iPhone, Google Calendar, and travel across time zones
February 17, 2009 12:48 PM   Subscribe

What is the best practice for entering events across time zones, such as airline flights, when using Google Calendars and the iPhone?

For instance, I'm in CA, my iPhone's calendar's Time Zone Support is set to OFF, and I entered the flight on my Google calendar so that both the departure time from CA and the arrival time in Minneapolis are as they would be in CA - leave at 10 AM Pacific, arrive in Minn at 5 PM Pacific (7 PM Central).

Is this the right way to do it? When I arrive in MN, will my iPhone calendar (which has adjusted its time zone either automatically or manually) show that the flight lands at 7 PM? Should I have Time Zone Support set on ON all the time?

This digital world traveler stuff is so confusing. Local time, destination time, this should be more intuitive.
posted by DandyRandy to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't speak to Google Calendarss, but on the phone I would use local time at both ends of the trip, as the iPhone will pick up local time from the cell carrier on landing. It distorts actual travel time, but otherwise works fine.
posted by exogenous at 1:01 PM on February 17, 2009

Best answer: I do this a lot.

The only practical way I know is to enter local time for both takeoff and landing, even when (especially when) they are different timezones.

Not only will the iPhone adjust so that alarms and reminders work (assuming they're sent from the phone, that is), but this is the only way to stay sane, since every airline uses local arrival and local departure in all communications about flights. If you try to do anything more clever than that, you may confuse your software, but you most certainly will confuse yourself, since all your boarding passes and itineraries will be "wrong."
posted by rokusan at 1:25 PM on February 17, 2009

Agree with Rokusan. The best way is just to enter data in at local time and upon landing confirm the time is automatically readjusted. As far as I know, other solutions will complicate things.
posted by mateuslee at 2:29 PM on February 17, 2009

It does require you to adjust, but if you can use UTC, that's the ticket.
posted by pwnguin at 1:11 PM on February 18, 2009

Response by poster: Okay, freshly back from my trip, and rokusan is exactly right.

For instance, my flight in CA was scheduled for 7AM Pacific time, landing in Minneapolis at 3PM Central time (just an example). My entered the flight on my Google Calendars (which syncs to my iPhone) as 7AM to 1PM Pacific. When I landed in MN, as soon as the phone connected to the network there, the time was set to Central and all appointment times were adjusted accordingly. And Time Zone Support (in Calendars setting) was always set to Off.

Thanks to all who contributed!
posted by DandyRandy at 12:21 PM on March 20, 2009

The problem is when I travel I am adding events to a Google calendar some of which are in my current, new timezone, and some are in the old timezone that I will return to.
posted by mdoar at 1:43 PM on February 4, 2010

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