Seat reclining fight in the news

August 27, 2014 - 11 Responses

Soooo, this is interesting. NBC reported a story on the Today Show about a passenger using a Knee Defender, which keeps the8-26-14-1 passenger in front of them from reclining in their seat.  The man was using the Knee Defender while he had his laptop on the tray table (the Knee Defender was attached to the tray table).   The United flight attendant asked the passenger to remove the Knee Defender but he declined.  That apparently made the woman in front of him mad enough to throw a cup of water at the guy.  This caused the flight to be diverted and the two passengers were kicked off the flight.

There is a wide range of opinions when it comes to seat reclining.  In a 2010 post I wrote it was my opinion that reclining your seat was not rude.  If someone reclined their seat you could get that space back by reclining your own seat.  As you can read in the comments of that post, not everyone agrees. A poll I did following that post had mixed results, to say the least.

Then in 2012 I had a change of heart.  I was on a flight and about to open my laptop when the gentleman in front of me threw back his seat.  If my laptop was open I’m certain it would have been broken.  So with that being said I can see why the person in the Today Show story had a concern about the seat in front of him reclining.  However, using a device to prevent the person from reclining such as the Knee Defender is going about this the wrong way. In fact, I’m surprised that devices like that are allowed at all! And whether we agree or not, you pretty much always have to do what a flight attendant tells you.

What should have happened is the women wanting to recline should have asked the gentleman if it was ok for her to recline.  If he wanted to use the laptop on the tray table he should have courteously said that if she reclines it would make his work space crammed and ask if she would be willing not to recline.  If she insisted on reclining the gentleman should have taken the high road and used the laptop without the tray table and used his laptop in his lap (or perhaps invest in a laptop stand instead of Knee Defenders).

Readers, what are your thoughts on all of this? Should Knee Defenders be allowed on flights?

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Business travel news roundup

August 26, 2014 - One Response

Here are a few of the stories that caught my eye in the last week or so…. news pic bag

Readers, anything interesting come across your desk lately?       

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Beauty Monday: Travel hairstyles

August 25, 2014 - Leave a Response

I have struggled with my hair since junior high. It’s kind of wavy, not quite curly but definitely not straight. If I want it to look 8-25-14-1better than “blah” I have to do some work. Blowdrying it straight is an option, as is busting out the curling iron. When I’m at home or at a hotel (but not flying) wearing it down is totally fine. But on travel days, especially day trips, I want my air out of my face. The answer is obvious, right: ponytail! Alas, I hate regular (mid-head) ponytails because they make it difficult to rest against the seat. So here are some of my go-to hairstyles for travel days.

Side bun. This is the one I do the most—it’s simple, easy, and can be done when my hair is still damp from the shower. (Here’s a tutorial.)

Low ponytail. This is my super lazy day style, although I usually will wrap some hair around the band to dress it up a bit.

Top knot. If I have a little time, I love top knots for travel days. So pretty and classic!

Side braid. The side braid is the best hairstyle for when I’m traveling internationally, but I use it on domestic trips occasionally. It’s a little more casual but is best for containing my hair.

Twisted. If all I want is to have the front of my hair out of my face I will twist it and then pin it back.

I love the blog The Small Things for medium-length hair tutorials and styling suggestions. The products I usually have on hand are shine serum and curl crème(stored in a spare contact lens case). Although I really need to get some travel hairspray! If you’re interested to see what other things inspire my travel day hairstyles, follow my Pinterest “Hair” board. It’s safe to say I end up with a much tamer version of what’s on there, but the inspiration photos sure are lovely.

Readers, what are your favorite hairstyles for travel days? What hair products do you travel with?

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Preparing for delays

August 25, 2014 - 5 Responses

No matter how much or how little you travel, flight delays are inevitable. Of course, the more you travel the more you are impacted. I always thought that the worst delays were in the winter due to snow, but a flight attendant friend told me they are worse in the summer. The combination of sudden lighting storms and holiday travelers is a recipe for severe delays. While there’s not a lot you can do to avoid them, there are several ways to prepare so that they are as bearable as possible. Best case scenario you are in an airport; worst case you are stuck on a plane when the delay hits. Either way, the following should help.

