Airlines and airports look to take the pain out of boarding planes

indexDo you hear “mooing” when you get in the boarding line?  Do you look for the guy with the cattle prod?  FINALLY, a chance to feel less “bovine” and more “human!  The airlines are looking to board passengers more efficiently.  This CNN article explains the current research being done to solve that problem.  What’s the most efficient way to board a plane? Rear to front, randomly or by adapting scientifically calculated methods?

Over the years airlines have experimented with ways to get passengers seated as quickly as possible, but only with recent technology have some real alternatives been made possible.

Research by Boeing showed that the pace at which passengers board a plane has slowed by 50% since 1970. Reasons might include a longer list of priority boarders and more carry-on baggage blocking the aisles.

Quicker boarding time means airlines save money; $30 for every minute saved, according to studies.

images“Planes make money in the air, not on the ground,” Jan van Helden, project leader for KLM’s “Smarter Boarding” program told CNN.

So, is there an ultimate boarding method? Not yet, but here are some of the efforts that have been made by airports, airlines and even one astrophysicist.

Read the complete article here.

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Why you really get sick on planes – and how to prevent it

imagesbIf you’re about to fly somewhere for Christmas, you’re probably dreading the possibility that you’ll catch a bug along the way. And with good reason: Many people come down with something nasty in the days following an airplane flight. Why does this happen, and how can you keep yourself from getting sick?

A couple I met on a plane flight prompted me to find out. I met Tom and Nancy some years back on a trip from Boston to Phoenix. The two of them were on their way to San Francisco to visit with Tom’s sister for the week. A few seconds after we’d introduced ourselves, the smell of antiseptic drew my attention away from the baggage handlers on the tarmac loading luggage into the belly of the plane; each of my row-mates was armed with a disinfectant wipe. Tom was busy wiping down his tray table, and Nancy had already moved on to dabbing purposefully at her seat’s headrest. I asked if she brought cleaning supplies on all her plane flights.

“Our doctor recommended it to us a few years ago,” she said as she reached for her clutch bag, withdrew a powder-blue face mask and began looping its elastic straps over her ears. “We’ve been bringing wipes on all our plane flights ever since.”

And the mask, I ask her. What is that for? “It’s to help filter the air,” she explained from behind the mask, its pleats expanding slightly as she mouthed-out her word. “The air you’re breathing is being recirculated through the cabin — we’re all breathing one another’s air.

“It’s disgusting,” she concluded as she reached back into her bag and pulled out two more masks. She handed one to Tom and presented the other to me. “Would you like one?”

Do we have to turn into Nancy and Tom to stay healthy on a plane flight? Yes and no.

images

Click here to find out!

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Create an Air Travel “Emergency” Kit to Survive Common Airplane Woes

Stuck1On a good day, you’ll get to the airport, breeze through security, get on your plane, and take off and land on time. Most of us know how often that actually happens, however, and have come to expect delays of some kind. While you can’t make the trip go any faster, you can put together a kit so you don’t get bored, hungry, or too uncomfortable when your plane gets grounded.

Let’s be honest: this is a first-world “emergency” kit. Most of us can imagine far worse scenarios than getting stuck on an airplane for an extra few hours. That said, discomfort is not required just because it’s the default option. With the right considerations and a small amount of preparation, you can make sure you’re good to go on most flights—both good and bad. Let’s take a look at each problem you can encounter and how a small change in what you pack can solve the issue.Stuck2

Lifehacker has some great ideas to pass on to you here.

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How to survive holiday travel

imagesThere’s not much good news for fliers this Thanksgiving. Airports will be packed, planes will have few — if any — empty seats and you might sit apart from a loved one, unless you pay extra.

During the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period, 25.1 million people are projected to fly, an increase of 1.5 percent from last year, according to Airlines for America, the industry’s trade and lobbying group.

That would make this the busiest year since 2007, when an estimated 26 million people flew over the holiday period.

The busiest travel day will be Sunday, Dec. 1, with an estimated 2.56 million passengers, followed by Wednesday, Nov. 27, with 2.42 million passengers. In case you were wondering, the slowest travel day is Thanksgiving itself, with just 1.44 million people expected to fly.

But don’t fret, there are some things you can do — in some cases paying a little extra — to make your trip more pleasant, or to at least buffer the damage if something goes wrong.

Follow this helpful story here

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Avoid jet lag: Getting a workout at the airport

exercise02c

There are many ways to avoid jet lag, from setting your watch to the destination time before you leave, giving you time to adjust healthy eating prior to  your trip, avoid alcohol during the trip.  I think the best way is exercise.  If you get your heart beating you can beat jet lag.  Here is an article focused on the subject:

It’s far too easy to become a slug when you’re on the road. But staying active offers business travelers an edge: the benefits of working out while traveling include stress reduction and an increased ability to combat jet lag.

