A Defensive Computing Checklist
by Michael Horowitz
Sept 10, 2022: This page is relatively new and thus there is not much here yet.
- This New York Times article (Aug 2022) says to book directly with the airline/hotel and avoid third party apps and websites. The reason: if something goes wrong, dealing with a middleman just complicates things.
- Google Flights can email you when the air fare for a planned trip goes down. Give it your travel dates and destinations and turn on the option to track prices.
- The SeatGuru website has more detail on airplane seating than the simple diagram that airlines provide. Tell it your flight number and see not only a detailed seating chart, but also tidbits like the seats with extra legroom and those with limited recline or overhead storage.
- If driving, download an off-line map using Google Maps for the areas where you will be.
- If flying, install the app for every airline you plan on using. Also download an off-line Google Map for the area around the airports where you will be.
- In case the trip does not go as planned, install apps for hotel chains, car rental services and trains in the area. Don't just install the apps, it is best to also set up accounts with these companies.
- Take proof of COVID-19 vaccination, both on paper and electronically
From A 5-Step Checklist for Handling Air Travel Woes on the Go by J. D. Biersdorfer
(Aug. 2022). Third-party flight-tracker apps work across multiple airlines and can provide information not found in an airline app, such as data on other flights, airport delays and weather.
- Delta and some other Air Lines use radio-frequency identification tags on checked bags. In their app, look for the "Track My Bags" button. Or, put a Tile or Apple AirTag in checked luggage.
- Both Google Maps and Apple Maps may have maps on airport terminals.
- The QR code on your phone or paper boarding pass contains lots of personal information. Keep it hidden as best you can. Destroy paper boarding passes after the flight.
If you are staying in a Hotel that has an app, you may be able to check in via the app. If so, the sooner you do, the sooner your room will be ready. If you fail to check in, then show up late, the hotel may give away your reservation.
See also the Airbnb topic.
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