Most sane people do everything in their power to reduce the amount of time they spend in airports. In fact, some would argue that the very definition of sanity is minimizing airport stays by carrying lightweight Travelpro Rollaboards.
But an energetic, successful, and seemingly sane Vancouver resident is about to spend 80 days and nights at the Vancouver International Airport (airport code YVR). Jaeger Mah — the 29 year old founder of a video production company and self-described “man of the people” — is looking forward to the stay.
It’s a endeavor that has sparked intrigue from the public and media alike. When MSNBC’s Cantessa Brewer expressed skepticism as to why anyone would voluntarily spend 80 nights at an airport, Mah described his passion for interviewing passers-by at Vancouver-area cultural hubs as he tried to uncover the “interesting stories behind every person.” (Studs Terkel would be so proud!)
Mah’s unusual hobby perfectly prepared him for Live@YVR’s contest which awarded the winner the opportunity to become the airport’s in-residence “citizen reporter.” Jaeger produced and submitted a video detailing his unique qualifications, and was chosen over 95 other entrants.
As the “Anderson Cooper of YVR,” Mah will have complete access to all areas and personnel and will be responsible for providing regular video reports via Facebook and Twitter about the overall YVR travel experience. The airport is confident that showcasing its award-winning, world class facilities will further enhance its reputation and increase traffic.
So confident that they’re putting Mah up in a suite at the posh Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel, providing him with a $50/day stipend, and paying him $15,000 once his assignment is completed.
Not a bad arrangement for a natural storyteller whose idea of a fun weekend is interviewing people on the street for free.
And what airport stories does Mah want to tell? For starters, how people feel when personal items are confiscated at security checkpoints, how airline food is made (including first-hand taste testing), and whether those airline VIP lounges actually provide free beer (again including first-hand taste testing).
Mah is obviously not afraid to tackle the tough issues.
Air travel has always involved a wide range of interesting experiences. Don’t be surprised that, if you have one at YVR within the next 80 days, Jaeger Mah will be there to capture it.
- Live@YVR contest winner settles in for his 80-day stay at Vancouver airport (theprovince.com)
- B.C. man to live at Vancouver airport for 80 days (cbc.ca)
- Jaeger Mah, BC Man, To Spend 80 Days At Vancouver Airport, As Official Blogger (huffingtonpost.com)
Arriving at your destination with your bags intact and containing everything you packed is every air traveler’s goal.
The Travel Goods Association recently published an article featuring tips for accomplishing that goal. Among their recommendations were:
- Avoid putting the following in checked baggage:
- Valuables (cash, jewelry). Don’t rely on suitcase locks; they are easily defeated.
- Critical items (medicine, keys, passport, tour vouchers, business papers).
- Irreplaceable items (manuscript, heirlooms).
- Fragile items (camera, eyeglasses, glass containers). If these must be checked, wrap them carefully in padding.
- If you wish to lock your bags, see tsa.gov for information on locks that security personnel can open and then re-lock. If you use an unapproved lock and your bag is selected for inspection, the security staff will break the lock if necessary.
- Don’t overpack checked bags. This puts pressure on the latches, making it easier for them to spring open.
- Put a tag on the outside of your baggage with your name, home address, and home and work phone numbers.
- When carrying on luggage, always check with the airline for any limits it has on the size, weight, or number of carry-on bags. There is no single federal standard, although Travelpro® luggage is made to fit most airlines’ standards.
The issue of not packing valuables and other irreplaceable items in checked baggage has become trickier since the airlines began assessing fees for checked bags. These fees have prompted more passengers to carry on their luggage, often outstripping overhead bin capacity, especially when the plane is full.
This has resulted in increased requests by worried airline gate personnel for travelers to “gate check” (the checking of a bag at the gate just prior to boarding) their Rollaboard® luggage to proactively address the lack of overhead bin space.
From the airlines’ perspective, lack of overhead bin space causes potential conflict between passengers and slow boarding. Obviously, a passenger who planned to carry on their valuables may by faced with the prospect of their prized possessions being stowed in the baggage compartment.
The best approach for avoiding unplanned gate checks is to either leave your valuables at home, or pack them in a small carry-on that will easily fit under your seat (avoiding the congested overhead bins altogether).The challenges of air travel never cease. Staying informed (and equipped with Travelpro Rollaboards) is the best way to meet those challenges.
