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We’ve all been there: midway through your flight, having exhausted all your entertainment materials, you think, “Hey, now would be an excellent time to finish my whittling project.” Or start a pick-up lacrosse game. Or practice your golf swing. Whatever the case, you’ve got to fight back the urge, because all of those activities require items you’re simply not allowed to bring on an airplane. Until now.
Keeping up with the ins-and-outs of Washington politics is exhausting. But one thing travelers must keep an eye on is the approaching sequester, which, barring congressional action, goes into effect this week. Though a majority of cuts will be in other federal agencies (mostly in domestic and defense programs), the airline industry is poised to take a major hit. Here’s what you need to know as you try to figure out whether or not your flight plans must be adjusted.
Since we’re being open and honest here, I have a confession: I’m a pretty demanding travel companion. I want to get to the airport on time (but definitely not too early); I follow the rules and take my belt and shoes off and always take my toiletries and laptop out at security; but most importantly, I just want to get to my gate quickly (though I’m generally okay with a quick stop to grab some airport comfort food). Here are some reasons why I’m not the biggest fan of traveling with friends and family (pets are another story).
You’ve always talked about it, but now you’ve finally done it: you booked your dream vacation. You’ve spent months planning, orchestrating every miniscule detail, but as you touch down, it hits you: you have no way of getting from the airport to your hotel. You have no nearby friends or relatives to fetch you, and taking a taxi means putting a serious dent in your budget. Is your getaway over before it even started? Not to worry. A new feature within the GateGuru app, compatible with Apple and Android devices, ensures a smooth, easy ride.
The company’s partnership with the Avis-Budget Group is a big step in fulfilling GateGuru’s mission to reinvent travel. The latest version of the app, released in October, assists travelers in booking last-minute car rentals. Best of all, working directly with a single rental company allows GateGuru to offer the lowest available pricing. Users can get between 5 and 25 percent knocked off the price, with discounts increasing the closer the reservation is made to the day of travel. The company’s chief executive and co-founder Dan Gellert said the initiative was a result of, “thinking through the current airport rental car experience.”
Travelers flying to and from the Sunshine State will see a price hike across a handful of major carriers. United has raised one-way ticket prices on all Florida markets $10, while Delta, Southwest, and American followed suit with increases on most of their Florida routes. US Airways endeavored to push through a $10 spike on a larger portion of its domestic network but balked, limiting the increase to just the Florida region.
This is the 15th attempt by airlines to bump up domestic fare prices in 2012, seven of which have gotten the green light; last year, nine of the 22 proposed increases were successful.
Sleeping on planes is a tricky proposition. There is plenty of chaos going on around you (e.g., people eating, people getting up to use the restroom, people trying to open windows, etc.). Then there’s the small matter of falling asleep while seated upright. It’s not easy and can often lead to a sore neck by the end of the flight. Sure, there are pillows out there that provide support, but they’re far from ergonomic. If only there was something that could support our necks, keep our heads from falling onto our neighbors, and prevent us from jostling ourselves awake when our chins dip forward. I don’t want to remove any pillows from SkyMall Tuesday headquarters, so I’m at a loss. Thankfully, the good folks at SkyMall know that head support on airplanes is critical to our health. Now we can all fly in comfort with the UpRight Sleeper.
We’ve gotten used to paying for the conveniences that were once free when it comes to air travel, like snacks and checked baggage, but it looks like flyers might not be ready to pony up for new amenities like in-flight Wi-Fi – and that could actually push connectivity fees down.
A new report from research firm In-Stat estimates that less than 10 percent of passengers who have access to in-flight Wi-Fi are using it, possibly because it’s too expensive. Currently, Gogo – the biggest in-flight Wi-Fi service provider in the country – charges anywhere from $5 to $13 per use, depending on the length of the flight. Frequent flyers may also buy a $35 monthly pass, but even business travelers, it seems, enjoy a couple of unplugged hours to themselves from time to time. Read more
I’m not ordinarily a fan of travel toys that are so specialized that they can only be used in one situation, but for families that fly a lot, the Air Play Tray Table Cover and the Kids TRAYblecloth and Activity Center are slipcovers that help keep boredom (and tray table germs) at bay. Both covers can remain on the tray whether it’s open or closed and your kids can eat off of them, too.
The cotton Air Play is festooned on both sides with soft educational toys, which ought to suit the 6-24 month set. While her tray table’s open, your child can manipulate colorful buttons, zippers, buckles, and little shapes that resemble food items. Read more
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