Which Way do I Go?

Trying to navigate an airport when you have never done it before takes skill, or you will end up asking “where do i go?”. Airports are scary to the untrained eye. Everything is constantly changing and if you are not paying attention you will get left behind. LITERALLY! From the gate numbers changing on your flight at the last minute to not knowing which way the bathroom is, things can get confusing.  It takes cat like reflexes, an attitude of carelessness and quick wit to make it look like you know what you are doing.

Today was such a day. For the first time I had to navigate the airport by myself. It was the most nerve racking thing I have done since I applied to colleges. Trying to make it look like I knew what I was doing was harder than I expected. It was hard enough trying to book my flight let alone actually navigate the airport. Seeing people walk around will such confidents just made the awkward and shy tendencies more prevalent.

There are a few things that will help make this experience more enjoyable for you.

TIPS:

> first thing that a person should do is look up the gate and terminal section before they get to the airport. It will save you time which is valuable when you aren’t quiet sure what you are doing.

> give yourself plenty of time to get through security! There is nothing worse than being stuck in security because somebody forgot to remove there pocket knife and it becomes a major motion picture just to get through.

> keep everything with you at  ALL TIMES! I witnessed this guy trying to take this woman’s purse she had out on the counter at Starbucks. Luckily this woman had cat-like reflexes and grabbed her purse before the situation got to far out of hand. However, you may not be so “quick”.

>always listen to the announcements. I almost missed my flight because I was talking on the phone, eating a scone, and drinking coffee. My flight had switched gates and I had no idea. They were already boarding my flight before I even realized it.

>have fun! I flew for the first time by myself and I flew first class. It was a blast. I smiled the whole time and would do it all over again if I could! Enjoy the experience and try to relax. You have to come back on a plane so you MIGHT as well make the most of it!

 

What Happened to the Commercial Airplane – Antique?

Written by: Mary Shull

Ever flown in a commercial airplane? If you’re one of the 637 million (U.S. statistics for 2011) who fly each year, your answer would be “yes.” People do love to fly. I mean, come on, what other choice do we have? It’s the fastest mode of transportation available to us. It’s said that flying in an airplane is even safer than driving your car! Statistics show that 1 out of 6,800 drivers die in an auto accident each year, while only 1 out 1.6 million die of an airplane crash.

But let’s take a look at the airplane. While it may be safer than a car, what has been done to modernize the speed of a commercial airplane in the last 20 years? The first powered flight by the Wright Brothers was in 1903. We had the first commercial jet airliner reach production in 1949. Then in 1969, the Boeing 747 was produced and has remained one of the most successful aircraft produced. However, its normal cruising speed is only 550 miles per hour. Sadly, one of the fastest commercial airplanes, the Concorde, was retired in 2003. It was able to fly at Mach 2.02 or 1,330 miles per hour.

Concorde Airplane

The Concorde airplane - retired in 2003

So, it’s said that we can’t have a commercial airplane go faster than it currently does because we would then create a sonic boom which is what the Concorde produced. But the Concorde produced this over the ocean so as not to disturb the public. So the question I still ask is, “Why have we stagnated? Why hasn’t man been able to develop a breakthrough in the last 60 years in airplane design or its effect on the speed of sound?” Am I the only one that finds this amazing? I feel like we are standing still in time. Where are our scientific breakthroughs? Sixty years is a long time!

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has said that business jets may lead the way in 2015 with passenger air travel at speeds faster than sound. And in 2025, a small supersonic airliner may follow that could transport around 75 people. However, a larger one could follow in another five years.

So, let’s see…in another 18 years we may see a commercial airplane that could get us to our destination faster? I guess I just expect more from humankind. I would like to see humans reach their full potential. We have such a long way to go and it seems we have taken many steps backward in the last 11 years. Let’s go forward. Let’s stretch ourselves. Let’s reach for the stars again! We may discover many great things along the way!

