How to be the Perfect Passenger

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When to Power Down:
— When is cell use ok? To entertain or direct others in the car.
— When is it not ok? For lengthy personal calls, unless it’s urgent; in which case, politely ask the other passengers or driver if they would mind.
— Volume check? If someone is being too loud, say you have a headache.

Traveling with Children:
— Confronting seat kickers? If you’re in a car, suggest the child could be restless and perhaps stopping for a walk or to get a snack could be the answer. If you’re on plane, politely confront the parent saying you need rest, to continue your journey.
— Surviving a crying/ rowdy child? If you’re traveling by car, suggest a game or audiobook for the child. If you are on a plane, feel free to speak with the flight attendant and ask her to politely speak with the parent.
— What if that child is yours and you’re being berated by other passengers over it? It’s your responsibility to discipline your child; request to pull over if you need to do this privately.

That awkward moment when a Passenger is:
– Hitting on you? Ok so you cant escape like you can at a bar, but if they are persistent, feel free to kick em’ to the curb (not literally)
— Boozing? When your license is at risk, you have every right to ask you passenger straight up to wait until their destination to pop the holiday cheer.
– Falling asleep on you? Turn on the radio!
— Talking non-stop? Again…turn on the radio!

Get Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable:
— When to go to sleep if you’re a car passenger? It’s fine to nap, but let the driver know as if your both drowsy, it can be dangerous. Also plan ahead checkpoints so they know what to stay alert for.
— When personal grooming crosses the line – i.e: toe clipping, nail clipping, perfume spraying, is make-up ok? It’s never ok to groom in public. Take your make-up bag into a rest area or toilet stop area if you must.
— Is it ever ok to go shoeless while traveling? Shoeless is one thing sock-less is another; the best option is sneakers of comfortable driving shoes… AND NO FEET ON THE DASH!

Watch What You Eat:
–Eating Smelly/ Messy Foods – Try and avoid these “in the car” as smells can last for weeks!

Driving Me Crazy (when you’re the passenger in a car):
— Diffusing Road Rage – Give em’ a stick of gum, turn on the radio or tell a joke!
— Confronting your speeding driver – When your life is at risk, or the lives of other passengers, you have every right to confront your driver & ask them to slow down; your’e life is more important than arriving at your destination a few minutes early.
— Confronting a distracted driver on phone or texting? Offer to assist or take over their communication so they can concentrate on driving. In fact don’t be afraid to INSIST; your life is more important than a text message!

Flexible Flights

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Option #1: The 24-hour purchase rule may help. A Department of Transportation rule requires airlines to provide a grace period of 24 hours to change your flight, without a penalty.

Option #2: Lock in the fare. The Fare Lock program (offered by airlines like United) allows you to hold your flight for up to three days for as little as $7 or $8. American Airlines recently introduced a similar option called Extended Hold, which allows you to hold your flight for up to a week for under $15.

Option #3: Book on Southwest Airlines, which is proudly the only US carrier to allow passengers to change their flights free of charge.

Option #4: Become an elite flyer (with perks that can include waived change fees) Or consider buying flight insurance – but do not buy without reading all the fine print, as insurance will only do you good if it covers what you need it to cover.

Option #5: Buy tickets on a budget airline like Jet Blue or Spirit, so if things happen to change and you have to rebook an entirely new flight, the initial loss won’t be extortionate!

The best options seems to be fare-hold BUT the preferable situation is to know the exact dates you wish to travel and stick with them. (Unfortunately, life doesn’t always come wrapped up in such a neat and tidy package!)

Is it safe to travel right now?

Is it safe to travel internationally or domestically right now? And how can travelers prepare themselves for safer travel, given recent events?

– Travelers should understand the risk of terrorism in a cold, logical, statistical way. Your odds of being killed by a terrorist overseas or in the air are 1 in 2,200,000. Your odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 600,000. Your odds of being killed by gunfire in the United States are 1 in 18,900.

– Don’t be shy about asking questions. In any city, the folks behind the hotel desk are a great source of information and they want you to have a safe trip. And assure those who will worry about you that you’ll call home every few days. It’s cheap and easy to call back to the US from Europe these days.

– If your fears to travel are insurmountable, go ahead and delay your trip a year. Europe will still be waiting to welcome you with open arms. But personally, I refuse to let terrorists take away my love for travel.

– Traveling should be seen as important and is still a huge unifier – perhaps a more vital force for peace than ever. If you hate terrorism, the most effective way to fight it is to travel a lot, learn about the world, come home, and help our country fit better into this ever-smaller planet.

How to Cut Down Airport Security Wait Lines

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Long lines, lengthy security procedures (involving baggies and mini bottles) & grabby TSA agents are just some of the frustrations that travelers have complained about in recent years. Now, given that the TSA are announcing new security changes this weekend, travelers are worried things may get tougher. If you’re willing to put up a small amount of cash, programs like “CLEAR” or TSA Pre Check are designed to speed you through the security checkpoints.

How do they work?
1. When you subscribe to either program, you receive a card in the mail, which you bring to the airport.

2. As a CLEAR member, you present this card at CLEAR stations in the airport where you are physically scanned (using either your thumbprint or an iris scan) which will allow you to together.

Which is worth getting?
1. It depends on how often you fly, how many are in your traveling party and your most frequented airport e.g.) CLEAR is only presently offered at 13 airports in the US, versus Pre Check which is offered at 133.

2. CLEAR doesn’t earn you anything special beyond speed; you still have to remove belts, laptops, and so on, versus Pre Check which eliminates this.

3. For international travelers, the BEST option may be Global Entry, which for $100 combines both bypassing customs lines and includes a Pre Check bypass the line to the metal detector.

3. As a TSA Pre Check member, you do not have to remove shoes, coats or belts or take your laptop out of its case when passing a security checkpoint.


How much do they cost?

1. CLEAR costs $179 per year, making it a considerably bigger investment than TSA Pre Check which only costs $85 for five years.

2. With CLEAR, however, you can refer a second person to receive a rate of $50 per year, and users may take children under 18 with them through the system for free. They are also currently offering a FREE 2 month trial (subscribed to online.)

3. While CLEAR and Pre Check aren’t affiliated, in airports where they both exist, they work together informally.