Travelpro’s blog has addressed the somewhat controversial issue of passenger etiquette several times. Few if any well mannered travelers would question such common sense recommendations as:
- Be courteous to fellow passengers. It only takes one rude person to undermine the flight for a cabin full of people.
- Be courteous to flight attendants (who have a lot of authority on board). According to the Air Transport Association, “if a passenger’s behavior is offensive to other passengers, the airline reserves the right to deny boarding or remove the passenger from the flight.” So, boorish behavior may not only offend fellow passengers, it can get the offender thrown off the plane.
- Refrain from operating electronic devices when told not to (they really can interfere with the plane’s navigational systems).
- Carry on only two bags (Travelpro, of course) and placing one bag in the overhead bin — without crushing the luggage already there — and one under the seat in front of you.
- Respect your seat-mate’s “space” by not occupying two arm rests, taking up more than one seat, deeply reclining your seat, or spreading out work or reading materials beyond your area.
- Respect everyone’s right to solitude by not talking endlessly to fellow passengers not interested in a conversation.
- If you’re the “talkee” instead of the “talker” in an unwanted conversation, convey your disinterest through body language by providing short answers, not asking questions, turning away, or reading a book or your computer screen.
Interestingly, Lonely Planet recently conducted an online survey on passenger behavior that uncovered several concerns we had not addressed. They published a “tongue-in-cheek but nonetheless practical” Passengers’ Airline Behavior Bill of Rights, which USA Today reported on. Among their observations:
- It’s OK to remove your shoes in flight, as long as your feet don’t smell. (Keep in mind that “don’t smell” is a relative measurement.)
- You can use the overhead light when the cabin lights are dimmed — even if your seatmate is sleeping.
- If the kid behind you is kicking your seat back, it’s appropriate to ask the parent to put a stop to it.
- Passengers have a right to recline, except during meals and when prohibited by the flight crew.
USA Today is running its own survey which currently ranks reclining in a full cabin No. 2 in a list of in-air annoyances, right after passengers wielding too many carry-ons.
Passenger etiquette is certainly a hot topic. Fortunately, Travelpro customers are not only well equipped, but well behaved. We hope you have a safe — and comfortable — trip.
- How not to behave on an airplane: a passengers’ bill of rights (inside-digital.blog.lonelyplanet.com)
- The Ten Grossest Things Flight Attendants Have Seen Passengers Do On An Airplane (businessinsider.com)
Most air travelers assume that since there are stacks of plastic bins at every security checkpoint, they’re obligated to place all their belongings in those bins.
In fact, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends against putting shoes in those bins. One small step for man, one giant leap for bin hygiene.
Shoes will safely pass through the x-ray machines when placed on the conveyor belt. And, by not putting them in a bin, security personnel have a much clearer view off all the jewelry, electronics and coins contained within. (The bin, not your shoes.)
Obviously, reducing the visual clutter lessens the chance that a bin will have to be pulled aside for additional inspection. Thus, hassles are avoided and time spend at TSA checkpoints is minimized.
As most Travelpro® luggage owners well know, another way to streamline your trip through security is to utilize your Rollaboard’s spacious outer pockets to store all loose items you would otherwise have to place in those bins. The general rule is “everything in the bag, not in the bin.”
There’s ample room in Travelpro carry-on pockets for wallets, cell phones, watches, etc., which alleviates your need to throw all your belongings into a bin, then retrieve them once they’ve been cleared.
Can you imagine the time you’ll save by avoiding the bin ritual altogether? Just drop your shoes and carry-on on the conveyor belt, pass through the scanner, grab them and proceed to your gate.
A savvy traveler, indeed. Ryan Bingham, George Clooney’s character, in the award winning movie, “Up in the Air” would be pleased with your efficiency.
And, please do security personnel and your fellow travelers one more favor. Wear shoes instead of sandals, and make sure your remember to wear socks. (Think of all the other people who went through without socks before you make the same trip yourself).
Bare feet may be acceptable on your beach vacation, but not at a security checkpoint.
