Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Archive for airlines

A Rewarding Experience

By Linda Tancs

Most folks probably wouldn’t consider a trek through an airport (particularly on a layover) to be a rewarding experience. But you might feel differently at London’s Heathrow airport, where retail therapy is made more encouraging with Heathrow Rewards. Similar to other loyalty programs, you simply use your card at virtually any retail location at the airport to collect points toward spending on shopping, dining or transportation services. You can even boost your frequent flier balance by applying rewards points to your account. The program is free to join.

An Aircraft Enthusiast’s Heaven

By Linda Tancs

Talk about the luck of the Irish. A private collector’s extensive inventory of die-cast model aircraft is now on permanent display at Shannon Airport. Reportedly the world’s largest collection of die-cast model aircraft, the 1,500-strong collection features an array of commercial, personal and military aircraft, each at 1:200 scale. Highlights include a range of Concordes, Queen Elizabeth II’s BAE 146, Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose and the full Aer Lingus collection. The exhibit is located in a gallery off the departures lounge.

A Different Kind of Boneyard

By Linda Tancs

It’s an alien world in Roswell, New Mexico—in more ways than one. Famously cited as the area of a UFO landing decades ago, these days it’s the alien feel of an aircraft boneyard that garners the attention of aircraft enthusiasts. That’s because Roswell International Air Center is where old planes go to die. One of a number of such sites (the largest in the world being Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona), its otherworldly connection gives it a leg up on the competition.

Battery Travel

By Linda Tancs

Alkaline, nickel cadmium, lithium ion.  Sounds like a chemistry class, doesn’t it?  No wonder, then, that the transport of these battery-making materials is addressed by the Transportation Security Administration.  You might be surprised to learn that typical, consumer-sized batteries are allowable in carry-on baggage.  In fact, whenever possible the TSA encourages the safe packing of your batteries in your carry-ons rather than checked bags so that the items are easily accessible in the event that onboard conditions give way to potential hazards.

The Best Connections

By Linda Tancs

We’ve discussed airlines’ on-time performance records previously, a topic that’s even more critical when a multileg flight is involved.  How much connection time should you allot to get off one plane and onto another?  OAG has the answer.  This trusted industry resource is perhaps best known for its airline schedules and flight status databases, with future and historical flight details for over 900 airlines and more than 4,000 airports.  The information is available via subscription, but to busy travelers it may represent the best dollars they’ve ever spent.

Keep Your Shoes On

By Linda Tancs

With summer travel season entering into high gear, the last thing any air traveler wants is a long security line aggravated by the parsing and stripping of articles of clothing and other objects.  If you qualify for the Transportation Security Administration’s TSA Pre✓™ program, you can keep your shoes on.  TSA Pre✓™ is an initiative focused on pre-screening individuals who volunteer to participate in  expedited security.  TSA is partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as well as U.S. air carriers as part of this initiative.  Certain frequent travelers from Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and certain members of CBP’s Trusted Traveler programs, including U.S. citizens using Global Entry, SENTRI, and NEXUS, are eligible to participate when they are booked on a participating airline at a participating airport.  Eligible participants use dedicated TSA Pre✓™ lanes for screening benefits, which may include no longer removing shoes, 3-1-1 compliant plastic bags, laptops, light outerwear, jackets or belts for independent inspection.   If TSA determines a passenger is eligible for expedited screening, information is embedded in the barcode of the passenger’s boarding pass.

A Weighty Decision

By Linda Tancs

Samoa Air recently announced a world’s first:  pay by weight.  That’s right–the compact carrier is basing each passenger’s ticket price on the individual’s weight combined with the heft of the baggage being checked.  So the airline’s tagline, “The sky’s the limit,” seems oddly appropriate.  But given the debate that has ensued, this will no doubt prove to be a weighty decision, indeed.

The Little Airport That Could

By Linda Tancs

Can you name a place where such luminaries as Amelia Earhart, General James Doolittle, several U.S. Presidents, Elton John, Diana Ross, Harrison Ford and Shania Twain would have gathered (not all at the same time, of course)?  The answer is Trenton Mercer Airport in Trenton, New Jersey.   Opened in 1929, the county airport averages 100,000 take-offs and landings each year, including flights to Florida.  Its illustrious history includes a role in the production of the WWII Avenger torpedo bomber.  Less than five minutes from the terminal building, the parking facilities are reasonably priced.  The parking lot can be accessed from either airport entrance (Scotch Road or Bear Tavern Road) directly in front of the terminal.

Baggage Delivery Service Promotes Hassle-Free Travel

By Linda Tancs

Claiming an industry first, American Airlines recently announced that it has teamed up with a baggage delivery service  to ease travelers’ tensions at the baggage carousel.  For an additional fee, customers can now opt to have their baggage delivered to their final destination instead of waiting at the airport.  The service complements the airline’s existing Priority service, granting select customers  Priority bag tags allowing for swift delivery of their luggage to the baggage claim area.

Taking Off in London

By Linda Tancs

London, England is a treasure trove of cultural enrichment, architectural design and—airports?  That’s right.  As if Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and London City weren’t enough to service London and the surrounding area, you now have a sixth option:  Southend.  Located less than 40 miles east of Central London and less than 38 miles from Stratford, Southend is easily accessible to passengers by car, rail, coach, bus or taxi.  The airport officially opened on 5 March.  easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, celebrated its inaugural flight from Southend to Belfast on 2 April.  With flights to other popular European destinations like Barcelona, Amsterdam and Malaga, the seaside resort-turned-air hub may give the other contenders a run for their money.

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