Category: Travel

All Aboard!!!

All Aboard!!!

I am on a lot of planes. This “boarding the plane” video was very interesting. Actually, I think boarding times would go a LOT faster if airlines would simply take your suitcase for free and hold it underneath the plane and return it to you when you land. I have heard of the alternating row/alternating side solution before (watch to the end) but never seen it explained so well.

Header Photo by Free-Photos (Pixabay)
Southwest To End Overbooking on Flights By June

Southwest To End Overbooking on Flights By June


I really enjoy Southwest airlines service. It is not overly convenient for me as they have a limited presence in airports under an hour from me, but I have been known to drive 90-100 miles to use Southwest.

A little-known fact about Southwest is that if you have a high seating number within the C list, you are at risk of not getting a seat at all. If the flight is overbooked, then all of the seats will be full when you get to the plane and the gate agent won’t let you on to the plane.

I never fly Southwest without paying the slightly higher cost of Early Bird seating. This will typically get you place in line in the mid-to-high A list, or in a really popular flight, a low B number.

Southwest Airlines said it would end overselling of seats on its flights by the end of June, accelerating the move in the wake of the furor surrounding efforts to remove a United Airlines flier earlier this month.

Airlines typically sell more seats than an aircraft’s capacity because of no-shows, though Southwest’s focus on airport-to-airport flying means it is less exposed to delayed connecting passengers compared with carriers such as United Continental Holdings Inc. that operate big hubs.

Southwest typically oversells just one seat on a jet carrying 143 passengers and expects a “fairly small” revenue impact that would be counteracted by a drop in costs from lower compensation payments.

But Southwest required almost 15,000 passengers to give up their seats involuntarily last year—more than the combined total of United, American Airlines Group Inc., and Delta Air Lines Inc. Some 80% of the Southwest total was caused by overselling, with the balance to make way for airline crew, said executives on a quarterly earnings’ call Thursday.

Source: Southwest To End Overbooking on Flights By June

RANT: Please don’t bruise me with your book bag

RANT: Please don’t bruise me with your book bag

I fly a lot. I typically do close to 100,000 miles in a year.

Anyone that frequently flies goes into what I call Airport Mode. This mode essentially means you zone out other people. You ignore crying babies. You are indifferent to people that talk loudly. You tolerate idiots that cannot squeeze their tuba-sized suitcase into the overhead bins.

The hardest thing to ignore is a bruised shoulder. This happens when an inconsiderate person insists on wearing their book bag on the plane and then smashes it against your shoulder while they are walking down the aisle.

bookbag photoYour book bag doesn’t make you rude when you are walking in a straight line. However, when you turn it is quite likely that you don’t realize that you are now quite deep.

You typically turn on your spine. All of your life, you have learned that you have no trunk behind you and you don’t have to make wide turns. But with that book bag, you are now like a semi-truck. You are now a vehicle that makes wide turns.

So when you are walking down the aisle of a plane, you are quite good when you are going straight. As soon you start to rotate though, remember you are pulling a trailer! That book bag and you simply do not fit sideways in the aisle. So when you rotate your body, that massive book bag is swinging like a wide-load. It’s destination is my shoulder.plane aisle photo

I probably won’t tell you that you just walloped me with your bag. I will keep silent because I am in Airport Mode. I don’t want to interact with you. I don’t want to be your friend. I am never going to see you again and I don’t want to spend the energy to fix your rudeness. It is much easier for me to wince, try to avoid you hitting me again, and go back to reading my email on my phone before I am told to stop.

Frankly, I just wish you would read this article and leave my shoulder alone. It is still sore from yesterday’s flight.

Photo by sinosplice

Photo by foilman

The hotel bar is showing local sports

The hotel bar is showing local sports

I travel a great deal for my job. It is not unusual for me to be in a hotel 1-3 days a week. I don’t enjoy the travel, but it is part of my life and my employement so I tolerate the effort and inconvenience.

With that travel schedule, I am frequently having a late dinner in the hotel bar. Invariably, I am accompanied  by salespeople and business travelers from all over the US. We are sitting in the hotel bar, having a drink, and trying to find something decent on the menu for dinner. We don’t really want to sit in our underwear in our room with room service.

In almost all cases, the hotel bar television is playing a game.  That game is a NBA basketball game, a NHL hockey game, or a MLB baseball game. The kicker is that 90% of the time, the game is the local team. It is rarely the best game for the evening, but rather the local team regardless of the sport.

The problem with this is that no one in the hotel bar is from that city. If we were from that city, we wouldn’t be at the hotel, and we definitely would not be at the high-priced and poorly stocked hotel bar. Why in the world would we want to watch the local team?

My advice to the management of the hotels and their included hotel bar across the US, turn your TV to the best game that night. Most of the patrons are too bored to encourage you to change the channel, but we all wish that you would. We can survive if our favorite team is not on the TV, because we know that there are others in the hotel bar you need to accomodate. We just don’t want to watch the local team because we simply are not local.

If the bartender wants to watch the local team, he should ask off of work for that evening!

Spirit Airlines and carry on fees

Spirit Airlines and carry on fees

I do not fly on Spirit Airlines. They don’t have regular service to the city that I live in so I have not had an opportunity to board one of their planes. I say this simply because my comments below need to be put in context.

I agree with their policy of charging for carry-on luggage.

I am sick and tired of getting to the airplane on time, quickly and efficiently getting to my seat with my one computer bag, settling in with a good magazine and my iPhone, and then watching all of the other idiots try to stuff all of their earthly possessions into the overhead compartment.

When I flew last week, at least 4 people didn’t have room overhead and had to gate check their bags. This simply slowed down the boarding and we left the gate late. In addition, the person sitting beside me had to gate check her bag because it simply didn’t fit in the overhead bin. I am not sure why she thought it would fit, it was so large and heavy that she couldn’t lift it over her head (and i swear that my overweight 6’3″ frame would have fit into the bag she was hauling).

I think the airlines are screwed up.  Make checking bags more efficient and friendly but shrink the size of the bag that is allowed on the plane to be briefcase size. Get their passengers onto the plane without the process feeling like I am being crammed into an old VW van. Then when we land, it won’t take me 20 minutes to get off the plane while the fat woman in front of me tries to pull her massive flowered bag out of the compartment and wheel it down the aisle.

Flying was never fun but now it is becoming painful.