The Expert in Baby Boomer Travel

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flightSpeak lets you know what to expect at TSA security lines

flightSpeak lets you know what to expect at TSA security lines

‘Tis the season for holiday travel. But, in many cases, before you get home (or perhaps someplace that’s warm and tropical) for the holidays, you have to fight the Airport Wars.

Everyone who has flown during the holidays knows what this means: long lines to get through security, frantic searches for places to charge your cellphones, dodging other stressed-out travelers dashing to make their flights, maybe missing your own connections, and more — just the sorts of headaches that crush the holiday spirit before you even hit the eggnog.

You may even be at the airport right now as you read this (and, I hope, have your phone or laptop charged enough to do so).

If you’re en route, still packing, or just thinking about an upcoming trip now or any time of year, check out an app called… Continue reading

You can avoid long security lines. Photo from TSA.

You can avoid long security lines. Photo from TSA.

As airport security lines snaked around airports like giant boa constrictors threatening to strangle passengers trying to reach their gates this spring — with waits of an hour or more in some locations, and thousands of flights missed — my wife, Catharine, and I were generally able to waltz through security in under five minutes.

In most cases, we didn’t have to take off our shoes, belts, or light jackets, and sometimes I didn’t have to remove my laptop from my briefcase. We also didn’t have to go through those infernal body scanners that require you to remove even non-metal objects from your pockets; instead, we walked through simple metal detectors.

No, we’re not airline employees, or VIPs, or anything other than ordinary travelers. We weren’t flying first class or boasting elite status with the airlines. None of our relatives… Continue reading

Security lines at LAX (Los Angeles International) stretch almost to Anaheim. Photo by Tara Lee Tarkington on twitter.

Security lines at LAX (Los Angeles International) stretch almost to Anaheim. Photo by Tara Lee Tarkington on twitter.

With airport security lines sometimes crawling to an hour’s wait or longer, flying this summer threatens to become even more of a nightmare.

Some air travelers stuck in the seemingly interminable lines have missed their flights, while others have had to scramble to make theirs, adding to the existing stress of overcrowded planes, cramped seating, and scant legroom for most passengers.

While the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is currently beefing up its numbers — especially in bomb-sniffing dogs — the TSA remains understaffed and bags and people still have to be screened.

There’s at least one obvious fix. TSA Pre-Check — which allows pre-screened travelers to pass through separate, faster lines and less intrusive X-ray machines without having to remove their shoes, belts, light jackets and (sometimes) their laptops… Continue reading

Passengers doing the security fandango at U.S. airport. Photo from ABC News

Passengers doing the security fandango at U.S. airport. Photo from ABC News

Happy Thanksgiving to our U.S. readers!

The fourth Thursday in November is the day Americans traditionally stuff themselves with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, some kind of token green vegetable, and pumpkin pie.

It also leads to the busiest travel days of the year as families and friends reunite from the far corners of he country, usually by auto or air, resulting in traffic jams on the roads and in the sky.

With airports jammed and bad weather often leading to delays and frayed nerves, security lines and procedures enforced by the federal Transportation Security Adminstration (TSA) cause travelers — baby boomers and other generations alike — to sometimes lose their cool along with — well, the spare change they have to empty from their pockets.

According to a story in the Los Angeles Times,… Continue reading

Frankfurt Germany's airport allows you to stash your coat while heading to southern climes.

Frankfurt Germany’s airport allows you to stash your coat while heading to southern climes.

If you’re like me, you’ve had some really bad experiences in airports.

I’m not talking about just long, slow security lines — though those can cause serious problems catching some flights — but huge distances to cover between flights without sufficient airport transportation; bad signage; lousy dining choices; airline lounges that are almost impossible to find; lack of storage facilities; escalators that don’t work or don’t exist at all, forcing passengers to lug heavy suitcases up stairways; luggage carts that require coins in currencies visitors haven’t acquired yet; lack of sufficient seating near gates (or anywhere, for that matter); baggage carousels that don’t work, stranding some bags in limbo; inadequate restroom facilities…I could go on, but you get the picture.

Sometimes when I’m having to dash between flights — such as I did a few months… Continue reading

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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