- Officials: Airport security checkpoints to improve (overheadbin.msnbc.msn.com)
- Homeland Security May Soon Lift Shoe Removal Requirements During Airport Screening (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Shoe-Wearing to Return to Airport Security, Maybe in Time for Spiky Shoe Trend? [Tsa] (gawker.com)
Photo credit: divine harvester (Flickr)
Atlantic Brand Luggage Announces Win a Vacation to the Grand Opening of LEGOLAND Florida Sweepstakes
BOCA RATON, Fla. – Sept. 16, 2011 – Atlantic brand luggage, part of the Travelpro family of brands and a market leader in affordable, lightweight family luggage since 1919, announces its Win a Vacation to the Grand Opening of LEGOLAND Florida Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes runs September 19 through October 31, 2011.
LEGOLAND Florida is a state-of-the-art 150-acre family theme park that opens on October 15. Located in Winter Haven, Florida, the new theme park offers more than 50 rides, shows and attractions geared for families with children ages 2-12.
“We are pleased to offer a family the opportunity to a win a fun-filled vacation to LEGOLAND Florida,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for Atlantic® and Travelpro® brand luggage. “As the official luggage of LEGOLAND Florida, lightweight, durable and affordable Atlantic luggage is perfect for families on the go.”
The 4-Day LEGOLAND Florida Vacation Sweepstakes offers an exciting grand prize package that includes:
- (4) Four, 2-Day Admissions to LEGOLAND Florida
- (4) Four days and (3) Three nights at a LEGOLAND Florida Bed and Brick property
- (4) Four day rental car
- Exclusive behind the scenes tour with a LEGO Master Builder
- (4) Four admissions to the Fantasy of Flight Biplane
- (4) Four admissions to the Bok Tower Gardens
- (4) Air Boat admissions
- (1)LEGOLAND Florida gift bag
- A 2-piece set of Atlantic Luggage
The sweepstakes begins September 19 and ends October 31. To enter, simply register at AtlanticLuggage.com/Legoland.
About LEGOLAND® Florida
LEGOLAND® Florida opens October 15, 2011 and will be a 150-acre interactive theme park dedicated to families with children between the ages of 2 and 12. With more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, LEGOLAND is geared towards family fun!
There are currently four other LEGOLAND Parks in the world – LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark, LEGOLAND Deutschland near Günzburg, Germany and LEGOLAND Windsor outside of London. The LEGOLAND theme parks are a part of Merlin Entertainments Group, the second largest attractions operator in the world. For the most current information, log on to www.LEGOLAND.com.
About Atlantic® Brand Luggage
Since 1919, the Atlantic® brand has been synonymous with affordable, value-added and lightweight luggage. As a market leader in the lightweight luggage segment, including neatly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic branded luggage is of superior quality and durability. Whether for family travel or business, travel is easier with Atlantic luggage, now part of the Travelpro family of brands.
Please visit Atlantic Luggage for a full list of the latest products and retail locations.
For over two decades, Travelpro has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard® wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers worldwide. Travelpro is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently understanding and exceeding their needs. The company offers a variety of innovative, high-quality luggage collections and computer briefs; each aimed at a specific user lifestyle and rigorously tested. Travelpro was the winner of the 2009 Leading Edge Award from Executive Travel Magazine for “The Best Carry-on Case.”
Please visit Travelpro for a complete list of the latest products and retail locations.
Photo credit: lakelandlocal2 (Flickr)
Pick from an amazing selection of Travelpro® and Atlantic® luggage at huge savings on our outlet web site. Travelpro® is the luggage brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers, providing highly durable luggage to over 80 airlines.
|Atlantic luggage is lightweight, durable and affordable, perfect for families and students on the go. Luggage makes a terrific gift also, so don’t miss out on these savings.|
Travelpro International, Inc.
Most passengers agree that besides a terrorist attack or plane crash, their worst air travel nightmare is getting stuck in an airport terminal overnight.
So, beyond the obvious safety concerns, what is an airport official’s worst nightmare? Whatever it was before, now it’s having two Internet-savvy photographers toting $30,000 of video equipment getting stuck in their terminal overnight.
At least it is for Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport officials, thanks to a two minute online video entitled “Stuck” went viral. The creation of Joe Ayala and Larry Chen, two professional photographers stranded overnight at DFW, the video chronicles them making mischief throughout the terminal, at times while a janitor looked on.
While the wheelchair races, paper towel fights, escalator planking and tram handstands didn’t overly trouble airport personnel, Chen’s warbling over the terminal’s intercom, banging on a gate computer keyboard and quaffing of a beer poured from a keg in an unlocked restaurant did raise safety concerns.
