1. The slow movement toward light travel and convenience

    2012/05/22 by admin

    Check this out from our friends in the UK! at www.dutyfreeonarrival.com 18/5/12

    Media/Blog release: Airport Shopping.

    Have EU Airports finally opened their retail Pandora’s Box?

    When did you last go shopping and see a marketing campaign by the mall telling you that “you
    are allowed to carry your shopping home with you”? That’s exactly what Spain’s airport monopoly
    company AENA did last week, with a widespread poster and PR campaign directed at airline carry-
    on baggage rules, allegedly imposed by some of Europe’s budget airlines like the much maligned
    Ryanair.

    A feud between low-cost carriers and some European airports has been festering for some time and
    now the EU, in the name of UK Midlands Conservative MEP Philip Bradbourn, has stepped in to “help
    the consumer with their airport shopping”. In tangent with the Spanish Airport campaign, Britain’s
    European Tory MEP’s issued an official statement as to their intent to rescue the revenues being lost
    by Regional Airports, with a motion designed to protect both the airport and consumer. In particular,
    the motion sponsored by MEP Bradbourn, names the airline carry-on baggage restrictions as the
    single most important threat to airport profits.

    Meanwhile, it seems to have escaped both the Tory and Spanish airport media machine that yet
    another low-cost airline, Britain’s “BMI Baby” is shortly to close due to an unsustainable financial
    model and that the loss of passengers, rather than loss of shopping bags, may be a greater threat to
    regional airport revenues.

    Ironically, IAG (International Airlines Group), who now own British Airways and Iberia, the very
    airlines who dominate British and Spanish airports, decided to close their recently acquired low-cost
    airline, purchased through the takeover of BMI (British Midland) from Lufthansa.

    And, where did BMI Baby have much of their traffic?

    Through the very regional airports that MEP Bradbourn is seeking to protect, Britain’s Birmingham
    and East Midlands airports. The greater irony is that whilst these local authority run airports
    dashed to replace their suddenly lost revenues, (some of which goes within 4 weeks of the closure
    announcement), the only solvent airlines appearing to step in to the breach were Ryanair and
    Monarch Airlines, both of whom appear to restrict on board carry-on luggage and are the very target
    of MEP Bradbourn’s motion.

    Meanwhile, the coordinated PR campaign by the Tories and Spanish Airports, structured in a fashion
    to be consumer friendly, seems to have misfired if you take a straw poll of online forum comments.

    Posters responding to the EU baggage statement, reported by the authoritative website The
    European Voice, showed their disdain for MEP Bradbourn’s initiative. One poster showed his fury at
    the ludicrous EU idea to weigh baggage on arrival rather than on departure, stating “my objective is
    get home quickly, not to wait in line in the baggage hall. These EU politicians should lobby for a pay
    cut”.

    Another, stated dismay at the EU Politicians desire to destroy the low-cost airline model which has
    reduced prices and increased competition in the travel market.

    Ivor Smith, Founder of the website dutyfreeonarrival.com who met MEP Bradbourn at his Strasbourg

    seat said, “MEP Bradbourn, who told me of his disdain for airlines who deliberately impose baggage
    rules to increase their on-board sales, whilst inhibiting those at airports, didn’t seem to know that
    alcohol and tobacco was not sold on any intra-EU flight. He also appeared not to understand that
    all sales within the EU are not duty free or tax-free at all and that airports already had a 60%
    share of the market versus 7% share by airlines. Bradbourn is my local Constituent MEP, yet for 6
    weeks he avoided me. I had to find my way to Strasbourg to meet him and discover that he had
    no proper understanding, nor apparent interest in the actual market scenario. It was clear to me
    that he thought he had struck on a vote-winner, but he hadn’t properly understood how the market
    functions.”

    It would seem that Messrs Bradbourn, UK Tory MEP’s, AENA or the Regional Airports have yet to
    grasp the huge growth and consumer demand for online retail and how modern technology and
    smartphone usage can facilitate a solution to this impasse, without the need for legislation and
    without the need to carry anything on board aircraft as all these goods can now be ordered online
    and delivered on arrival, or to the travellers home.

    Perhaps now the Regulators and Monopolies have opened their retail Pandora’s Box, by admitting
    that they are more interested in airport shopping than smooth passenger transit, consumer opinion
    will order online and vote with their fingers and thumbs on their keyboards, rather than with their
    airport shopping bags.