Travelers passing through Canada’s largest airport, Toronto Pearson International, now have an extra advantage: an airport health club.

GoodLife Fitness, which has over 300 locations across Canada, has opened a branch in the Terminal 1 Arrivals area (presecurity), offering a 10,000-square-foot workout area, changing rooms with showers, towel service and luggage storage. No workout clothing? No excuse: Workout clothing and sneakers are available for rent. A daily pass is CND $15, or US $14.58. Hours: 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

“From personal experience I know what a tremendous difference it makes to my travel experience when I workout before I get on the plane, as well as my productivity and alertness when I land,” GoodLife founder and CEO David “Patch” Patchell-Evans said in a statement. “We want to make it easier for all travelers, coming in and out of Toronto Pearson, to be able to experience the same great benefits as I have.”

Click here to read the full article.

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Ask in Advance to Have Hotel Safe and Parking Fees Taken Off Your Bill

I’ve had this happen to me before and it can add up!  This article, from Lifehacker, helps to bring items to mind for traveling.Hotel fees

We’ve railed against outrageous hotel fees before, but if you don’t have the luxury of switching hotels, ask the desk a couple of questions as soon as you check in to make sure you’re not charged for service you won’t use, like an in-room safe, or hotel parking if you’ve flown in, for example.

Staying in a hotel comes with its own array of fees and taxes, some of which make sense, but others can be tacked on with no thought to whether or not you’re actually using the service you’re paying for. More than once I’ve seen people review their folio well after they’ve returned home from vacation only to find that a hotel they flew in and took a cab to had then charged them a daily parking fee. Ask the desk when you check in if parking is automatically added to your bill, and ask them to remove it if you’re not using it.

Similarly, many hotels charge fees for the in-room safe, regardless of whether you actually use the safe or not. You can debate this one after the fact with or without success (since after you’ve checked out, there’s no way to prove you’ll use the safe), but it’s better dealt with up front.Hotel safe According to Wise Bread:

In most modern hotel rooms you’ll probably find a safe bolted to the floor in the closet or near the entryway. This safe is available to guests if they notice it, if they have something to put in it, and if they choose to use it. For most guests, I assume the safe becomes just part of the visual landscape in the room — like the dressers that no one really uses or the tiny coffee makers that make really bad coffee. But the safe is quite different from all of those other objects. Why? Because you’re being charged for it every single day of your stay. Typically, the in-room safe fee runs about $1–$3 per day, and it’s added to your bill whether you use the safe or not.

Avoiding getting hit with the safe charge is relatively simple if you act promptly. Upon check-in, scout around quickly for a safe. If you find one, but don’t plan on using it to stash your pearls, call the front desk. Tell them you won’t be using the safe and request that they deduct the fee from your bill (and then make sure they’ve actually done it when it’s time to check out).

 

Click here to read the entire article.

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Common Mistakes When Packing for a Trip

OK, you’ve planned for a year for this trip.  You have the reservations, the tickets, the cash, and now only one thing left to do.  PACK!  If you are now careful, you will add misery to your trip by not packing properly.  I have several tips on packing on this website, but I ran across this article on what NOT to pack and I thought you might learn something from it, I did.

 

Common Mistakes When Packing for a Trip

Stress-free ways to slim down your suitcase

Frommers: What Not to Pack for a Vacation, less is more

Use these tips to avoid over packing and streamline your luggage bulk. — Photo by Mark Weiss/Getty Images

1. Items Prohibited by the TSA
If you’re flying, check with the Transportation Security Administration to see whether anything you plan to pack is prohibited. The TSA website has clear guidance about what’s allowed and what’s not: in carry-ons, checked luggage or both. When in doubt about an item, leave it at home.

2. Regular-Sized Toiletries

Full-sized bottles of shampoo and lotion are heavy, take up precious space and, because of TSA 3-1-1 guidelines, make carry-on flying impossible. Create a toiletries kit with trial-sized drugstore sundries (toothpaste, deodorant and the like) and plastic bottles or jars filled with favorite products. A trip is also a great opportunity to finish off those almost-empty tubes of toothpaste and cosmetic samples. If you frequently visit a friend or relative, ask to keep a stash of your favorite products at his or her house.

Click here for the rest of the article on AARP.

