Etiquette reminder: Stabbing seatmate with a pen probably not the best way to communicate

April 17, 2015 - 3 Responses

So, this happened.4-17-15-1

CNN reported that a plane from Chicago to New Hampshire was delayed because a woman stabbed her seatmate in the arm with a pen to get him to stop snoring.

(I have to pause for a minute, because I almost don’t know what to say to this. I just want to let it sink in—when the man next to her started snoring, this woman’s reaction was to stab him with a pen.)

The plane had not yet taken off, so it was sent back to the gate, the woman was removed, and the flight continued on its merry way to New Hampshire.

Okay. Where do I even start? How about, don’t do this! If your seatmate is snoring, there are a variety of different ways to handle this. You could nudge them gently, see if that wakes them up enough to stop. Or you could actually wake them up and let them know they’re snoring. If you want to be less aggressive, pretend to drop something and jostle them as you pick it up. If you really want to not confront them, get a flight attendant! They will be more than happy to help. In my experience, people who are snoring usually stop after a few minutes anyway. The pressure changes, they move positions, or wake themselves up. Worst case, put your headphones in and listen to something that makes you happy. Read more of this article »

Impressive airline quality rating for Delta

April 16, 2015 - One Response

The annual Airline Quality Rating (AQR) was recently released which looks at airline performances 4-16-15-4in twelve major categories.  They look at on-time percentage, customer complaints, mishandled baggage, and involuntary denied boardings (such as an oversold flight).  The numbers are  compared to previous years, broken down individually by airline, and then compared overall as a stack ranking of the airlines.  Virgin America took the top spot for the third straight year, but I was more curious in how Delta, Southwest, and American did based on my post last month about delayed being the new normal.

In that post I wrote about how in the last six months of flying American and Southwest I have experienced way more delays than ever before.  I also touched on how when studying the Air Travel Consumer Report Delta performed much better than American and Southwest.  So for the AQR I wanted to continue the comparison of my normal carriers (American and Southwest) versus Delta.  The result?  Delta wins the battle, but should hold off on celebrating.

When comparing this year to last year in each of the four categories Delta only improved in one category: involuntary denied boarding.  This is why they shouldn’t be celebrating.  One could argue that when you have such high numbers it’s inevitable that there is a drop off, but I would argue if you’re not going to improve at least try to sustain!  Also, the industry as a whole is dropping in ratings, and Delta is tied to that trend which is not encouraging.  That being said, when I compare Delta to American, Southwest, and all the major airlines as a whole Delta is flying high.  Delta came in first in all four categories except one.

I hate dogging American and Southwest when I’ve had so many positive experiences flying with them, but I have to call it as I see it.  And what I see are these airlines reporting record profits along with record low performance ratings, which to me is beyond frustrating.  Is Delta the answer?  As I’ve said before it might be, but I have to take a lot more things into consideration, such as what Delta flights are available to me and losing my status.  Below you’ll find the results of my comparison from the AQR.



Readers, have any of you switched your loyalty to another airlines recently, and if so why?

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Tip: Carefully read flight notifications!

April 15, 2015 - One Response

A few weeks ago I booked a trip to New York, through Charlotte. I was very careful to make sure that I had plenty of reading glassestime in Charlotte to make my connection, since it is a sprawling airport and I am a slow pregnant lady. Naturally I requested upgrades once the ticket was confirmed, plus double checked everything on the itinerary was correct. Everything looked good to go, and I was confident I could get to my gate in the 90 minute layover.

48 hours before my flight I got a notification from my corporate travel agent. This is not a new thing—in fact, I get these all the freaking time. Every time my gate changes, my flight is delayed, or I am upgraded I get a flight notification. Typically I open them, give the info a cursory glance, and move on. So I opened the email, noticed that I had been upgraded for both segments (hooray!) and started to close it when something caught my eye. The first flight landed in Charlotte at 5:10, and the second flight took off at 5:20. Wait a second! What happened to my 90-minute layover?? Even if the gates were right next to each other (which never happens in Charlotte) there was no way I could make that connection. Read more of this article »

4 things people dislike about hotels (and what to do about it)

April 14, 2015 - 6 Responses

On a work trip a hotel becomes your home away from home.  It also plays a huge role in you having a successful Hilton app 2business trip, or not. Abad night’s sleep or something malfunctioning can quickly turn a trip sour.  There are some things, like an uncomfortable bed, that there’s really not a work around for, but there are some common hotel complaints that have a solution.  Here are four things people dislike about hotels and what to do about it.

Noisy environment.   Hearing your neighbor through the wall, the icemaker in the hallway, water move through plumbing, footsteps above, or the highway outside your window are just some of the things that can make you crazy when trying to sleep.  Early on I tried ear plugs but could never get used to them.  Plus my alarm sometimes would be going off for several minutes before I would realize it, which made me super paranoid I would oversleep.  Then I found a free White Noise app  and I’ve never looked back.  I drift off almost instantly when I’m using this app, and I hardly ever have environmental noise overpower it.  Plus, since it’s on my phone the white noise pauses when my phone alarm goes off.  I highly recommend you download it if you haven’t already. Read more of this article »

Get free eBooks from your library! (I finally did it, and it’s awesome)

April 10, 2015 - 6 Responses

After being a dedicated, very happy Kindle user for almost five years, I’ve finally decided to take it to the next level. library signSee, I love to read. Love love love it. Not much is better than slipping into a story, losing myself in another world. Before my son was born I would just buy new books whenever I felt like it, and there were seven or eight authors that I followed regularly, purchasing each new book for around $10.