    Check here to find where you can order, buy and receive delivery of your duty free shopping on
    arrival.

    ___

    Arrivals Duty Free Limited, PO Box 10965, Solihull, B91 3WN.

    Tel: 0121 314 2003 email: info@dutyfreeonarrival.com

    http://arrivalsdutyfree.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/have-eu-airports-finally-opened-their.html

    http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2012/may/meps-criticise-behaviour-of-low-cost-airlines/
    74325.aspx


  2. Europe – Much further ahead!

    2012/02/27 by admin
    Modern Technology can resolve the “one-bag battle”EU airports and retailers are pressing the Brussels Transport Committee for the abolition of the “one-bag carry-on rule” imposed by some airlines. March 27th was the first date for a debate surrounding the Motion proposed by EU Tory MEP Philip Bradbourn, “on the future of regional airports and air services in the EU”. The motion specifically mentions the removal of “the onerous one-bag rule” and the apparent affect on airport retail sales.

  3. Media interest from Russia

    2011/03/06 by admin

    Click here to see the article. It is also pasted below. The best thing about the article is that they like the idea of zerobaggage. However much of the information, many translations and second hand sources, is not accurate but the point is this:

    “Людям нравится идея бизнеса, поэтому стоит задуматься о ее тиражировании и в других странах. // People like the idea of (this) business, so you should think about its replication in other countries.”

    Thanks Russia! (more…)


  4. Excellent Article Regarding Luggage and Carry-On baggage

    by admin

    This Article gives an excellent account, and clarity to, the current situation in Europe regarding luggage and carry-on baggage allowances. It also mentions us. Below is the text from the article:
    ——————————————-
    Easter flyers braced for an airline, airport security and baggage muddle.

    April’s air travellers flying to, from and through The European Union will find themselves caught in the crossfire of a political and bureaucratic transport struggle this Easter, all centred around in-flight baggage allowances, security and the transit of liquids, known as “LAGS”. (Liquids, aerosols, gels).

    Different transport industry sectors, regulators and industry lobbyists are all colliding at a perfect time to meet the Easter holiday rush with a confusing and conflicting array of interests and policies. The EU Transport Commissioners have already set their deadline as April 29 for the phased re-introduction of liquids (LAGS) through airports and onto aircraft. But, only last week Airports Council North America spokesman Christopher Bidwell commented in The Washington Examiner, stating their reticence to accept the policy. This is due to the new security equipment, which will be used to screen liquids for explosives, not being fully tested and not yet properly certified. He also said that it was unclear whether the TSA would accept the arrival and transit of duty-free or other liquids into the USA from Europe or beyond.

    At the same time, Keith Spinks a spokesman for ETRC, a European duty-free retail lobby group, was quoted in Duty Free News International with regard to their meeting with EU Transport and Consumer Officials saying, “Our concerns were taken on board and now we are wondering what next steps to take with the Commission.

    The most pressing issue we have at the moment is those low-cost carriers that are restricting hand luggage, which directly restricts the commercial activities at airports.” This campaign refers to their desire to pressure low-cost airlines, such as Ryanair, into relaxing their “one bag rule” restrictions. Ryanair and other LCC’s are yet to enter the debate, but expect a media firestorm when Michael O’Leary joins the fray.

    In the Irish Mayo Advertiser (Feb 11th) Jim Higgins, North West MEP , has confirmed the lifting of the ban by transfer passengers within the EU in April-with the ban on all travelling with liquids and gels to be lifted by 2013. Crucially, (it stated) other major markets, notably the USA, Canada and Australia are not lifting restrictions for duty free items bought in Europe as US airport officials are concerned that this would create a security gap and may confuse travellers to their country. Thus, passengers travelling to these countries and then transferring will not be able to carry purchases acquired in European duty free shops. Higgins has written to the Transport Commissioners asking them to review in-flight baggage rules.

    So, where does this leave the traveller from Easter and through the summer peak season? Ivor Smith Founder of dutyfreeonarrival.com says “duty free in Europe was abolished over 10 years ago, any goods sold from airports to intra-EU travellers can be (just as) easily sold to passengers inbound on the ground and in the arrival hall. There is no longer the need for goods to be sold outbound and exported, unlike the legislation for proper non-EU duty free sales to far off destinations. In fact, EU airports are moving apace to open baggage hall shops, nearly every major UK airport terminal now has one.” Smith cannot understand why The EU Transport Commission wants to penalise airlines for their carbon use, whilst trying to force them to carry more unnecessary weight on-board. He said “the Politicians seem to prefer the PR to the practicalities”.