Frontier Airlines Allows Passengers to Travel with Small Pets

Picture of Frontier Airlines Plane

Frontier Airlines

Frontier Airlines, Denver International Airport’s second largest carrier, has recently changed its regulations regarding small pets in the cabin.  Certain animals are now allowed on board as long as they are small enough to be placed in an approved carrier that can fit under your seat. 

Frontier Airlines charges a $75 fee for one-way travel at check-in when you bring your pet.  There are, however, restrictions as to which kinds of animals are permitted on-board.  Dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and small birds are all accepted on Frontier Airlines.  Pets that are not allowed on-board include: snakes and other reptiles, amphibians (such as frogs or salamanders), insects, and spiders. 

Larger pets must be checked as baggage at the ticket counter for $150 per kennel.  This fee must be paid at check-in, so it is important for travelers with larger pets to arrive early and call in advance to reserve space for your pet as these arrangements cannot be made online.

Carrying Case for Small Pets

Pet Carrying Cases

To ensure the safety of your pet, weather restrictions have also been put in place by Frontier Airlines.  If the temperature forecast in any city to which you will be traveling is below 45°F (with or without windchill) or above 85°F, Frontier Airlines will not transport your pet without a veterinarian signed Certificate of Acclimation stating that your pet is acclimated to temperatures below or above the usual guidelines.

Strict TSA Rules Impact Travelers

King Julien from Madagascar

Madagascar's King Julien

“Don’t let him on! Stop that thing! He’s carrying scissors and hand cream!” – King Julien, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

For those members of the working world who must travel on business regularly, the above quote is a humorous reminder of the post 9/11 changes to airport security.  For female business travelers who are leaving town for a single night (and therefore must pack a small carry-on suitcase which includes both their work materials and their clothing, makeup, and toiletries for the following day) these restrictions can often make packing for the short business trip a frustrating experience.

Most frequent business travelers are aware that TSA prohibits liquids or gels in containers exceeding 3.4 oz and that the aforementioned liquids or gels must be sequestered into a clear, quart-sized plastic bag.  But being aware of this fact does not necessarily make packing any easier.  

So what can you do to make sure you fit all of your necessary items into that small little baggie? 

Here are some tips and tricks:

1. Hotels typically provide their guests with small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and sometimes even lotion.  While these bottles are often unrealistically small even for single use, the hotel concierge will provide extra bottles to guests upon request.  Many people do not think to ask for more bottles, but it is perfectly fine and you should take advantage of this!

2. Many hotels also have small ketchup-packet sized samples of toothpaste.  If your frequented hotels have these available, you will not need to purchase or pack a miniature tube of toothpaste for the trip.

3. Many pharmacies sell empty 3 oz bottles which can be filled with your regular products.  Fill these with your everyday hair gel or other liquid/gel products you require for your trip including your own brand of shampoo, conditioner, or lotion if you absolutely have to use your own!  Not only are these bottles re-usable, they are much less expensive than purchasing travel-sized versions of your everyday products.

4. Pack the powder version of your foundation, blush, eye shadow, etc. rather than a liquid or gel version so it can stay in your purse or your suitcase. 

Try it out – these tips should help you free up some room for everything else you need for your overnight business trips.  Happy Travels!

Southwest Airlines Bags Earnings By Refusing To Charge For Luggage

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is posting earnings in the last quarter, despite refusing to charge passengers for checked bags, as their competitors have done. Their traffic rose 1.6 last quarter, compared to their numbers from last year, and Gary Kelly, CEO, thinks his refusal to follow the trend is a strategy that’s working.

Southwest still rakes in revenue from other amenities provided at a cost, raised fares, etc. Other additions that cost a little more are Business Select seats where passengers must pay extra for early boarding and a cocktail. Parents sending an unaccompanied minor must also bear the brunt of raised fees.

