Fast and Easy Airport Trips

With the Uber app (ok, maybe Lyft) nestled in both our minds and our iPhones, we usually have devices drawn and swiped before even finalizing our destination. The old world of calling a taxi (“crap they aren’t answering…”), waiting on hold (“we are experiencing longer delays than usual…”), then checking back to see where the heck he is (“he should be there by now…”), then fumbling for some cash (“are you sure you don’t take credit cards…”) is mercifully behind us.

The system has made us all winners (well maybe not the taxi owners) and hopefully the small issue of Uber losing a fortune each year won’t end the party. The taxi companies are adding mobile apps, so even if Uber fails, hopefully we won’t have to return to the taxi-hailing and tracking approaches of the Jurassic era.

Avoid Uber surge pricing and long waits

But the new world sometimes falls apart when travelling to and from airports. They tend to plant airports miles (ok, kilometers) from where you need to go in your home or destination city, and massive numbers of travelers push Uber into surge pricing. Net result is a nasty road bill at either or both ends of your air travel. Not the usual $9 Uber ride. And once the Uber habit embeds itself in your id, there is a tendency to not even check the prices.

Then there is the issue of snow, sleet, and other weather delays on the way from city to airport or vice versa. Sometimes an accident impedes the progress even more. Anything to do with airports involves deadlines and rushing around trying to get somewhere and none of this is helpful. And good luck trying to click off a few emails as your Uber driver yaks on the phone, swerves through traffic, cranks his rap favorites or (even worse) tries to make conversation.

Wait, what’s that big curved concrete thing connected to the airport?

It’s an airport-rail link. A brilliant way to get from the airport to downtown or back. Smooth, quiet, fast. There may be traffic, but it’s way over there and out of the way. There could be weather, but it’s not slowing us down. Loud rap music? Maybe, but its travelling from headphones direct to brain. Someone else’s.

Some of these sleek rolling beasts even have wifi for a little extra connect time. A productivity boost. Or skip the wifi and opt for some conversation with your travelling mate. Or use the 20 minutes to log some time with your Headspace meditation app to Zen yourself prior to the big sales call.

For fun, turn on your Waze app and check the speed. Glance over at the stalled traffic. Back to the Waze speedo. Love it. Sometimes the trains are speeding relative to the nearby posted highway signs. Legally. Because, being on trains, hey we can do that.

Next trip, see if there is an air-rail link that can help you get from home to the airport, or airport into your destination city. In Toronto, the difference can be $100 or so with the Union Pearson link being just $12 a ticket. A big deal? Not really, but a nice tweak that can help ease some stress and get you there on time.

Where can I streamline my airport trips?

Chicago, London, Barcelona, Kuala Lumpur, Toronto, Tokyo, you name it. Even Pyongyang has one (although there are other issues there). And more being built all the time. Give one a try and let me know what you think.

Do I take the rail link every trip? Nope. Heading to Whistler from Toronto with 2 pairs of skis, a boot backpack, suitcase and laptop bag, I opted for the door-to-door ease of an Uber. But with just a laptop bag, I am on the air-rail link. Usually faster than a door-to-door Uber. And the walk from the train to the last-mile Uber helps me close the activity rings on my Apple Watch.

Air-rail links are a good quick transportation improvement and can free up a bit of cash. For more than $2 Million of wealth-building ideas, check out Cashflow Cookbook.

 

 

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