    Catharine MacIntosh runs the website zerobaggage.com from Canada, where the Government is actively reviewing a policy to reverse the duty free modus operandi and introduce airport arrivals duty free shopping. On her recent blog post referring to this debate “Less baggage should increase airport revenue” she thinks that airports may be missing a huge opportunity for extra revenues, whilst the general trend is to travel light. Meanwhile other duty free and air travel related web sites are now emerging, suitearrival.com, taxfreetravel.com, luggagelimits.com and onebagger.squarepace.com all address the subject of light air travel rules and regulation. ACI have published a document on the web called “Liquids, Aerosols,& Gels. Myths and Realities”.

    Clearly, there is now a web market for this widely discussed and confusing subject for flyers and perhaps the free enterprise of the internet through travel bloggers and web sites, will be a solution to help, inform and advise them. Meanwhile, the Politicians seem to be muddling the issue with their attempts to assist travelers.

    You can check before you fly all world airport arrivals duty free shops at http://www.dutyfreeonarrival.com/en/home/


  5. Less baggage should increase airport revenue.

    2011/03/03 by admin
    This Article titled “EC considers one-bag rule’s threat to duty-free” by Bill Lumley. Here he writes,
    “The European Travel Retail Council (ETRC) is considering how to advance the progress it has made within the European Commission following talks with the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs about the threat presented to duty-free by the one-bag rule imposed by a growing number of low-cost carriers.”
    Does it make sense to buy things at the airport and take them ON the plane? What if people could just pick them up when they got off the flight? Or better yet, have them waiting in the trunk of their car rental? Or in their hotel suite? (See this innovative company, suite arrival or Rent the runway).
    It is an opportunity for airports to attempt to sell to passengers upon arrival, not departure. Are they missing this huge opportunity? Does anyone recognize it? We do not believe that encouraging airlines (and in cases pressuring airlines) to allow more checked and carry-on passenger luggage is a good thing. It is not good for airports, passengers, airlines, or cities. We do not understand how inter-EU flights, presumably not eligible duty-free flights, could benefit from this policy regardless.
    Our service would see travellers travelling with as little as possible. We will have services available to aid in this that will be available with the next year to five years.  So although we have not yet launched it is our belief moves toward “heavy” travel will negatively affect the travel industry as a whole.
    If airports turned to the much brighter potential for some kind of duty-free (or its equal) upon arrival they may have a much better chance at doing a number of great things:
    1. Conveniently connecting arriving / returning passengers with what is available locally, upon arrival.
    2. (Airports) Acting as Ambassadorial portals to the greater city / country experience of the home country. For example getting off the plane and experiencing the food, fabric (clothing) and culture of the that place. Living it while you are there.
    3. Promoting lighter travel, which is better on many levels. It ultimately benefits flyers, flights, airports, and the environment. (Jet fuel burned at high altitudes is worse than fuel burned by ground transportation.)
    Ultimately we feel that Europe, always so much on the cutting edge of technology and innovation, may actually have it backwards on this issue. We believe their innovative low-cost carriers certainly have it right.  How can promoting the heavy policy of more baggage be good for anyone? If the sole purpose of “heavy travel” is to increase spending at airports we suggest this must be re-imagined. By imagining how the airport can be the gateway to the city? By innovating new ways in which the airport can prosper?
    It is our view that if certain airports and government bodies do not innovate it will be to their detriment. The evolution of the travel experience will occur. The question is, “Will airports take a positive and active role in this evolution”?  Or will commerce happen in the air, online during the flight , and completely circumvent the airport?
    zerobaggage promotes lighter travel.  Any way in which people can travel with less, we view as a positive direction forward.

  6. Update and zerobaggage symbol

    2010/03/21 by admin

    On March 26th Catharine MacIntosh will be giving a presentation on zerobaggage to the second year MBA’s at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. We will post her presentation ( if it can successfully be recorded). Stay tuned.

    Also the zerobaggage symbol – which is a simple horizontal line with a circle through it – was beautifully captured by Toronto Artist Colin Stark in this photo of man-made nature. We thought it fitting as one the best forms of zerobaggage transportation IS the bicycle!