As reported by Harriet Baskas writing for Overhead Bin on MSNBC.com, DFW officials quickly addressed the PR problem caused by the video:
Airport spokesman David Magaña said that while DFW appreciates the creativity and humor demonstrated by the filmmakers, it does not condone the fact that they entered an eatery after business hours. “The video did point out the need to better secure this restaurant, and that issue is being addressed immediately,” he said.
Baskas also noted that Ayala and Chen meant no harm, and were only trying to occupy themselves during their overnight ordeal:
“What do I usually do when I pass the time when I’m bored? I usually shoot skits,” Chen said. “I have all this camera gear so I thought, ‘Why don’t we shoot one here?'”
Regarding the pilfered beer, Chen was both remorseful and philosophical:
“I washed the cup and put it back in the fridge. I wanted to leave no trace. I didn’t want to cause any trouble. Next time we go to that airport I’ll get a beer and leave a $20 tip.”
The situation reinforces the fact that in an age when information can be disseminated worldwide with a mouse click, any corporate slip-up can have huge implications. The video has been viewed on YouTube over 450,000 times, and has generated more than 500 comments.
There is one small consolation for DFW officials, however. Though they undoubtedly hated the video, it has recorded nearly 3200 “likes.”
- Two guys stuck at airport create hilarious video (cbsnews.com)
- Video Stuck at the Airport (edugeek.net)
- Stuck fliers’ prank video prompts security questions (cnn.com)
No tour of Europe would be complete without a visit to Germany. From the breathtaking beauty of the Alps to the quiet majesty of the Black Forrest to the classic architecture of Berlin, Munich and Hamburg, “Deutschland” has much to offer.
With its population of 81 million known for its innovation and industriousness, Germany has forged the European Union’s largest economy and the world’s fourth largest. And its contributions to the arts are considerable, as well. With native sons ranging from Albert Einstein and Werner Von Braun to Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach and Thomas Mann, Germany has a rich technological and cultural history.
When visiting Germany, keep the following tips in mind:
- While wonderful, the food is very rich and dense (not light fare with the dieter in mind). Pork is the meat of choice, with weinerschnitzel and sausage being staples. Delicious pastries are also there to tempt you at every meal.
- Be advised that deviating from the menu is not encouraged in Germany (if a dish was available, it would be on the menu). As in other European countries, tipping is not that prevalent and, if you choose to, coins rather than bills are sufficient.
- Beer is a cherished tradition in Germany, with distinct brews (which must conform to rigid purity laws) sold exclusively in each region. Be sure to sample to the Altbier in Dusseldorf, the Kölsch in Cologne and, for the adventurous, the smoke-flavored Rauchbier in Bamberg.
- Obviously, you should avoid driving after your trip to the beer garden. But once your head clears, you must experience the Autobahn. Incredibly well-maintained and scenic, the legendary motorway is a joy to drive, especially in a highly engineered German vehicle. Remember to stay in right lane except while passing since the Autobahn has no speed limit (and some cars can reach as high as 150 – 180 mph). And, if you’re uncomfortable driving 90 – 100 mph, hand the keys over to someone who is.
- Another option for touring is Germany’s vast rail system. As in most other European countries, it is both clean and efficient.
- As always, when traveling abroad, review the Transportation Security Administration’s website for a current list the goods allowed and not allowed in checked and carry-on luggage, and pack accordingly.
- Also be sure to store an extra copy of your passport in your Travelpro® Rollaboard®, separate from the original. You should also register your credit cards or have a trusted friend or family member maintain a list of both your cards and company contact information.
Regardless of how you look in lederhosen, be sure to visit Germany. Auf Weidersehen.
We are pleased to introduce the next generation of Rollaboards and Spinners, the Maxlite 2 Collection. This new collection offers lightweight durability, functionality and affordability for the frequent business and leisure traveler.
“With the new Maxlite 2 collection, we are able to offer a line of luggage that is durable enough for the frequent flier as well as lightweight and affordable for the leisure traveler,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for Travelpro. “We also wanted to provide travelers the option to choose between 4-wheel spinner models or 2-wheel Rollaboards, to make their traveling experience easier.”
