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Travel Tech Q&A: BT Global Services' Phillip Zammit

BT Global Services head of unified communications and contact centre, Phillip Zammit, talked to us about how tech impacts his travels.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

BT Global Services' Phillip Zammit spoke about his favourite airports to be stranded in, and why he can't live without his BlackBerry.

Phillip Zammit
Phillip Zammit (Credit: BT Global Services)

What tech do you travel with and why?

Currently, I travel with my work BlackBerry. I have a Bluetooth [ear piece] that never leaves my side, my work notebook, and usually my iPad. I haven't been able to trust work trips without the laptop, as yet, to rely purely on mobile and tablet, but maybe soon — you never know.

What tech do you miss from home?

Without question, our wireless Sonos music system and cable TV. I know I struggle unless I see a late night episode of Seinfeld before the day's out.

What tech do you love abroad, where and why?

I love the increasingly ubiquitous level of Wi-Fi abroad, so you are always be connected and can access what you want, when you want, quickly.

What's your favourite phone app for travelling and why?

It might be more of a statement on my location awareness, but I do rely heavily on Google Maps so I can try and work out where I need to go, how to get there the easiest way, and usually, quickly! And, of course, I'm a heavy user of BT's Global OneVoice Anywhere (Global Voice Roaming) application.

Most memorable travel story/experience

Just recently, we had the pleasure of the whole family heading over to Europe early this year.

London, Rome and Paris were just such a great time with the family, and with young kids, they made it all the more special. I would probably say, though, that Euro Disney was the most memorable — to see the amazing joy on the kids' faces.

Personal travel advice/tip?

Everyone says "travel light." I kind of disagree and pack heavy, but travel light (on the plane) — you just never know what you might need. And, of course, always try and use the early online check-in and choose the best seats with the most space.

What, if any, travel websites do you use?

I'm a big fan of TripAdvisor. It has shaped many a holiday and destination for us. Also, Expedia is a tremendous website for comparing costs and hotel suggestions.

What is your one must-have piece of tech when travelling?

Need the BlackBerry. The once or twice I've misplaced — it was not a good feeling.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

Goodness, there have been a few. It is hard to decide between travelling on an aging overnight train between Paris and Venice, hurtling at break-neck speeds with the wheels screeching the entire night, the train feeling like it was running on one rail around corners, getting thrown around and not sleeping one wink, was an experience which is definitely a contender.

Although, I'd have to say that turning up to a so-called "boutique apartment" in downtown Rome, only to find us, as a family with two kids, entering what would only be classified as a den of iniquity, which happened to be above an all-night dance club, was possibly more troubling — but both are life experiences, as they say.

What is the best airport you've visited and why?

Heathrow is great. It's frantic and huge — it is almost visiting a small city, in itself. And an extended stay in the Hong Kong first class lounge between flights was an enjoyable experience.

What tech do you expect in hotels when you are travelling?

If the hotel doesn't have Wi-Fi as standard, then I'm not pleased.

Favourite site to use while travelling?

Google Maps, TripAdvisor, LinkedIn, and smh.com.au. I don't like feeling out of the loop on the private and personal fronts.

Which airport would you prefer to be stranded at and why?

Heathrow or Singapore. Heathrow for the above points (add shopping, to this), and in Singapore — at least you can stay in a hotel at the airport if you are stranded.

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