  7. Reforma Newspaper Article – Mexico City (text below)

    2010/02/25 by admin

    This article came from a request from Sergio Zepeda de Alba, of Reforma Newspaper in Mexico City. We had a lovely telephone conversation and this article is the result.

    Adiós a los kilos extras

    Renta ropa a través de la red y recíbela en tu hotel para cargar con casi nada Sergio Zepeda de Alba Voló entre Canadá y Holanda na- da más con su equipaje de mano. Cuando Catharine MacIntosh se preparaba para abandonar Ho- landa, en el 2007, los elementos de seguridad del aeropuerto la re- tuvieron por 20 minutos: no po- dían creer que hubiera pasado 10 días sólo con una maletita. En esa ocasión, una amiga holandesa le había prestado la mayoría de su ropa, y mientras estaba detenida Catharine pensó que sería perfecto si todos pudie- ran viajar con poco equipaje.

    “Vi a todos esperar en la fila, registrar sus maletas y recogerlas después… Nadie estaba pensando en otra posibilidad”, relata la dise- ñadora residente de Toronto.

    Luego de barajar ideas du- rante unos días, creó Zerobaggage, un portal en internet que en noviembre de 2010 permitirá a los viajeros rentar y comprar ropa en distintas ciudades por sólo una fracción del costo original. Los usuarios se registrarán gratis en el sitio y buscarán en una tienda virtual la ropa, nueva o usa- da, que se ajuste a sus necesidades. Una vez que lleguen a la ciudad, podrán pasar por ella a la tienda o los encargados de la pá- gina la entregarán en el hotel. Para quienes crean que su armario no basta, zerobagge.com también será un clóset virtual.

    “Si viajas frecuentemente a ciertas ciudades, guarda algunas cosas en nuestro casillero, avísa- nos cuándo arribarás y nos ase- guraremos de que tus artículos estén limpios y listos en tu habi- tación”, se lee en el portal. Catharine compara su idea con aplicaciones como Zimride, que se usa para compartir autos, y con redes sociales como Facebook.

    “Mi visión es que los viajeros y mochileros que están a gusto con este modelo de préstamo tam- bién puedan conectarse con otros perfiles de Zerobaggage. Si voy a Ámsterdam y ahí hay dos muje- res que son de mi tamaño y pe- so aproximado, podré compartir con ellas”, ejemplifica. Además, dos personas en la misma ciudad podrían ponersed Lleva lo menos posible, y ahorra tiempo, dinero y esfuerzo. de acuerdo para tener un vestua- rio mucho más completo.

    Pero no se trata de vivir de pres- tado. Los viajeros también podrán estrenar guardarropa cada que vayan a un destino Zerobaggage.

    Un vestido de 600 dólares, por ejemplo, podría adquirirse por sólo 150, con la ventaja de que no hay que regresar con el bul- to de regreso. Cuando los viaje- ros lleguen al hotel, la ropa esta- rá en su habitación y cuando par- tan, el personal de Zerobaggage la recogerá.

    Al devolver las prendas recién estrenadas, otros podrán hacer uso de ellas por un costo mucho menor. Catharine argumenta que si el tiempo de vida de una pren- da es mayor, su costo disminuirá.

    “Antes, o podías comprar un traje nuevo de mil 200 dólares o no podías. Con Zerobaggage pue- des pedir artículos ‘prestados’ por una tarifa mucho menor y no tie- nes que ser dueño de ellas: esto te permite ser más, con menos”, ex- plica en su portal.

    Aunque Catharine ha plan- teado su página para funcionar en dos ciudades: Toronto (Canadá) y Gold Coast (Australia) la idea es sumar el mayor número de des- tinos posible, desde Dublín (Irlan- da) hasta Dubai (Emiratos Árabes).


  8. Pack Lighter and Save Money by Renting

    2010/01/15 by admin

    Only go hiking once a year? Think you won’t need that expensive digital camera after your once-in-a-lifetime trip? Don’t really want to invest in a snowsuit for your biannual ski trip? Instead of buying all the expensive equipment you need for a trip, rent it.

    Over the past few weeks I’ve discovered you can rent nearly anything, from the obvious to the obscure. Renting is not only a good alternative to packing, it’s also a great way to try the latest gear and gadgets before you buy them.

