Recent Posts by N

Connecting Flights are a Breeze with United’s ConnectionSaver Tool

Sick of spending your first flight stressing about making it to the gate for your connecting flight? United Airlines has introduced a new technology called ConnectionSaver that will ensure that customers connecting from one United flight to another will make it on board their connection on time. The tool identifies departing flights that can be held for connecting customers while ensuring that customers who have already boarded will make it to their destination on time. ConnectionSaver works by first scanning flights to identify passengers who are making tight connections, then sending them personalized text messages with detailed directions to their gate to ensure that they arrive quickly. The tool takes into account the amount of time it will take customers to travel from gate to gate as well as accounting for the degree of inconvenience that a delay would have on already-boarded passengers. Since its launch four months ago at Denver International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International, the tool has helped over 14,000 customers board their flights that they otherwise would have missed.
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Book Your Trip to the International Space Station!

Just in case you’re looking for a REALLY different vacation experience, Travelwirenews reports that NASA will begin providing trips to the International Space Station as early as 2020. For an estimated 58 million dollars, private citizens can now purchase a round-trip ticket to the station where they will remain for 30 days as it orbits Earth. But the expenses don’t stop there -- each night costs an estimated $35,000 for accommodations. If you’re interested, you better book soon -- the US space agency plans to end its support of the ISS by 2024.
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Apply NOW for Passport Renewal

If you’ll need a new or renewed passport to travel this summer, apply NOW. We’ve all read about the possibility of longer lines at security check points in the months ahead, but delays are also expected for passport processing.  The State Department has increased the expected processing time for routine service from 6 to 8 weeks.  Passengers who need their passports more urgently can request expedited service for an additional $60.  Processing time for expedited service remains at 2 -3 weeks and for truly urgent situations you may wish to contact the Washington Passport & Visa Agency @800-272-7776.
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How To Sleep in an Aluminum Tube

There’s nothing worse than planning to sleep on a long flight, only to arrive at your destination completely exhausted with your whole trip ahead of you. Here are some tips that may at least help you to rest in a noisy, uncomfortable, and outright unnatural sleeping environment. Sit in the Good Seats When it comes to comfort, the cushy seats in business class are unmatched -- but over-the- wing economy seats in the middle of the plane are actually more stable during turbulence. It’s also wise to avoid high traffic areas. Sitting near the lavatories may be convenient when you have to “go”, but can also result in disruptive awakenings. Lastly, while the window seat makes it more difficult to get “out and about” it does provide the advantage of a wall to lean against.   Sleep Masks It can be hard to get sufficient shut-eye with the glare of your neighbor’s reading light shining in your face. Splurge on your own high-quality slee p mask-- they now come in many popular styles including lightweight silk options or ones with blackout cavities that don’t press against lashes. Dress Comfortably Even with today’s “relaxed” attitudes about dress, pajamas are probably not the appropriate thing to wear on a flight; but there’s nothing worse than being stuck in an uncomfortable outfit for countless hours on a cramped plane. Come prepared by wearing loose fitting and breathable items. Too, be prepared for temperature changes by dressing in layers and perhaps packing a small blanket -- those distributed by the airlines are not always the most hygenic. Lastly, consider a neck pillow to make the most out of your upright sitting position. Pass on the Booze A glass of wine may seem like a great way to induce “sweet dreams”, but in reality alcohol is not the answer to a deep, peaceful sleep. At 35,000 feet off the ground, you’ll feel alcohol’s effects much more intensely than normal, leaving you dehydrated. Best to stick to water -- at least until your vacation begins. Block Out Noise Everyone seems to be wearing ear buds these days, but while they may be fine for listening to music or podcasts, noise cancelling headphones are the way to go when you’re looking to hear just “your” music -- or better yet, sleep in silence.   Sleeping Aids If all else fails, you may wish to consider a sleeping aid. However, with anything stronger than melatonin or lavender oil be sure that your flight is in the air and on its way before swallowing that pill -- there’s nothing worse than trying to deal with a flight cancellation while under the “influence” of a sleep “potion”.
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