 

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Top 10 travel mistakes and how not to make them

I just ran across an article from NBC News Travel that spoke directly to me.  I have made most of the mistakes listed in this article!  I wanted to post their article here so you can prevent the same from happening to you.

Top 10 travel mistakes and how not to make them

 

July 18, 2013 at 9:31 AM ET

 

Stefano Rellandini / Reuters
A classic travel mistake is to stick to the beaten path. When in Venice, for example, sneak away from the popular squares and get lost among unforgettable neighborhoods most Americans never set foot in.

Even the dreamiest of trips can go off the rails when you fall into one of these all-too-common travel traps. We’ve been there—and we’ve brought back advice on foolproof booking, smart sightseeing, and making the most of every minute.

Even the most meticulously planned trip is subject to snafus, but with a little insider know-how, you can avoid making the common mistakes that can derail a vacation. Stick to the guidelines below, and you’re more likely to have a trip that’s memorable not for lost luggage and rushed sightseeing, but for the thrill of discovering a new place and savoring it.

Not booking enough connection time between flights
Leaving a window of at least an hour and a half between connecting flights will significantly drop your chances of missing your flight or having your luggage lost, says Sally Watkins, travel agent at Century Travel and Cruises in Austin, Texas. Having only 45 minutes to connect between flights might seem doable — not to mention the siren call of less lag time spent hanging out at a dismal food court — but it’s often not enough, especially in large airports where the gates could be far apart. Don’t rely on airlines to do the math for you, either: “Flights can’t be booked unless it is a legitimate change time according to that airport, and usually if it’s the minimum change time and airlines let you book that, they will make it work,” Watkins says.

Not applying for your passport early enough
Routine passport processing takes about four to six weeks, so as soon as you start planning for your trip, apply for a passport if you need one, or make sure the one you already have hasn’t expired. Plus, in certain countries you need at least six months’ worth of validity remaining to enter, says Elizabeth Finan, spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. (Go to travel.state.gov for more information.) If your trip is coming up quicker than that, you can shell out $60 to cut the processing time to two to three weeks, but if you’re planning to board a plane in less than two weeks, make an appointment at your local passport agency by calling 877/487-2778. The $60 fee still applies. If you’ve traveled so much you’ve practically worn out your passport, flip through it as a precaution: “Frequent travelers should make sure that they have enough pages in their passports,” says Finan. “For example, South African law requires travelers to have one fully blank visa page in the passport; without the requisite number of pages, you may be refused entry.” No one wants that.

 

Read more   CLICK HERE to go to the article.

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Traveler’s Rights!

Travelers Rights

You’ve planned your vacation carefully, packed only the essentials, and double-locked the front door, only to find out that … your flight is canceled, the airline lost your luggage and your hotel room is not exactly what you expected. I found this article to be very helpful and informative! You do have rights. 

We have put together the best tips to protect your rights as a traveler, including how to get your luggage back, how to get your flight re booked and how to negotiate compensation when things go really, really wrong.

If you get bumped from a flight
Airlines are legally allowed to sell more seats than they have, to hedge against no-shows. Most passengers give up seats willingly in exchange for cash or travel. Because this is a problem that just won’t go away, the Department of Transportation has raised the compensation for passengers who are bumped, or, in DOT parlance, “involuntarily denied boarding,” and requires an airline offer cash on the spot to victims — not just a travel voucher.

But some passengers are bumped from their flights before they even get to the gate. You’re more likely to be bumped if:

Check it out by clicking here.

 

 

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How to Pass Time at an Airport: 17 steps (with pictures)

stuck

Dec 12, 2012

Being stuck at an airport, especially big ones, can be an unpleasant experience for you in many ways. You can hardly move because of the enormous crowds, temperatures have rocketed, and your arms are aching because of the amount of luggage you have been carrying around. All this and then you discover that your flight is going to be delayed for a long time. Thankfully, there are ways to pass the time.

Think ahead. Before you depart for the airport, prepare for the possibility of a delay and make sure to pack some things to keep you busy and comfortable should the inevitable happen. For example, a tablet computer, a book, a portable music player, a handheld games console, or maybe a puzzle book. A watch is also a must. Children can become extremely impatient waiting around, keep them amused and entertained with a coloring book, or possibly a story book and don’t forget their favorite toy!

Be sure to Pack a toothbrush, toothpaste and a facecloth. Being able to freshen up when trapped in a crowded airport can really make a difference and lift your mood. Be certain to carry your cell phone charger, it’s always important to keep your phone charged up and ready to go. You may want to have a separate small backpack or purse to keep things that you can easily take out in the airport.

 

Read more exciting steps by clicking here!

 

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