Monday, December 20, 2010

Travel Happy During the Holidays

Being with family and loved ones is just one of the essential components of making any holiday festivity a memorable one. Usually this gathering requires many folks to board a plane and arrive in what sometimes feels like a whole other world. Keeping a few things in mind can help this adventure be a fun one.

  • First and for most, keep a positive attitude. We are all human and sometimes have little control over of how things play out especially in a large industry like air travel. Remember to breathe and find the good in a situation. I once was given first class seats by an agent at the gate because I wasn’t bothering her wondering what my seat assignment was. As soon as she called my name and saw my face she said, “I haven’t seen you yet. I think I have some first class seats for you.” Patience is everything.

  • Print boarding passes at home by checking-in online. Most airlines allow you to check-in online 24 hours in advance of your flight whether you booked your flight yourself or through a Travel Agent. Head to the airlines website and find the “Check-In” button and follow the instructions. You not only get your boarding pass, but the airline usually makes more seats available giving passengers a chance to obtain a better seat to their liking. This is an easy way to avoid lines at the airport being you already have your boarding pass it allows you to simply check your luggage upon arrival and head to your gate.

  • Arrive at the airport early. The general rule is 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for international flights. As you can imagine, you and your travel companions are a handful of 1000’s of travelers during the holiday season. Bring books, snacks, music, pillows – whatever will make your relaxation in the airport more enjoyable. It’s more fun to window shop or people watch than to be frantic about getting to your flight on time.

  • Have identification ready and easy to retrieve. You will most likely be asked to show your ID about 2-4 times before you even board the plane. Find an easy, non-cumbersome way to have all flight information including tickets, boarding passes, itinerary and identification right at your fingertips, but also secure. This will save you and passengers behind you a lot of time and sometimes frustration.

  • Keep gifts unwrapped. If you want your hard to work to stay beautiful, wait to wrap your gifts upon arriving at your final destination. The TSAwill rip them open to see what is inside, so the best idea (and to stay on task with the first tip of a positive attitude) is to just leave them as they are and take care of gift wrapping later.

  • Stay Healthy. Drink plenty of water and take Vitamin C to increase your healthy immune system. Remember you are not allowed to take liquids through security so you will either have to buy water once inside the airport security area, or bring an empty water container and fill up at the water fountains saving some money (a lot of money!).

  • Review TSA rules and follow them. The security at our airports is sometimes difficult. Make sure you breeze through by being prepared before hand. View this TSA Informative Site for information.

  • Pack Light. I know it’s hard to leave behind three of your favorite pairs of shoes or think you need eight pairs of underwear for a three-day trip. Remember where you are going will most likely have a washer and dryer. Save yourself from lugging around a bunch of weight. Go light. You’ll be happy you did in the end.

  • Remember Why You’re Traveling. This is a grand time to the year. Have fun and smile a lot, it keeps you positive. Smiling helps release those wonderful things we call endorphins giving us a sense of lightless and bliss. Smile at people you don’t know and remember your patience. Everyone is trying to accomplish the same things: keep customers happy, fellow passengers delightful and arrive wherever you are traveling to safe and sound.

Enjoy your trip and show abundance of love and gratitude for those around you.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

World's 5 Largest Airlines are not from the USA

The world's five biggest airlines now hail from Asia and Latin America, highlighting the industry's shift away from the U.S. and Europe to higher-growth countries.

Air China is now twice the size of both U.S.'s Delta Airlines and Germany's Lufthansa. "The world is changing in aviation, and it's changing very, very quickly," IATA Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani recently stated at a news conference in Geneva. "Rapidly developing markets are shifting the industry's center of gravity to the East."
The Geneva-based group representing some 230 carriers and 93 percent of scheduled air traffic said the outlook is bright for Asia. A rapidly expanding middle class in Asia along with growing demand for air links between the continent's 15 mega-cities, with over 10 million inhabitants in each, promise strong industry profits in the region, Bisignani said. If "archaic ownership rules" in the United States were changed, the industry might soon see the first takeover of a U.S. carrier by an Asian airline, he added.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

American's Traveling to Cuba

Cuban government has reported that American's are Cuba's second largest source of visitors in 2010. More than 1,000 travelers from the United States arrive in Cuba every day, most of them are of Cuban origin. They come second only to Canadians who take first place in the number of foreign visitors.

U.S. charter companies say that business is booming because restrictions were lifted on Cuban-Americans visiting their homeland earlier this year. Restrictions were also lifted on academic, religious, cultural and other professional travel. U.S. citizens are forbidden from traveling to Cuba without the government's permission under a wide-ranging U.S. trade embargo on the island imposed nearly five decades ago.
Around 265,000 people from the U.S. have travelled to Cuba this year through October. If the travel ban was lifted, just think of how those numbers would go up.

Contact a Professional Travel Agent today to get started booking your next vacation!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

UK Airports to Relax Ban on Liquids

The ban on liquids that was imposed in August of 2005 on containers greater than 100ml (3.5 oz) is set to be phased out of UK airports, starting in April 2011.

The Guardian reports that current airport restrictions on carrying bottled drinks, shampoo and perfume on to flights will be relaxed beginning next year. Although the majority of passengers will have to wait until 2013 before the measures are scrapped. The Transport secretary has confirmed that the first phase in relaxing the ban, which applies to liquids, aerosols and gels in containers greater than 100ml, will begin in April next year.

Transfering passengers traveling from outside Europe will be allowed to carry liquids bought in duty free shops on to connecting flights within Europe, ending a restriction that has seen the impounding of duty-free goods. These liquids will still have to be carried in clear plastic bags and put through screening machines.

The current guidelines will be completely scrapped in 2013, by which point European airports must have acquired screening machines that can detect suspicious liquids.

Contact a Professional Travel Agent to get started your next trip today!