SmartPark JFK Parking – Every 7th day free

We decided to give our readers a promo for JFK long term parking. Try it out, post your feedback and tell them we sent you! Here is what SmartPark JFK has to say about JFK parking to the TLV2JFK community:

How smart are you? Pay less for JFK Airport Parking and get more.

June 9, 2009 was the official launch of SmartPark JFK website. The answer to all your airport parking woes.

Easy as 1… 2… 3 to locate at: 123-10 South Conduit Avenue, South Ozone Park, NY 11420, only minutes from JFK Airport. No nonsense, service with a smile to meet all of your 24/7 airport parking needs.

Bringing back the concept of the way it used to be. At our facility you will be received immediately by a member of our highly trained staff on an interpersonal level.  At SmartParkJfk, our priority is for you to be our guest not just another number.

In a rush? No problem. We will expedite all of your forms and paperwork for you and you will be on your way within minutes. A 5-7 minute ride door to terminal. Tired of the old broken down shuttles, no worries, our new, state of the art, plush shuttles and skilled valet drivers will have you riding in style.

As of late, the surrounding parking facilities along with the port authority are raising prices. In this time of economic hardship, we here at SmartParkJfk want to work with you.

We are on a separate road (pun intended) and have lowered our pricing via our “Smart Summer Stimulus Special” from $14.00 per day to a low $12.00 per day, adding only NYC (10.375%) parking tax. Stay with us for 6 days and every 7th day that you leave your vehicle with us, it is a FREE parking day for you.  Go to SmartparkJFK  and make a regular reservation then click here for Special JFK2TLV Coupon for every 7th day free rate.

Running late, flight delays, no worries, we have No late fees for arrival within 5 hours of your confrimed scheduled vehicle pickup.

The 5 Hour Grace period

Online Reservation:

If you make a FREE online reservation, please note that the check in time chosen online will almost always differ from your “Actual” check in time. So, your 29 hours starts from the “Actual” check in time at the SmartPark JFK airport parking facility.

Walk-in Reservation:

A walk-in reservation confirmed check-in time starts your 29 hour clock.

We are here for you and with you to make the anticipated, mundane and usually stressful travel experience, stress free.

Do you own a GPS navigation system; even better, your car will drive you right to our door, just look up to see our Signature cartoon smart, Einstein logo.

Our facility offers an all inclusive service from drop off to pick up with your baggage handling to the terminal if you so choose.

Also added for your convenience is our colorful, yet simple, user friendly website with the easy to see “reserve”, it is as easy as click and reserve, done!

Look for the signature cartoon Einstein logo.  Why Einstein logo you may say, Einstein was intelligent and smart and so are you for using SmartParkJfk.


Enjoy your beach vacation in NY or Israel!

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A look back at 2008, for the TLV to JFK frequent flyer

A look back at 2008, for the TLV to JFK frequent flyer.

Airfare shot up with fuel prices but didn’t really come down. But there have been some good fare sales lately on domestic flights. To save money, airlines charged for everything – from pillows to bags to water to food to movies. That is here to stay.

Free ticket mileage levels went up, and it is as hard to use as ever. Less people are flying, but less planes are flying also. Tickets are available for those willing to make a large effort.

ElAl continues to get away with whatever it wants. Miami, Los Angeles disappear and re-appear from their schedule at will and code share relationships are annulled and consummated, at will. To be fair – if you can read Hebrew and can spot the few pixels ElAl devotes to their “Spontani” offers – you can get a decent last minute (could be a week) fare. And “free” means about $500.

The web gave consumers the power of travel agents. Now, consumers need that, plus the patience of Job and the brains of Albert Einstein (or at least David Mirchin). Navigating between the online travel agents (like Expedia and Priceline), the suppliers (like Jet Blue, Turkish, Continental) and the meta search (Kayak) and playing them one against the other can save $100’s on a ticket to the US. We did. Times 6.

Car rental companies used $147 oil to upsell full tanks. Now they are back to their usual scams. Beware the $13/day GPS. The Zipcar model is starting to be adopted by the big car rental companies.

I discovered airport lounges, in case anyone cares. I also discovered Sequoia trees in Manhattan.

And I stand corrected on one post – you cannot get a free ticket for your 18 year old just by getting a Visa card – could be the tightening of credit or the fact that she has no credit history – but my 18 year old was rejected. Sorry kid – no free trip before the army!

Advice for 2009 – keep on reading this blog and spend time in a spa in Catskill, NY or seeing the San Francisco tourist attractions or just find a few fun things to do in New York City.
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Avis – we try harder (to scam you!)

Avis & friends have this great racket going. $19.95/day and you get a nice fully loaded car. Fully loaded with extra costs, as it turns out. And if you are an “Avis Preferred” customer – you get to skip the lines – and not notice the extra charges.

Todays scam has been reported by a conscientious employee of a large Israeli company (whose Name I Don’t Say). Its pretty simple (below is his receipt from a rental in New York):

If you use an International Israel Visa you get to choose – bill me in (a) Dollars or in (b) Shekels. The answer has no effect on your accounting with the bank – in any case its a foreign transaction and show up in dollars. The right answer is (a) Dollars. If you choose Shekels they convert at a bad rate (about 3% worse). In the example above – they calculated the charge at 3.7111 NIS/$ when the rate was around 3.58. Again – its not a matter of paying in $ or NIS, in which case a conversion premium might be justified. It is just a trick in the calculation – one way our Avis Preferred customer pays $290, the other way $300.

