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7 Articles

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

How to Navigate Crowded, Summer TSA Checkpoints (Quickly!)

Summer sees airports filled with many extra and often unseasoned travelers going on vacations, thus making TSA security checkpoint lines even longer and more frustrating to navigate. Here are some tips to getting through the lines more quickly.

The first and easiest method is to sign up for the TSA’s PreCheck program. Much like its amusement park cousin, FastPass, TSA PreCheck isn’t free and many won’t think it is cheap at $85 a person. But the benefits are good for five years it really can save you hours of time waiting in lines. You will have to schedule a brief in person interview and wait for your Known Traveler Number, but again the benefits will be worth the small hassles for heavy airline users.

One trick to saving a bit of cash is to try buying just one PreCheck membership between spouses. Often the PreCheck pass will show up on the non-member’s ticket as well (though not always). You can also splurge on the Global Entry program to get you through customs faster returning to the US from out of country flights. This will set you back an extra $15.

If you don’t fancy spending almost a hundred bucks, you could try the the TSA’s smartphone app which will inform you about which security lines in any given airport are moving quickly.

Otherwise the tried and true methods of double checking for banned items, being prepared (shoes off, etc), and getting to the airport early are just about the only way of getting through TSA security checkpoints hassle free.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Navigating the Lavatory In-Flight

The Travel & Leisure staff at MSN Travel reveal former flight attendant Erika Roth’s tips on making the most out of a restroom break on an airplane.

First, Roth tells readers that best time use the restroom is immediately after the pilot disengages the seat belt sign or just before drink service begins. A passenger, Roth says, could get up to 10 minutes to themselves during these low traffic periods.

Although an embarrassing topic for most, Roth knows all too well the issue of unwanted odors in airplane bathrooms. While it is ideal to take care of that business at the airport, sometimes we have to answer nature’s call in-flight. In this case Roth suggests asking the attendants for some packets of coffee grounds to hang in the lavatory. No one but the attendants will know what you are doing and the next person will thank you.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Essential Travel Etiquette

Daniel Post Senning, great-grandson of Emily Post and host of the Awesome Etiquette pod-cast, talks with US News Report about essential travel etiquette. While some of these are common sense, the stress of travel can make even the most polite travel companions forget to mind their manners.

The middle seat gets the armrest – in the cramped, shared space of airplane seating it is most polite for the window and aisle seats to allow the person in the middle the courtesy of the armrests since the other two passengers have other options for getting comfortable.

Come prepared; in the midst of frustration with other travelers it is best to remember to manager yourself. Temper your expectations. Be willing to help others. The real test of your patience won’t be when others are being polite, but when they are rude.

Mostly people aren’t kicking the back of your seat on purpose. However, it is OK to politely engage another passenger (or their parent) if the kicking gets excessive.

Mobile devices and in-flight WiFi have created a social space to navigate. We should all be conscious of the volume of our videos, music, movies and other streaming media. Again, it is OK to politely engage a passenger about the volume of their device. Noise canceling headphones can be a life saver for frequent fliers.

Additionally, consider the Golden Rule. Treat people as you would want to be treated.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

When weather makes travel difficult

So all the headlines this week go like this:
Storm Pounds Coast
Feb 13 Worst Day for Air Travel
Weather woes leave many holiday travel plans up in the air
Airlines struggle back from worst travel day yet

So what do you do when your travel plans are cancelled? Thursday saw 6,533 flights cancelled. Recovery could be slow due to displaced crews as well. Most airlines waived change fees and relaxed rebooking rules for those who still had somewhere to go. It varies by airline. It could take up to a week to reschedule everyone. Some airlines may offer vouchers for use on a future flight.

~ Jody Victor

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Are you getting ripped off when you travel?

Jody‘s crew found a couple articles dealing with ways you can be ripped off while traveling.

FoxNews.com has an article about the 10 biggest travel ripoffs and ways people are getting fleeced anywhere:

  1. Excess baggage charges
  2. Trip insurance
  3. Shady taxi drivers
  4. Eating like a tourist
  5. Manhattan hotels
  6. Airport airline clubs
  7. Uniformed “guides” at airports
  8. Changing money on the black market
  9. “Minimum” fees as restaurants or clubs
  10. Insanely high booze taxes

You can read the full article for more information.

In another article on CNN.com, their article lists travel fees and how to avoid them (some may be similar to the FoxNews.com article):

  1. Baggage fees
  2. Ticket exchange fee
  3. Resort fee
  4. Car rental airport fee
  5. Phone or in-person booking fee
  6. Seat selection and priority boarding
  7. Single supplement
  8. In-flight amenity fees
  9. Wi-fi
  10. One-way penalty and airport surcharge on car rentals
  11. Award ticket fees

You can read the tips to avoid the fees in the article.