This month's stories covered the gamut, ranging from trust in the Transportation Security Administration to American Express Centurion Lounges to passport kiosks at airport. Below is a summary and links to all the posts I wrote in May.
- A Harris Poll found that half of Americans don't believe that Transportation Security Administration screening procedures make air travel safer. Another 48% don't feel that screenings are an effective deterrent to hijacking. STORY
- Traditionally, airport lounges in the United States have been the exclusive territory for airlines. Carries use the lounges to further woo their best customers. But now we're seeing a trend that is commonplace in Europe and Asia -- sponsored airport lounges. And venerable credit card American Express has stepped into this arena. STORY
- The folks at TripChi are entering an already crowded travel app market with something they claim will help make the travel process better. STORY
- If you're like me, you've turned into a device addict. On any given trip, I may have an iPhone, an iPad and a MacBook Pro, depending on where I'm going. And all of those items are power hungry. STORY
- As someone who has been traveling the world since age six, it's inevitable that friends and family ask my advice on how to handle packing properly for trips. They also want advice on what to do when things go wrong. STORY
- Just in time for the summer season, the travel experts at Expedia have come out with a poll asking 6,000 travelers with Expedia Elite Plus status their thoughts on business and leisure travel, including the best and worst airports and food/beverage. STORY
- If you survey travelers who regularly fly to and from the United States to points abroad, one of their pain points is dealing with U.S. Customs and Border Protection when arriving home. Depending on the airport and time of day, travelers can spend up to three hours waiting to enter the country. STORY
- As a student pilot, I have had to learn the phonetic alphabet. This is the alphabet used by pilots, air traffic control and the military, among others, to correctly issue instructions. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) so that people around the world in aviation understand clearly what letters are being used. STORY
- In the old days, passengers had to use phones and computers to handle most of the travel functions when booking and tracking airline service. But now, carriers have spent the money to invest in apps on the major smartphone and tablet platforms. These apps do myriad tasks, including flight and fare searches, show route maps, allow users to check in for flights and download mobile boarding passes. STORY
I really enjoyed my second full month as About.com's Air Travel Expert. And it was another busy month, with stories ranging from passenger luggage to the world's busiest airports. Â Below is a summary and links to my April posts. Enjoy!
- I have traveled the globe and have eaten in a lot of airport eateries. On April 1, I listed 10 of my favorite quick-serve food/beverage airport outposts.
- Considering how many complaints I hear and read about airlines losing luggage, it was a bit of a surprise when SITA revealed that less bags were lost in 2013.
- My post on the best websites for airline seat maps was written after a debate that was started in one of my airline geek chat groups.
- Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport managed to hang on to the crown as the world's busiest airport in 2013, according to Airports Council International.
- My post on American Airlines canceling bereavement fares was the result of a debate on a LinkedIn board on business travel.
- Anyone who has ever had to go through the airlines' process when a piece of luggage is lost will appreciate the serve being offered by Blue Ribbon Bags.
- There are times when I really love my job, like when I got to fly to London Heathrow Airport for a sneak peek at United Airlines' new Terminal 2, scheduled to open on June 4.
- As someone who loves sitting in airline lounges, but doesn't have the status to do it, I welcome pay lounges like The Club at PHX.
- I don't think anyone was shocked when a new survey by theÂ American Customer Satisfaction Index found travelers are not too happy with the services offered by airlines.
- It has happened to all of us -- the dreaded flight delay or cancelation. I offer 10 tips on how to handle them.
March was my first full month as About.com's Air Travel Expert, and my stories for the month ran the gamut, from the joys of the Global Entry program to ways of contacting North American carriers. See my summaries, below.
- Starting from my latest, Skytrax named Singapore Changi Airport the world's best at its awards event in Barcelona;
- I updated a list of phone numbers and websites for U.S. and Canadian carriers;
- During the month, both Delta Air Lines and Virgin America unveiled new premium meal offerings;
- Travelers have more access than ever to TSA's PreCheck trusted traveler program;
- The CEO of FlightView talks about how his data helps airports and passengers;
- I offered a list of my 10 favorite airport quick-serve concessions;
- Looking for trends in healthy eating and best airports for it? Check out this article;
- Six airlines actually made the list of 500 top global brands for 2014; and
- I explain why Global Entry, the international trusted traveler program, is worth every penny.
Delta Air Lines and Virgin America recently unveiled new menus for passengers in their premium cabins. Delta tapped Atlanta-based Chef Linton Hopkins to create a southern-themed menu for BusinessElitetravelers, while Virgin America worked with its inflight catering manager and LSG Sky Chefs to create a new first class menu.
On a recent trip, I was fortunate enough to get chosen to use the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) expedited PreChecksecurity line, and it was great. PreCheck allows travelers to leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on, using special screening lanes.
Boston-based FlightView is using its access to different data sources to provide airports and passengers with the latest information in their travels. The company, with more than 150 airport customers worldwide, added 40 airport customers in 2013, including Indianapolis International, Sacramento International and Curacao International.
Remember when airport food/beverage concessions were just plain boring? If you were lucky, you'd get a snack bar with limited fast food options, a sundries shop with candy and chips and a bland, generic restaurant. But now airports, knowing that passengers are spending more time in their facilities, have stepped up their game and offer local/regional and national brands ranging from fast food to full-service restaurants. Below are 10 quick-serve outlets you should try on your next trip.
We are seeing more people interested in living a healthier lifestyle. That includes finding healthy foods and snacks when they travel, and airports are listening. And the the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine tracks airports who are doing the best job in accommodating travelers' need for healthy food options.
Every year, London-based Brand Finance comes out with Brandirectory's exhaustive list: The Global 500 2014: The World's Most Valuable Brands. The top five brands among all 500 companies on the list read like a who's who in corporations: Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Verizon. When broken down by industries, six airlines made the list, including three U.S.-based carriers: Emirates, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines,Lufthansa, United Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
I recently went to London on a business trip. When I first found out I was going, I decided to sign up for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Global Entry program. I've heard my traveling friends rave about it, so that was enough for me to join the program. Read more