Then my son was born, my husband left his job, and my priorities changed. I realized that I was spending hundreds of dollars a year on new books, and didn’t want to do that anymore. As a temporary solution I basically stopped buying new books, and just reread ones I already had. Of course, it helped that I’ve had way less free time to read–basically the only time I really have to read now is while I’m on a work trip.  Read more of this article »

An update on Delta 20 minute checked bag guarantee.

April 8, 2015 - 2 Responses

I wanted to provide a quick update to a story I covered not too long ago (and get some feedback!).  Delta started a trial4-8-15-2 that offered 2500 miles if you checked a bag for a domestic flight and it doesn’t reach the baggage carousel in twenty minutes.  The trial is complete, and now Delta has announced they plan to permanently honor the checked bag guarantee. A Delta spokesman said “Customer response was positive and our employees are rallying to achieve the 20-minute mark, so it’s here to stay”.  To request compensation and/or to read more about the guidelines of the guarantee go to this Delta site.  Be sure to complete the form no later than three days after your flight’s arrival.

I don’t recommend checking baggage in most situations, but sometimes it’s inevitable.  However, don’t get too excited about this deal.  Checking a bag with Delta isn’t always free.   If you are charged for checking your bag and it’s late your 2500 mile reward won’t seem so rewarding!  If you’re looking for a way to earn some extra Delta SkyMiles consider getting a Gold Delta SkyMiles ® Credit Card. I don’t own this card, nor do I get anything for mentioning it, but at least with this card if you do decide to check a bag your first bag is free. 

In my last post a reader said they filled out the baggage guarantee form on the spot after a delay over twenty minutes at the carousel, and as of the time of commenting they hadn’t received word on the miles.  Has anyone else filled out the baggage guarantee form yet, and if so what has been your experience? 

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Travel hacks? Not so much.

April 7, 2015 - 3 Responses

How far would you go to get free drinks, food, an upgraded hotel room, or a new seat assignment on a flight?  Pretty peanutsfar if you are Justin Ross Lee, a supposed travel hacker.  I recently caught Justin’s story about his travel hacking on Nightline.  Anytime I hear about travel hacks I’m interested to see what they are.  Sometimes they are awesome, legitimate tips, and sometimes they are ridiculous or just asking for trouble.  For the most part, the tips in this story lean closer towards the asking for trouble side.  Here are some of the hacks mentioned and my thoughts on them.  Read more of this article »

Poll: Do you inspect your rental car?

April 6, 2015 - 9 Responses

When you’ve traveled for work for many years like I have you tend to take certain things for granted. For example, Iscratch repair assume I’ll have WiFi at my hotel, that my carry-on will fit in the overhead bin, and that my iPhone or car GPS will get me to my destination accurately. And for the longest time I took for granted my rental car wouldn’t have major damage when I turned it in. Of course, this wasn’t always the case. When I first started traveling I would carefully search my rental car from bumper to bumper to ensure I wouldn’t be held responsible for someone else’s damage. However, after renting cars for almost a decade without an incident I started to see it as an unnecessary process. That is, until my trip last week.

I landed in New York after (yet another) delay, hungry and tired. The rental car shuttle took about twenty minutes to pick us up (not great but definitely better than the 45 minutes it took last time). By the time I got to my rental car I was exhausted, but had a 35-minute drive to my final destination. It’s my habit to take a quick glance at my car to make sure there are no obvious defects, but this time it just didn’t happen. Read more of this article »

Road Warriorette Weekend Express

April 4, 2015 - One Response

Hey readers! Got a question or something you want to discuss this weekend?  Here’s the perfect opportunity!  Whether you want to share an Weekend Express picinteresting travel story, a packing tip, an etiquette tip, or anything else going on in the business travel world, comment here and we’ll have a discussion.

Travel tip of the week:

  • Are you traveling while pregnant like me?  Be sure you wear compression socks.  I didn’t realize how badly I needed compression socks on every flight until it was too late. I was in Florida for two weeks during my first pregnancy, and my ankles puffed up on the flight there and never really deflated. Finally I stopped in a drugstore to get a new pair. Even on short flights your ankles can swell, so just wear the darned things so you don’t have to worry about your shoes not fitting when you arrive.

Week in review:

Here are travel news stories that caught my eye this week:

Comment of the week:

“Was on a business trip 4000 miles away from home, visiting a large city, staying at a hotel assigned to me by my employer. The room was to be shared with a co-worker who would be arriving four hours later.In my hotel alone I received a knock at the door. Somewhat surprised, I went to the hotel room door and stood behind a locked door and asked who it was at the door. I was advised it was the police and they asked for me to open the door. This seemed odd to me.

I did not unlock the door nor did I convey any suspicion.

My response. I politely advised I will call the front desk to have some one from management come to my floor and to please wait.

I phoned the front desk and advised the police were at my hotel room door. The front desk informed me they did not notify the police. The front desk also could not be bother to follow up either.

The strange man at the door left and nothing happened. It just seemed strange to me and I am glad I listened to my intuition. I would say if someone comes to your hotel door and says it is the “police” or “security,” I would again not open the door and advise to the stranger you will be calling the front desk.

This is why I prefer travelling by cruises. I feel safe and do not have to be on hyper alert when traveling. Yes, I am in a bubble but health and safety come first.”

Readers, chime in with what’s on your mind! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

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Posts from the past

April 3, 2015 - Leave a Response

What was going on this time in years past?Post from Past pic



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