    I’ve divided rentable items into categories, including entertainment, electronics, car items, camping and hiking equipment, clothing, baby items, bikes, pets, and places. However, this is just a sampling of what’s available. Sites such as Rentoid, erento, and iLetYou all have slogans that center around a “rent anything” principle.

    Entertainment

    InMotion Entertainment has stores at major airports across the country, including Chicago, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, and Tampa. You can rent portable DVD players and DVDs and then return them to any InMotion location, or ship them back in a prepaid envelope.

    There’s also Redbox, the large red boxes filled with DVDs available for rent. More and more are popping up at airports, but if you’re heading away for a long period of time with no Redbox to return your movie to, you may end up paying more than you’d like.

    Libraries provide a free source of entertainment, including books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines. Oftentimes, if you’re not taking out newly released material, you can extend your due date and avoid any overdue fines. It’s also handy to photocopy pages out of travel guides that may help you on your trip.

    Electronics

    You may not want to pay the monthly bill for an iPhone, but they’re pretty darn handy to have while travelling. That’s where iphoneTrip can help. This site allows you to rent an iPhone for your trip, so you have all those cool features like maps, translators, and flight trackers that can keep a vacation running smoothly.

    RentCell offers phones, and also has GPS and laptop rentals. For video and digital camera rentals, erento has a variety of options, including accessories such as tripods and lenses.

    Car Items

    Car rental companies usually offer items such as ski racks, GPS devices, and car seats for children. Budget has a list of products that will help make your trip easier and offers items such as iPod car charges and MP3 accessories at no extra charge.

    Camping and Hiking Equipment

    REI, a national retailer of outdoor gear, has stores in 28 states. Each store offers equipment rentals, outfitting you with everything from tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags to skis, snowshoes, and paddling and mountaineering gear.

    Lower Gear has similar rentals, but also rents navigational, cooking, and hydration gear, in addition to offering accessories such as lanterns, trekking poles, and multi-use pocket tools. Check with local shops to see if hiking shoes are available for rent.

    Clothing

    The concept of travelling light is nothing new to Catharine MacIntosh, founder of zerobaggage, who believes “lightness and ease of mobility are a traveler’s best friend.”

    When zerobaggage services become available in Toronto this November, you’ll be able to virtually select items to borrow, and find them waiting in your hotel room, essentially allowing you to travel sans luggage, or with the bare essentials. MacIntosh sees the service as being available to travelers on any budget, since users can select from both new and gently used clothing. And travelers can save not just space, but money too: “We also expect the cost to be less than or equal to the alternative of shipping one’s own luggage, buying things new, or paying for checked luggage.”

    A number of companies offer cold-weather clothing at ski destinations. Goldsmith’s Board House in Big Bear Lake, California; Gravity Jones Ski Werks in Vail and Beaver Creek, Colorado; Appalachian Ski Mountain in Blowing Rock, North Carolina; and Whistler Winter Wear in Whistler, Canada, all provide snow gear rentals if you’re looking to go skiing, but don’t want to bring a snowsuit home. Edge 2 Edge in the U.K. and France has similar services and offers free collection/drop-off at Gatwick or Heathrow airports in London.

    Perform a quick Internet search to find shops at your destination that may offer winter clothing rentals. Even if you aren’t skiing, you can always rent a winter coat to keep warm.

    Beyond the benefit of not lugging a heavy bag through airports, MacIntosh notes borrowing clothing “stimulates the local economy and provides an opportunity for deeper, more meaningful social and cultural exchange” in addition to having a positive social and environmental impact. She describes it as a “shift to ‘less is more.’”

    Baby Items

    Traveling with wee ones may not be the easiest thing to do, but the daunting list of necessary items you’ll need shouldn’t stop you from getting away. BabiesTravelLite features a list of baby equipment rentals by location, including both domestic and international destinations. In addition to its guide to traveling with youngsters, BabiesTravelLite delivers diapers, meals, toys, and other items to your home or destinations worldwide.

    Other websites offer similar delivery services for lighter travel, including JetSetBabies, and BabyPlays, which offers toys for rent.

    Bikes

    Just because you can’t pack one doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy a leisurely ride on your trip.
    Bikes are available for rent in tons of European cities through bike sharing programs, with cities in the U.S. slowly catching on to the trend. Renting a bicycle is an affordable way to see a city, and an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. Clear Channel Outdoors manages several programs including SmartBike in Washington, D.C., as well as services in France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, and Norway.