Power up. No matter how short your trip, bring your chargers!! On day trips I have often thought, I don’t need my phone charger—I’m gone less than a day. But when I’m delayed and have to use my phone or iPad to watch Netflix I am super glad to have that charger.  Also bring a mobile charger (and maybe a DC-USB charger). Try to have your devices charged before you get on the plane, but if you get stuck on the tarmac you have ways to charge.

A Jackery

A USB DC charger

 

 

 

 

Bring entertainment. An eReader is a great thing to have during a delay, with hundreds of books at your fingertips and the ability to buy more instantly. And may I just say (especially after my last few delays), thank goodness for Netflix! Being stuck in an airport (or sitting in an airplane on the tarmac, omg) is way more fun if you’re catching up on your favorite shows. I just finished Dance Academy and The West Wing, and now I’m binge-watching Continuum (it’s awesome, you should check it out). Of course if you have work you should probably finish that first. Unfortunately, my laptop is so old that my battery only lasts about 45 minutes. If there is no plug available I will usually get as much work done as possible before it dies and then enjoy some TV.

A Kindle Paperwhite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snacks. I can’t say this enough—keep snacks in your bag at all times. You never know when you’ll be stuck on a plane that was scheduled to take off two hours ago. The last time that happened to me the flight was supposed to be only 45 minutes in the first place and there was no food to be had. My almonds or Kind bar may not be the most exciting thing, but when I’m hungry with no meal in sight I will eat them gladly.

A KIND bars

 

 

 

 

 

Wear layers. Planes are often freezing, and it’s very tempting to wear long sleeves and pants on travel days. However, when a plane is stuck on the ground I have found they typically turn down the air conditioner (or turn it off completely, ugh), and planes quickly get sweltering under those conditions. It’s easier to wear a dress and bring a pashmina and cardigan to wear when it’s cold, instead of trying to stay cool in long sleeves and pants.

A Pashmina

 

 

 

 

 

Be comfortable. I always like to have my glasses with me, even for day trips. That way if I get stuck in the airport I can take out my contacts and be more comfortable. For day trips I will take a few small toiletry items with me for the same reason—face wipes, moisturizer, and a disposable toothbrush.

A Yes Face wipes

A colgate wisp

 

 

 

 

Have patience. Delays suck, there’s no doubt about it. Unfortunately for frequent travelers there is no way to avoid them. Take a deep breath, watch a TV show, drink a glass of wine, and remember you will be home soon!

Readers, how do you prepare for delays? Anything specific you keep in your bag just in case you’re stuck at the airport or on a plane?

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Posts from the past

August 24, 2014 - Leave a Response

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

2013

2012

Read more of this article »

Road Warriorette Weekend Express

August 23, 2014 - 2 Responses

Hey readers! Got a question or something on your mind that you want to discuss?  Here’s the perfect opportunity!  Whether you weekend expresswant to share an interesting 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. (Pictured:Airplanes Games Plane Paper app, free.)

Travel tip of the week:

  • Bring disinfectant wipes with you when you travel.   Yesterday I posted a story NBC did about germs at the airport and in planes.  Wipe down the bins you use in security and the tray table on your plane to avoid some of the worst germ spots when traveling.

Week in review:

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

Comment of the week:

@Wendy posted how she makes traveling easier while injured.

“ I’ve travelled using crutches, cane and a rollator walker. The easiest to use is the walker because you have a basket underneath the seat for your purse and your carry on bag will sit on the seat while you are pushing it. Plus you get tired you always have a seat. You have to gate check the walker but it is always back waiting for you when you get off the plane. ….”

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

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I’m sorry, TSA bins have WHAT in them??

August 22, 2014 - 7 Responses

“Presence of dangerous bacteria….evidence of fecal matter….can potentially lead to overwhelming infections in your wipesbloodstream.”  Sounds scary, right?  Where would something like this be? you might ask.  Well, according to a travel story from NBC tests revealed it was in security bins at an airport!

It makes unfortunate, disgusting sense when you think about it.  Shoes go in those bins.  Think about all the nasty places we have to walk in our shoes.  Now multiply that by the number of times the bin gets shoes put in it before it’s cleaned.  Same goes for luggage.   We roll our luggage on the same floors we walk on.  Our luggage then gets put on the belt where those same bins roll across.  Our laptops go in those bins which in turn go back in our bag to spread the bacteria even further.  The list goes on and on. Then there’s the machine that tests liquids when you need bring something like breast milk through security for your child.  Are those machines cleaned between every test??

