharing services left a ton of Austin riders stranded and a lot of drivers out of work. To help out, we’ve expedited our Austin beta launch of WingzAround, the private car service for around town and beyond.

Just like our airport ride service, WingzAround takes the stress out of getting to and from wherever you need to go—a concert, business meeting, sporting event, doctor’s appointment, or special event.

With advanced booking, flat-rate pricing, and trusted drivers, you can rest easy knowing a friendly driver will be waiting for you… not the other way around. And, once you ride with Wingz, you can request your favorite driver for a more personal experience.


3 easy steps to book your WingzAround ride (During Beta Only)

In a few weeks, you’ll be able to book directly in our app.

  1. Send us a ride request message through WingzAround page on our website or on Facebook messenger.
  1. We will ask you for all your ride details.
  1. You’ll receive a confirmation along with a set price quote for your approval.

Wingz Tip: Please book as far in advance as possible (at least 2 hours before pickup time. 24 – 48 hours in advance is even better.)


Just to be uber-clear: Wingz is booked in advance, not on-demand. The reason is simple—advanced booking takes the stress out of wondering if a driver will be available when you need it.

And to really lyft your spirits: Wingz has flat-rate pricing so you always know the price before you go. We send you a quote for your approval and that’s exactly the price you’ll pay. And it’s way less expensive than a town car. While we’re happy to drive you shorter distances, WingzAround does have a $15 minimum.

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Now sit back and get ready to enjoy the ride!

The Wingz Team

 

An Accelerated Takeoff in Austin

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If you call the greater Austin area home, you’ve no doubt heard the latest news about the suspension of service by both Uber and Lyft. Though they may be gone from the terrific Texan capital, we’re happy to declare that Wingz is back operating in this beautiful city for good, with no plans to pull out.

In fact, due to this latest overwhelming spike in demand, we’ve sent a significant portion of the Wingz team down to the Lone Star State to help onboard as many drivers with our platform as quickly as possible. And while we most definitely will be increasing our presence in Austin quantitatively, we’re still completely committed to having the highest quality drivers and cars in the city—especially if fingerprinting new operators helps accomplish that.

This exciting time will hopefully be free of growing pains, but if you find yourself in need of some help, have any complaints, or want to send over any specific requests, feel free to contact us via the @WingzSupport twitter handle or via email at ask@wingz.com for all things customer service.

The most exciting part of all of this is how much we still have to show you. We have cool upcoming new features, programs, and other special add-ons to the Wingz app, so for those Austinites who are just finding out about Wingz now—keep your ears to the ground to hear what’s coming up!

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and Wingz is no exception.

 

 

5 Last-Minute Mother’s Day Gifts You Can Carry on a Plane

Mother’s Day is this weekend and the best gift is spending time together, but  you probably do not want to show up empty handed! For those who live a plane-ride away from their mom and are flying home to see her this weekend, first of all – great work! However, chances are you won’t be checking a bag. Here are five gift ideas you can easily take along in your carry on.

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1. Family photos / picture books

If you happen to live far away from your mom, then the next best thing to seeing you in person is having reminders of you around the home. Framed pictures of fun memories are always great, but glass can be difficult to travel with on a plane. Picture books from 23 Snaps or Shutterfly make for an excellent alternative, and your mom will always be looking for an excuse to show them off.

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2. Artisanal soap

What mom doesn’t love fancy soap? Of course, most mothers are too practical to buy it for themselves, which is where you come in. Artisanal soaps like the ones sold by Lush – especially its Mother’s Day collection – can be a great way to spoil your mom without breaking the bank.

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3. Perfume sampler

Perfume is a classic gift for any occasion, and most sample packs come in bottles that are packaged against spills and are small enough to be safely stored in carry on bags. Buying new perfume can be tricky if you don’t know exactly what type of fragrance someone will like, but sample packs come with a variety of scents to try out. If she really likes one, that makes your next gift choice even easier!

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4. Jewelry

Diamonds are a Mom’s best friend. Kidding! Kind of… Few mothers would turn down new jewelry, and it is small and light enough to safely pack away in your carry on or even in your pocket if you want to be extra secure. Many stores have good deals on jewelry for Mother’s Day, and you can be sure that she will always think of you whenever she wears it.

