After an idyllic three-week sojourn in the Greek islands (which I’ll write about soon in subsequent posts), my wife, Catharine, and I experienced “one of those days” where virtually everything went wrong trying to get home to Tucson.
It was like having a karmic payoff for everything that had gone right in Greece, where we got tanned, rested, and ready (we thought) for the slew of appointments and other challenges that we knew awaited us over the coming weeks.
I don’t want to suggest in any way that our bad day compared to the serious disruptions that many travelers have suffered from weather-related delays and cancellations — including, no doubt, some on our own Newark to Dallas flight who were trying to make connections to a plethora of onward destinations.
More than any single thing, this day was a… Continue reading
Leading-edge baby boomers — those born in the late 1940s — are now edging into their 70s, and with that inevitably come new challenges when we travel, no matter how healthy we are.
Much as we may hate to admit it (and I’m a prime offender in this regard), we may walk a bit slower, require assistance from time to time, and need to take care of ourselves a bit more.
Flying and airports can be especially vexing, and so I was struck by this piece by Bay Area freelance journalist Scott Morris from the excellent website caring.com that’s filled with tips on how to make the flying and airport experience a bit smoother.
Here’s Scott on a topic of interest to anyone who flies, but especially to older travelers:
By Scott Morris
Flying can be difficult… Continue reading
‘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
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
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
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… Continue reading
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