However, the average traveler is seeing a decreased cost in overall savings by not having to pay for checked bags, and this appears to be working for the airline. Passenger revenue per available seat mile – the formula by which the industry calculates the profitability of an airline, indicates that Southwest is dong quite well for itself.

Southwest flies more passengers than any other airline in the U.S. and these higher earnings are much needed in light of unstable fuel costs and the increased cost of labor.

Southwest, while paying more for labor, has implemented a hiring freeze to capitalize on the earnings.

Coachella Suffers Travel Delays Due To Volcano Eruption

Coachella

Coachella

The travel delays and chaos wrought by the Icelandic volcano has now affected the music industry. Coachella, one of the California’s biggest music events, had to do without some of its European acts as they, like the rest of the country, were unable to leave via airplane.

Early last week, a volcano in Iceland began to erupt. As it did, volcanic ash was spewed high in to the air, affecting airspace used by many of Europe’s airlines. By the end of the week, virtually all airplanes had been grounded, causing the greatest travel disruption since 9/11.
And now, as the volcano continues to cause travel headaches, the illustrious California entertainment industry has been affected.
Among the acts grounded in Europe were The Cribs, Frightened Rabbit and Bad Lieutenant. Fortunately, most of the big-name European acts were already in the U.S. and therefore not affected on their flights to the mainland. Thom Yorke and Muse thrilled audiences with their standout performances. While the performers were welcomed at the festival and concert-goers were happy to have them on U.S. soil, it remains to be seen how the acts will get back to the U.K. as airspace is still greatly restricted.

Airlines Ask Travelers To Delay Flights

Air Travel Delays

Air Travel Delays

Airlines operating in the European countries are asking travelers to delay their plans due to the continued flight delays because of an erupting Icelandic volcano. Qantas and Singapore Airlines, two of the largest airlines offering service between Australia and Europe, have indicated that they will offer priority booking to customers who have existing booked flights once air traffic resumes, which is expected to be later this week.

Qantas has indicated that it is currently re-booking cancelled flights, but have asked passengers with nonessential travel plans to hold off on re-booking their flights to allow for the backlog of passengers to be processed.

“There is such a stress on accommodation in those ports that we recommend passengers stay home,” the spokeswoman said. An indicator of the backlogged travellers, the hotels in the city of Perth, Australia, are so overcrowded that stranded travelers are being taken 187 miles south to Margaret River, to find vacant rooms.
Qantas and Singapore Airlines both are paying for accommodations for their stranded travelers, but travelers with cheaper travel insurance or no insurance at all are finding they are on their own.

“We have concerns about people with cheap online policies and credit card insurance, but people with more expensive policies look to be okay,” said Gil McLachlan, a historical tour operator in Europe.
It is estimated that this travel crisis is costing the industry more than $200 million per day.

Volcano Delaying Air Travel

Icelandic Volcano

Icelandic Volcano

Volcanic ash is delaying air travel throughout Europe. The volcano, located in Iceland, has shut down surrounding airspace due to clouds of rock and ash spewed up in to the air. The hazard is affecting airspace as far away as 1,000 miles, thus stranding thousands of air travelers.

Among the countries affected by this natural occurance are Norway, Ireland, Sweden, Holland, France and Belgium, among others.

“So we’re talking about almost one quarter of the entire European area is closed to aircraft at the moment,” said Brian Flyn, EuroControl representative. EuroControl is a European aviation authority.

Authorities have not released information as to when the no fly zones will be cleared for use. The Eyjafjallajokull volcano continues to erupt.

“It is likely that the production of ash will continue at a comparable level for some days or weeks,” said Einar Kjartansson, Iceland Meteorological Office geophycisist. “But where it disrupts travel, that depends.”

“The large particles of rock, which have been blown into the upper atmosphere, are then ingested into the engines. These engines are delicate machines, the rocks clog the engines which means the engines die,” Aviation expert Chris Yates told ABC News. The outlook for air travel in the surrounding European countries seems bleak, at best.