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5. Tea accessories

Plenty moms happen to be avid tea drinkers, which makes tea accessories a great gift choice if you want to get something she can use every day. Accessories like this insulated tea infusing bottle can brew amazing tea while also keeping it hot for hours.

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Of course, you are aren’t able to bring a gift, don’t worry about it! She’s your Mom. Your presence is her present. She will be happy to be spending the day with you!

Safe travels this weekend and just remember – if you need a ride to or from the airport, ride with Wingz.

 

New Look. New Feel. New Wingz.

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We just unveiled our new identity – one that truly reflects what Wingz is all about.

Our new logo represents the three pillars of the company: Our riders, our drivers, and our team.

The three green lines that make up the “wing” symbolize these pillars:

  • You, whose loyalty and feedback keep us constantly striving for improvement.
  • Our drivers, whose kindness and dedication keep you coming back for more.
  • Our team, whose work ethic and enthusiasm keep our engine running and in full swing.

Without you, without them, there is no Wingz.

Each is critical to the others’ success. Our logo and new identity embody this.

You may also notice that the lines are in the shape of a check mark, which reflects the reliability of our service. Book your ride with Wingz and know that your driver will be ready when you are.

New look, new feel. Welcome to the new Wingz! We hope you enjoy the ride as much as we do.

Wingz Up!
The @WingzTeam

 

Wingz becomes first Transportation Network Company to obtain a permit to operate at San Jose International Airport

Today, we are thrilled to announce an agreement with Mineta San Jose International Airport, which now allows Wingz to operate at their airport. This permit makes Wingz the first TNC to provide ground transportation to and from SJC. Wingz drivers are now permitted to drop off and pick up customers at Silicon Valley’s major airport, making travel to and from SJC even easier than before.

Wingz is also the only ride-sharing TNC that allows travelers to pre-schedule door-to-door airport rides.

“I am thankful to Wingz, Airport staff and the San José Mayor and Council for their thoughtful approach and collaborative efforts to offer the first Transportation Networking Company services to our travelers,” said Director of Aviation, Kim Becker. “Allowing TNCs to operate at Silicon Valley’s airport has always been a priority, and now we are able to ensure the safety and security of our travelers with this newly approved business model for SJC.”

“We are thrilled to expand our service to the South Bay through San Jose International Airport,” said Wingz co-founder and CEO, Geoff Mathieux. “We praise the city of San Jose and airport officials for their collaboration and open mindedness in authorizing Wingz to provide a unique ground transportation service to people who live in or visit Silicon Valley.”

Thanks to Wingz, you no longer have to ask yourself “How to get from San Jose airport to San Francisco?”. In fact, we now provide services to and from airports across the entire Bay Area.

Wingz’s technology allows travelers to schedule their airport ride days or weeks in advance of their planned travel date – eliminating any unexpected costs and unpredictability associated with on-demand transportation. The price and driver profile are provided for the passenger at the time of booking, creating a relationship based on trust and peace of mind. Wingz offers you the convenience of a private car at the price of a shuttle to SJC.

Wingz is collaborating with cities, states and airport officials across the country to bring its service to travelers nationwide.

 

Adding Wingz to Dallas Airports

After focusing our efforts on the West Coast, Wingz is moving toward the East Coast. What a better state than Texas to take a break in our cross country journey and open a few more airports? Wingz is excited to announce that its service is now available in Dallas!

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Check out our all inclusive fixed prices to and from Dallas Love Field (DAL), Dallas/Forth Worth International Airport (DFW).

If you are discovering Wingz, you can expect an unique experience when going to/from the airport:

– Private DOOR-TO-DOOR rides.
– Scheduled and get your ride exactly WHERE and WHEN you need it.
– Drivers are all BACKGROUND-CHECKED and INSURED.
– You know the EXACT price before the ride. Everything is included. Tipping optional. NO SURPRISES.
– Pay by credit card, NO CASH.
– Build a relationship with your driver and direct book him for your next ride.

 

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Wingz is the most convenient alternative to taxis, buses and shuttles serving DAL and DFW airports.

Spread the word! Share your referral link with your friends. When they take a ride you each get $10 credited to your account.

Wingz Up!
The @WingzTeam