    The BIXI Public Bike System in Montreal is making its way to London and Boston, while European programs include Villo! in Brussels, Velib’ (website in French with a downloadable informational file in English) in Paris, OYBike in the United Kingdom, Call a Bike in several German cities, City Bikes in Stockholm, bycyklen in Copenhagen, and BikeMi in Milan, among others.

    Many programs have 24-hour, one week, one month, and one year rental fees, while some have by-the-hour options. Bikes in Copenhagen are free, requiring a coin deposit that you get back when you return the bike. Search for a local bicycle shop if the city you’re visiting doesn’t have a bike sharing program, or if the program is seasonal, as in Stockholm and Copenhagen.

    Pets

    Miss your furry companion? While you can stuff Fluffy into a cage and bring her on vacation, rules on where pets can and cannot go may limit your experience. Cat Cafe Calico (the official website is in Japanese) in Tokyo allows you to snuggle up to Mittens and Whiskers while sipping a latte for around $10.

    Places

    Okay, so a place isn’t something you can pack, but it is possible to rent your own island. Private Islands Online features locations off the coasts of Maine, Tanzania, Australia, and everywhere in between, including a listing I found for $945 per week in the British Virgin Islands.

    HouseCarers provides opportunities for house-sitting jobs, so you can truly get to know a place by living in it, while providing security and/or pet care for the home’s owner. The catch with this website is you have to pay $45 per year to list your name on the site as a potential care taker, and you may have to spend time building your reputation as a reliable house sitter.

    More Ways to Pack Light

    While renting is a tempting way to avoid checked-bag fees, it may take awhile to feel comfortable leaving home with only the bare necessities.

    If the thought of renting items makes you hesitate, there are still ways for you to pack light and avoid checking baggage. MacIntosh says, “The key to travelling light is knowing oneself well and bringing what I call crossover items that can have multiple purposes.” She suggests “taking the time to sit and write down each day of your trip and what you might want or need for each day” to figure out what’s best to bring. Packing light is about “getting rid of excess, not going without.”

    Do you have a rental website or store you rely on? What kinds of items have successfully rented or would consider renting? Share your thoughts, experiences, and advice by submitting a comment below!

    January 15, 2010 12:08 pm by Kate Sitarz

    Read original article.


  9. Czechoslovakian Article on zerobaggage: Cestování bez oblečení

    2009/12/04 by admin

    Nebaví vás přenášet těžká zavazadla na letištích, v autobusech a vlacích po celém svět? Zdá se vám drahé s nimi létat?

    Kanadská ponikatelka Catherine Macintoshová vám od toho odpomůže. Zřídila celosvětovou službu půjčování oblečení Zerobaggage.

    Prostřednictvím jejích webových stránek si vyberete z katalogu, co chcete v cílové destinaci na sobě nosit, určíte termín a místo pobytu a oblečení na vás počká v hotelu.


  10. TechVibes Inverview with Karim Kanji

    2009/11/29 by admin

    Luggage-free travel with zerobaggage

    When I was first introduced to Catharine MacIntosh the first thing that came to me was how passionate she was about her business. Ms. MacIntosh is not a person who sees things as they are and complains. She takes action. And she took action. That action resulted in the idea for zerobaggage.

    zerobaggage is not just another Web 2.0 company, but an idea that technology, innovation, and eco-consiousness can merge together to create a positive difference. zerobaggage offers travellers the opportunity to travel without the hassle of baggage. Imagine travelling with only your carry-on? This is the future that people like Ms. MacIntosh are working to make happen.

    Here is my conversation with zerobaggage founder, Catharine MacIntosh.

    Catharine, tell us a little bit about the reason you saw a need for an idea like zerobaggage?

    Old business models are generally based on consumption with planned obsolescence ensuring the repurchase of items and continuation of the cycle. However, this is a closed cycle in which items are purchased, used and discarded. Currently the world is collectively coming to a point where the waste generated is becoming a monumental problem, resulting in a polluted environment and the depletion of essential resources.

