Beijing Journal

by Ellen Pearlman

Three days before I am to fly to China, I encounter a problem with my ThinkPad.  With the help of Lenovo tech support in Atlanta, Georgia I find out that my ThinkPad’s wireless card has gone POOF.  The day before I am to leave I receive a replacement card.  I call tech support again, and am told to watch the instructional videos on line that show how to remove the …

Global Road Warrior: Phone Home

by Jonathan Spira
Global Road Warrior: Phone Home

It’s been said that the telephone is one of the most important business tools ever invented.  Today, given the popularity of the mobile phone, that statement is more true than ever.
Why is it then that many business travelers fall off the communications grid when they travel internationally?
Perhaps the greatest reason is the fact that the United States has multiple mobile telephone standards (the two most popular are CDMA and GSM, …

Four World Phones

by Jonathan Spira
Four World Phones

RESEARCH IN MOTION BLACKBERRY PEARL
Both T-Mobile and Cingular offer the BlackBerry Pearl by Research in Motion, although only T-Mobile has the new white Pearl.  The Pearl is an 88 gram quad-band device with a 240×260 color display.  It supports GSM/GPRS and EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution) and includes a memory expansion slot for a MicroSD card.  It supports BlackBerry e-mail, public instant messaging via AOL, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo, …

American Airlines New York-JFK to Paris-CDG

by Jonathan Spira
American Airlines New York-JFK to Paris-CDG

Check-in at JFK Terminal 8 was a breeze since American Airlines now allows international travelers to use self-service kiosks. The machine scans your passport and issues a boarding pass after a roving agent verifies your credentials.. This was probably my last Terminal 8 departure as that terminal will soon close. And I will certainly be sad to see it go in some respects, Terminal 8, built in the early 1960s, …

St. Martin’s Lane Hotel, London Review

by Jonathan Spira
St. Martin’s Lane Hotel, London Review

Is it worth staying in a hotel where you truly need a user’s manual for the hotel?  In the case of the St. Martin’s Lane hotel in London, the answer is decidedly yes.  It is also a visual delight with dramatic color and shape throughout the property including the guest rooms.  If you make the effort to learn how certain aspects of the hotel operate, you will find it very …

The Ultimate Business Trip – Munich, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna

by Jonathan Spira
The Ultimate Business Trip – Munich, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna

Business travelers frequently bring home a souvenir or two for family members when visiting interesting destinations.  Twice in the past year I’ve brought home something a bit different – and much larger – but I couldn’t pack it in my rollerboard.
In recent years, savvy business travelers have joined the thousands of Americans who each year take a trip to Munich, Germany with one goal in mind.  Unlike other tourists, …

Holiday Inn München City-Nord Review

by Jonathan Spira
Holiday Inn München City-Nord Review

The Holiday Inn München City-Nord is my Stammhotel, meaning that when I visit Munich, this is where I stay (and where I have been staying for the past 20 years).  It’s not the most luxurious, it isn’t the most elegant, but it is a solid, 3.5 star business hotel that impresses me with friendly staff, unpretentious but sparkling clean rooms, and an 11 meter-long breakfast buffet that is said to …