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After Hours

Travel Tech Q&A: Rail Plus' David Stafford

Rail Plus CEO David Stafford shared with us his trick on how to get through airports speedily and efficiently, as well as how he ended up being detained at Heathrow airport.
Written by Irene Mickaiel, Contributor on

Rail Plus CEO David Stafford shared with us his trick on how to get through airports speedily and efficiently, as well as how he ended up being detained at Heathrow airport.

David Stafford

David Stafford in Paris
(Credit: David Stafford)

Could you tell us a bit about Rail Plus?

Rail Plus is the leading rail travel wholesaler in both Australia and New Zealand. We are a one-stop rail shop, covering all aspects of rail travel including Eurail passes, European high-speed rail, Japan Rail and Luxury Train travel. Rail Plus is a preferred partner with most of the retail travel chains in both Australia and New Zealand.

What tech do you travel with and why?

I'm a bit of a Luddite. My phone is a simple telephone; however, I do take my laptop (with mobile internet) and my iPad on my travels. The laptop is my frequently used application as it allows me access to all of my day-to-day business necessities including internet, email and office applications. The iPad is great for quick access to emails as well as entertainment features.

What is your most memorable travel experience?

Travelling to Japan. I'm a gastronome at heart and had the best meal of my life in Tokyo. In addition, it is one of the best countries for train travel and the culture contrasts are remarkable.

Personal travel advice or tip

Only travel with carry-on luggage. This ensures speedy exits through airports and hassle-free travel. I have not checked a bag in for years.

What was your biggest travel disaster?

Getting detained by police at London Heathrow because my profile matched someone on their suspect list. It also happened to be at the time of the Glasgow airport bombing, so security had been ramped up.

What tech do you expect in hotels when travelling?

I find it unacceptable when hotels don't provide free or reasonably priced internet access. On my recent trip to New Zealand, the hotel daily rate for internet access was $25 — a prepaid mobile internet USB was $60 and will last several trips.

Your dream travel tech for planes/trains/airports/hotels?

Planes/trains — touchscreens that allowed internet access as well as the current entertainment on demand.

What (if any) travel websites do you use?

Various airline sites to book my air travel, plus Expedia or Wotif for hotels. I also use a variety of information sites for visa information plus where to stay, eat and play.

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