    Why specifically target the travel industry?

    zerobaggage is an idea ignited by observing the waste and inefficiencies of travel as it is connected to checked passenger luggage. With the cost of fuel having decreased from its high a year ago the urgency of changing the way we travel has lessened in North America. In Europe and Australia environmental concerns have made the need for efficiency to remain in the foreground. Ryan Air (a British based airline) no longer allows passenger checked luggage on flights and in-cabin carry-on is limited to 8kg per passenger or charged at nine Euro per extra kilogram. In Australia many economy domestic flights do not allow checked passenger luggage. However, in both these cases there is no magic button you can press when ordering your ticket that presents a decent alternative. There are companies that will transport your luggage separately but this is costly and doubly inefficient as you fly two ways and your luggage also flys two ways on separate planes.

    Where does technology and the idea for baggageless travel meet?

    The idea of zerobaggage presumes that everything we have here, wherever we are, is also generally available where we are going in some like form. So why not simply be connected virtually to the local market to which you will be travelling so you can choose and select items, that are already there, for your own use upon arrival? This eliminates the need to buy new things and throw them away when you are done. The zerobaggage primary market allows you to hire items for a fee and once used, cleaned and returned to the system, others can rent them at lower cost.

    Besides the need for less fuel, what other benefits do you see?

    The benefits of this are multifold. The need for quality improves so that items can make it through a continued cycle of rental. Local economies are stimulated by the production and manufacture of items. Socially and culturally people travelling to the destination can take part in the artifacts produced in that place. And environmentally items gain from a cradle to cradle (not cradle to grave) cycle of production. Instead of making financial gains on the sale of an item smaller revenues are collected with each use and over time the financial gains have the potential to double what the initial sale price would have procured.

    You propose to offer various services through zerobaggage that offers users the choice to be socially responsible. Can you expand on some of them?

    So if it were possible to be connected to local items and simply order them online through your account, say through a company such as zerobaggage, then you could try out new things and play with the idea of who you are and what image you would like to project in the place you are travelling to. This is partly the idea of the Virtual Suitcase.

    However, if you also wanted to do the same thing in the city in which you live you could try out the service of the City Wide Wardrobe which allows you to treat the items that are held with zerobaggage as an extension to the items in your own closet. We could say, “if it’s not in your wardrobe it’s probably in ours”. So people could own a core set of clothing or items and then supplement as needed by using this zerobaggage service.

    Let’s explore this idea of zerobaggage and technology a little further.

    zerobaggage presents a new business model. Technology has made it so that we do not have to own everything we use. Much of fashion is being shared through social networks online. Mainly twenty-something women are posting items they wear and are generating feedback from large numbers of people. One woman posted an outfit she wore during her trip to Madrid and 2000 people viewed it. A large number of those people clicked on the items to find out more about them and then ordered them, online, for themselves. It is the ways in which society is evolving via the internet that is creating the need for new business models that harness the power and knowledge that being connected via the web brings us.

    I’m glad to have had this opportunity to listen to your ideas. Especially after U.S. Vice President Al Gore challenged Canada to explore how innovation could positivly impact the environment. Can you explain a litle more about how zerobaggage promotes sustainability?

    zerobaggage is sustainable in that it promotes local products and services, demands quality from the items and services it provides and both reduces the energy required to travel while reducing the expenditure and waste incurred in the process of creating products. For example, comparing two items that appear to be the same but one has history of transport and waste generation from its manufacture and the other does not. Making this knowledge transparent will allow for a range of choices based on more than style and price alone. The zerobaggage environmental credit allows positive environmental choices to be accumulated and calculated so that a true measure of individual impact can be assessed.

    In a zerobaggage world, how would your idea work?

    In designated zerobaggage cities, members of zerobaggage would just log into their account, chose their destination and one of the services, and then start making choices. The zerobaggage service called the Virtual Suitcase would allow you to view and select available items in the destination you are travelling to. You define what you want to use while you are there and your request is sent to zerobaggage, fulfilled, and items are waiting for you in your hotel when you arrive. Further, imagine that packing for a family of four. What if four pre-packed virtual suitcase suggestions (based on your previous use of the system) predicted or suggested what you are most likely to want? You could just look it over, change what you desired and save yourself time and energy.

    Wow. That’s amazing. Thanks for this Catharine!

    zerobaggage is currently generating funding, attracting suppliers and finalizing the first iterations of its new business model so that the first zerobaggage members can use the service beginning in November of 2010 in Toronto.

    It is technology, a concern for the environment and timing that has birthed the nascent idea of zerobaggage.

    Read original article.

    Originally Posted on Techvibes by Karim Kanji on Thu, November 26, 2009 2:41 PM