I took it upon myself to get a response from the TSA.  I provided them a link to the story and asked how often they clean the security bins and the machine that tests liquids that need to go through security.  Here’s what they said-

      Thank you for your e-mail to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Contact Center, regarding how often we clean the divestiture bins at our Nation’s airports.

     The TSA management at each airport is responsible for the orderly operations and safe working conditions at their respective sites.  Bins are maintained on a schedule as determined by local staff, as well as on an as-needed basis to address immediate spills, etc.  Divestiture tables, screening equipment (e.g., liquid container screening machines), are similarly maintained on a schedule determined by local management.

     Thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us, and we hope this information is helpful.

It was the answer I was expecting:  a safe, nonspecific response.  Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the TSA getting back to me on this, but it’s obvious that the current methods they use to keep security clean isn’t working.  I’m not a cleanliness expert by any means but there has to be a way to keep those areas cleaner. Maybe instead of using bins for shoes they could use flat trays?  The flat trays would take up way less room and the cleaning of them could be managed more effectively.  As far as the liquid machine goes, they should disinfect that after every use if they aren’t doing so already.  It just seems like that machine could spread bacteria pretty easily.

I’m guessing there won’t be any changes to the security bin cleaning schedule in the near future so bring disinfectant wipes (they are allowed through security)—that way if you have to use the bins you can at least clean them first. Although the best case scenario is to get TSA Pre-check so you don’t have to take your shoes off or take anything out of your bag! Of course, no matter what you do, make sure to wash your hands frequently while traveling.

If you’ve got a few minutes, watch that whole video. It’s pretty terrible but I for one am glad to know what’s really there. Ick.  Read about staying healthy while traveling from a previous post I did.

Readers, what are your thoughts? Would you ever wipe a security bin down before using it?

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Travel bag of the week: Hobo Venice Morena Tote

August 21, 2014 - One Response

Each week Road Warriorette features a travel bag that hits all of the high notes for ladies on the road: pockets, construction, and (of8-21-14-3 course!) style.

Hobo is one of my favorite brands, for good reason. They make high-quality, useful, beautiful bags and wallets. My beloved orange wallet is a Hobo, and both of my sisters own items by them as well. The Morena tote is a perfect example of Hobo excellence: plenty of space and pockets, and incredibly lovely (with gorgeous contrasting lining). It will hold a laptop and everything else you need for your journey! Available in black, gray, and red for $298.

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Travel etiquette tip: Don’t use hairspray on the train (or plane)!

August 21, 2014 - Leave a Response

I’m in New York right now, and traveling by train to get to several offices around the area. Mostly the train is pretty nice–there is8-21-14-2 wifi, I can work or read, and it’s reasonably quick. Also, people have been very nice. Since I’ve been traveling off-peak hours I’ve had plenty of room, and no one has bothered or crowded me.

That changed yesterday. I was working on my laptop and feeling pretty productive. At one stop a mother and her toddler daughter got on the train and sat in front of me. The daughter was adorable, talking up a storm to anyone who would listen. After a few minutes I was able to get back to work. All of the sudden I heard a hissing noise and smelled a noxious chemical scent. I tried to hold my breath as I looked up to see what the heck was going on. The mother was spraying hairspray all over her daughter. Not just hairspray–but the aerosol kind. She must have held down the nozzle for a good minute while the fumes engulfed me. I immediately got a headache and honestly, I thought I was going to throw up.

Friends, please please please don’t spray things into the air when you’re sharing a contained space with others. Not hairspray, perfume, cleaning products–just don’t. So many people have sensitives or downright allergies. Is it worth it to ruin someone’s day so that you can put on perfume or hairspray? Wait until you get to your destination! In fact, be cognizant that a lot of grooming rituals–painting your nails, brushing your hair, etc–can have a negative impact on your fellow travelers.  Read my top 3 grooming activities to avoid on a flight as well while we are on the subject.

Readers, what are your plane or train grooming pet peeves? Seen anything really bad lately?

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Business travel news roundup

August 20, 2014 - 2 Responses

Here are a few of the stories that caught my eye in the last week or so….news pic bag

Readers, anything interesting come across your desk lately?

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Have a travel question or suggestion? Send it to RoadWarriorette @ gmail.com.

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