More scam:

1. The default is Shekels. You have to explicitly ask at the counter for Dollars. Only problem is that Avis Preferred customers don’t go to the counter.

2. When you discover it when returning your car there is nothing they can do. You can write a letter. Or argue, miss your flight and then write a letter.

See other posts about Renting cars with priceline, Using Zipcar, Car Rental Refueling Charges, Car Rental Dropoff charges and general scams.

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Car Rental Refueling Charges

Avis and Hertz are making almost as much from oil as Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi.

Second richest royal in the world

The major car rental companies now have a policy where they automatically tack on a gas fee for rentals under 75 or 100 miles. This happens in the parking lot during the 1 minute express return, when you are trying not to forget your laptop, hoping not to miss the flight and your blackberry is buzzing – so Avis gets to have their cake and eat it too. These are your four options:

1. Support America Option. Fill up on gas before the return and pay the gas fee. You paid twice for the same gas, but only one payment goes to ibn Saud. And then please stop reading my blog, sucker!

2. Lazy Option. Don’t buy gas for rentals under the limit (75 or 100 miles). For the approx $15 they charge, you just about break even.

3. What I Would Do Option. Buy gas before returning the car and then make sure they deduct (show them the receipt) the automatic charge.

4. Abbie Hoffman Option. Don’t buy gas. Stop in the nearest gas station and buy a 6 pack of beer. Claim that you bought gas, show the receipt and have the automatic charge deducted. Remember to finish the beer before security or else they will.

What option do you like?

See other posts about Renting cars with priceline, Using Zipcar, Car Rental Dropoff charges and general Car Rental Scams.
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Zipcar – More Convenient and Greener than Avis, etc.

Recently tried Zipcar as an alternative to traditional car rental. It is worth it in cities that have good public transportation, expensive car rental and hard to find (expensive) parking. New York, Boston and Washington DC, definitely qualify. LA , San Jose and Dallas do not.

The idea is that most of your meetings and your hotel is close to public transportation – so you don’t really need (or want) a car. But getting to Rockville or Englewood or Newton requires a car (if you actually want to get there on time). So, you grab a zipcar right near the tunnel – go to you meeting and bring it back. Or take the Metro to avoid city traffic and then zip out to Silver Spring.

Besides being more convenient and greener – it can also be cheaper. Figure $8-$10/hour or $60-$80/day. And gas is on them. There is a $50 annual fee and a $25 one time fee to start. They have a very good website which explains how it all works. I would be interested in hearing from others who have done this.

See other posts about Renting cars with priceline Car Rental Refueling Charges, Car Rental Dropoff charges and general Car Rental Scams.
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TLV JFK – Coming Soon – Our Action Items – Stay Tuned

Last night, after the Mashable Bash in Tel Aviv, I spent some time with some of my old chip design buddies. We talked a lot about blogging and web 2.0 and that you need $80M to do a silicon-related startup. Naturally, since they are all senior managers, they gave me lots of action items for the blog. So, here are some topics that we will be researching and writing about over the coming weeks.

Feel free to comment and offer your help or advice:

  1. Non-US citizens have a big issue with time spent at immigration. People miss connections because of that. The story varies from airport to airport and would be an important factor in choosing a route.
  2. Legroom. Turns out tall people have long legs. And 12 hours is a long time to keep them folded and compressed. Which are the best seats (numbers please) on each of the popular routes. No disinformation to fellow readers, please.
  3. Probability of delay. Sometimes it is worth taking a longer or more expensive flight if the risk of serious delay is lower. Serious delay may mean missing a meeting or a day of work. This is a complex (NP complete?) problem and will probably have to wait until we have an actuary among our contributors.
  4. Non-stop from Europe. Why is there no non-stop flight from Europe to Las Vegas? What other big cities require a US connection?
  5. Online vs. Offline purchases. Everyone selects the best flights online. Where is the best place to buy – Online Travel Agent (Expedia..), Supplier Online (Continental), Offline Travel Agent (Murray).
  6. Alternate cities and drive. For the business traveler who can still afford a few hours of sightseeing. Can’t get a good connection to Seattle. Fly to Portland (PDX) and take a half day to enjoy the 160 miles drive. Lots to see on the way. What are some other good under 200 mile pairs?
  7. Moving around FF points till they are useful. There are lots of ways to transfer points between programs. Maybe you can transfer hard to use points on one airline to another. Requires lots of research.

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Getting to LGA from Manhattan

I usually stay in Manhattan and getting to Newark or Kennedy is easy (max 30 minutes from Penn Station).

This trip – I had to be in LGA at 7am (for an AirTran flight). Cab would probably be at least $40. Israeli car service $30 + tips and tolls. Public transportation is almost non-existent.

This trip – I used Supershuttle. Call 1-800-BLUE-VAN or and they book you a 15 minute slot in a shared van. Time to airport is about 45-60 minutes from Manhattan. Its $18 (including tip) and when you get to the airport your fellow passengers will wish you a good trip. Pass it on.

Price is per person – so if you are not alone – take a cab or Israeli car service.
AND BEWARE – LGA is a really bad airport – lots of delays. Non Existent service in the terminal.

This post is in the category of useful information on the ground. Here is one about buying a mobile phone in the US and this one is how to maximize a new york layover.
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