San Francisco Airport uses tech to meet runway safety standards

For the most part, major airports like San Francisco International avoid closing runways whenever possible. But on May 17, SFO will cut its number of active runways in half just as the summer travel season begins.

The reason isn't the low clouds that often slow air traffic at the Bay Area's largest airport, but rather the last phase of a $214 million project designed to bring SFO's runways up to federal safety standards. Airport officials insist the project will result in only minimal delays, but a looming deadline to complete the work means that the airport has … Read more

Google Street View expands to airports and train stations

Travelers who get lost at airports or train stations can now call on Google Street View to help them find their way.

The ubiquitous mapping service has extended its coverage to 16 international airports, more than 50 train and subway stations, and a cable car platform in Hong Kong. A Google map displays the locations of all the new Street View transit spots.

You can take a virtual panormamic tour of the Waterloo station in London, the terminals of the Tokyo International Airport, the check-in counter at the Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain, and even the inside of a plane at Dubai International Airport.… Read more

Great iOS apps for making holiday travel easier

Traveling can be a headache, especially during big holidays like Thanksgiving. With so many people traveling the country at around the same time, you're faced with packed airports, unforeseen schedule changes, bad weather, and probably more than a few irritable fellow passengers just trying to get home for the holiday.

To keep the stress level at a minimum, I selected some helpful travel apps for iOS that will keep you on schedule and help you navigate your itinerary.

Editors' note: If you're looking for Android travel apps, check out Sarah Mitroff's roundup.

TripIt lets you set up … Read more

Review: Airport City gives you a nifty airline simulator with cool graphics and music

Airport City is a fun airline simulator that is almost as addictive as it is easy to play. It borrows a lot of cues from The Sims series of games while still feeling different enough to keep you interested. It makes running and building an airline fun and exciting. It's worth trying out.

This game puts you in total control of the everyday operations of your very own animated airline. In addition to making the planes run on time, you can repair them, stock your airport with the best restaurants, and even build the surrounding neighborhood. The game owes … Read more

Apple Maps leads drivers onto Alaska airport taxiway

According to Apple Maps, it's 3,550 miles from my house to the Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska. It will take me 64 hours of non-stop driving to get there. Oh, and I'll need to drive down a taxiway used by airplanes to reach my destination.

According to the Alaska Dispatch, an iOS Maps app flaw has led two inattentive out-of-town drivers to unquestioningly follow their iPhones down Taxiway B over the last few weeks, despite a gate and sign meant to deter exactly that sort of behavior.… Read more

Get an Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station router for $74.99

What's your router situation like? Need something newer, faster, better than your pokey old 802.11g model?

For a limited time, and while supplies last, DealFisher has the refurbished Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station router for $74.99 shipped. (This is the older, fifth-gen version, not the updated 2013 version for $199.) That's $25 less than Apple charges for a refurb and nearly $100 less than you'd pay for a new one.

Though designed by Apple, the AirPort works with any home network for any connected devices. It supports 802.11 a/b/g/n and features … Read more

Bomb-detecting lasers could be next for carry-on luggage

Your carry-on luggage and electronics are already intimately familiar with airport X-ray machines. But just when you thought wait times couldn't get any longer, they may one day be subjected to another check: bomb-detecting lasers.

Researchers at Michigan State University have developed a low-energy laser that can pick up minute amounts of chemical explosives on luggage and clothing.

Doubtless we would all love to see raygun-wielding TSA staff, but the bomb-detecting light would probably be used in a conveyor-belt system. … Read more

Singapore: World's most awesome airport gets awesomer

Last time I was at Singapore's Changi Airport, I was waiting for my flight by relaxing at the swimming pool and sipping a Singapore Sling. I really didn't want to leave.

Brimming with gorgeous tropical plants and stress-busting recliners, with an easy rail link to downtown, Changi is the most heavenly airport I've ever been to. It's almost a vacation unto itself, and makes some world air hubs feel like, well, hell.

And though it often tops lists like the World Airport Awards, it's now adding a futuristic pleasure dome to ensure its global dominance: Project Jewel. … Read more

U.S. airport-security agency fills Instagram feed with photos of guns and grenades

Short on good Instagram feeds to follow? Well, the Transportation Security Administration certainly has a colorful new account.

Peppered with images of Bowie knifes, handguns, grenades, and more, this account specifically features "prohibited items found at TSA checkpoints."

The TSA recently opened its Instagram account and posted its first photo on Saturday. The inaugural image is a collage of fireworks with the statement "#Fireworks don't fly. (On planes)." One of the photos in the collage also shows brass knuckles.

Other images in the feed include a bayonet and throwing knife discovered at the Long Beach … Read more

Apple's 802.11ac-enabled Time Capsule is fast and beautiful but lacks originality

You likely won't recognize Apple's fifth-generation AirPort Time Capsule, and you definitely won't be able to distinguish it from the new AirPort Extreme Base Station, either.

For the first time since the introduction of Apple's AirPort networking devices, the two share the exact physical shape and size. In fact, other than the internal storage -- which only the Time Capsule has -- they are virtually the same.

Compared with the previous generation, the new Time Capsule is much more compact and noticeably better looking. On top of that, it now supports the new 802.11ac Wi-FiRead more