It took me a couple of years of flying to figure out why flight attendants sometimes got cranky when I tried to hand them my accumulated trash—usually newspapers—every time they walked down the aisle. They really don’t want to collect garbage while serving drinks or meals.
But a flight attendant for a US carrier recently listed the things passengers do that really gets them upset:
–Coach passengers who see empty seats in business class and ask if they can take them.
–Passengers who ask flight attendants to shoehorn their bags into overhead bins. (As an aside, I’d make an exception for the elderly or infirm.)
-Asking cabin staff to call ahead to hold a connecting flight.
–Frequently asking to borrow pens.
–Passengers doing exercises in the aisles or galley.
–Talking during safety announcements.
–Leaving headphones on while giving a food or drink order. (You’re almost always shouting but don’t know it.)
I know some flight attendants and passengers think boarding a plane is the beginning of a face-off. In that case, both parties are wrong, and neither will have a pleasant flight.
Back when Conde Nast Traveler was more of a travel magazine than a fashion magazine, writer Wendy Perrin (pictured) compiled an annual listing of well-connected travel agents who offered exceptional service to travelers who wanted to get to the heart of the matter on a trip. That list is back, but in a different place.
Wendy Perrin is now a travel advocate with TripAdvisor.com, but check out her web site. She routinely posts helpful travel articles that can be of use to all travelers.
But one of the mother lodes of information in her website is that list of top-notch travel advisers—Wendy calls them “trip choreographers.” On the home page of her web site, just click on “The WOW List.” This is not a mere listing of names and contact info. Wendy describes the talents of each person and general prices for their services. Contact them through Wendy’s site, and she’ll watch over the planning of your trip. You may also receive get a few extras because of her relationship with the travel expert.
As in life, in travel, it’s often who you know.
You’ve got five more days, and this is the time many of us look at our frequent flyer accounts and say, “Ohmigod—I’m three thousand miles short of reaching silver.” Or gold. Or platinum. Or whatever. (Remember George Clooney in “Up In the Air?”)
And you have to decide if it’s worth flying somewhere just for those miles at the height of the holiday travel season.
Here’s how to play it very differently next year: Do the mileage runs in the first three months of 2015, when fares are at the lowest. When folks are tired of traveling. Remember, sometimes a long flight, like from the East Coast to the West, will cost less than a ticket from, say, Toledo, OH, to Birmingham, AL.
And if you get to December and still are a few thousand miles short, remember, airlines have historically allowed you to BUY elite-qualifying miles. Right now, for example, American, US Airways, and Delta will let you buy between 2,500 and 10,000 elite-qualifying miles to get you over the finish line for 2014. But those miles are never cheap, and you never know if they’ll be offered for sale at year’s end.
Next year, do the heavy lifting early.
A heartfelt “thank you” from the team here at “Rudy Maxa’s World.”
And thank you, our listeners, for tunig in and sending me your questions and ideas through RudyMaxa.com. That email address is Rudy@RudyMaxa.com.
As you pause this holiday season to celebrate whatever holiday you celebrate, you may find yourself thinking about your travel hopes and dreams for the coming year. I’ve noted this before, but it bears repeating: I find many people want to go somewhere but simply never get around to it.
Here’s my advice: Set a date. Doing that forces you to make concrete plans and to keep your calendar clear of other obligations. That’s the first big step, and the others should follow: Researching destinations and shopping for the best deals.
Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to travel. There’s not a state in this country that doesn’t have interesting places to visit. You may not need plane tickets, and you don’t have to experience jet lag to have traveled.
Just start by setting that date.
One wish I have every year is one that seems to never come true: That those little bottles of shampoo and shower gel provided by hotels have larger print on their labels. It’s darn hard to read which is which in the shower, especially if you use reading glasses.
I wish Delta Air Lines would stop hacking away at its frequent flyer program, devaluing perks for its elite levels except for business travelers flying on someone else’s dime. I’m afraid United and American will follow suit.
I’d like US airlines to catch up with their international competitors by quickly installing Wi-fi on international flights.
I wish American cell service providers would match TMobile’s 20-cents-a-minute calls while overseas.
I wish America’s northeast corridor would develop a high-speed train before I pass along to that great airline lounge in the sky. I’m betting against it, by the way.
And, finally, best Christmas wishes to you and yours.