The Maxlite 2 collection includes a wide array of innovative features that ease the hassles of travel. The lightweight Rollaboard models in the collection expand 1.5″ maximizing space and packing flexibility. The 4-wheel Spinner system provides a smooth glide with 360 degree maneuverability, making it easy to navigate through airport check-in lines. Its rugged polyester fabric is stain and abrasion resistant and the inline skate wheels ensure easy rolling and long lasting service. The smooth-action and strong telescoping handle system has two extension stops at 38″ and 41″ to meet the ergonomic needs of travelers of various heights. Maxlite 2 features a built-in ticket pocket within the front pocket to provide quick access to a wallet, a passport, keys or boarding passes.
The 11 piece collection includes the following options:
- Duffel Bag
- Garment Sleeve
- Rolling Tote
- 20″ Expandable Rollaboard
- 22″ Expandable Rollaboard
- 25″ Expandable Rollaboard
- 28″ Expandable Rollaboard
- 20″ Expandable Spinner
- 25″ Expandable Spinner
- 29″ Expandable Spinner
- Rolling Duffel
The Maxlite 2 collection is available in Ocean Blue and Black.
Travelpro’s Lifetime Warranty guarantees that the luggage is free from defects in materials and workmanship.
About Travelpro For over two decades, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travellers worldwide.
Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers worldwide. Travelpro is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently understanding and exceeding their needs. The company offers a variety of innovative, high-quality luggage collections and computer briefs; each aimed at a specific user lifestyle and rigorously tested. Travelpro was the winner of the 2009 and 2010 Leading Edge Award from Executive Travel Magazine for “The Best Carry-on Case.”
- There’s No Room for My Bags: The Overhead Bin Dilemma (worldviastandby.wordpress.com)
Beyond the good sense you demonstrate by traveling with Travelpro rollaboards, there are a number of things to keep in mind as you pack.
Kate Mortell published an excellent and entertaining list of packing pointers entitled “How To Pack Smart” which recently appeared at LittleDumbMan.com. Highlights included:
- Never check any valuables. Luggage gets opened after it is out of sight, and it takes just one dishonest bag handler to put your valuables at risk.
- Don’t put cash in your luggage. See # 1.
- Carry essentials on the plane with you. Absolute essentials might include medication, contact lens solution, make-up, a clean pair of underwear.
- If you are traveling with a partner, discuss your joint luggage strategy. If you must use two bags, there are two methods of packing with a partner. One, each person can pack all their clothes in their own suitcase. Two, each person can pack some clothes in each bag. I like separate bags because I stay more organized. But, if a bag gets lost, one person will have no clothes and the other will have all their clothes. Method Two balances out the risk of lost luggage.
- Stick to one base color for your wardrobe. All my tops can go with either a brown or black base. Pants, skirts, shoes and purse should be only one of the base colors. Mix-and-match outfits will be a breeze, if you don’t stray from the foundation color. Bring at least one black and one white t-shirt. Dress them up with a skirt and jewelry for the evening.
- Lay all clothes you are considering on the bed before you put them in the suitcase. Count the days you will be gone, plus the evenings you will go out. Count your outfits. The same number? Then that’s too many. Exception: do not skimp on underwear. Always throw in a couple of more pairs than the number of days you will be gone.
- If shopping is on your destination agenda, save room in your suitcase. If you must sit on your suitcase to close it, it is too full. If you plan major shopping, consider packing an empty soft duffel-type bag in the larger bag to carry home your purchases.
- Pack shoes in plastic grocery bags.Avoid getting your clothes dirty from the bottoms of your shoes. Shoe bags can be purchased for this very purpose, but why? It seems wasteful–a reused grocery bag works just as well.
- Assume that anything that can leak, will leak. I am a fan of the Ziploc. Pack anything not solid in them, especially goopy stuff like sunscreen. I learned this lesson the hard way and I learned it many times. Once, I had an aerosol hairspray spray its entire contents inside my suitcase.
- Pack a few remedies for unexpected ailments and accidents. My toiletry bag includes a few Band-aids, Immodium, Tums, etc. Feel good and enjoy your trip.
- Downsizing! (light4lyf.wordpress.com)
- What To Pack When Backpacking Europe (travelproluggageblog.com)
- Self Weigh Luggage – Take the stress out of budget air travel (prweb.com)
- How-To: Pack Efficiently and Fashionably (casasugar.com)