Four Scientific Reasons Airplane Food Tastes Funny

April 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s not just in your head. The airplane food we consume while in flight does taste different than those same foods on the ground. But before you go blaming the companies that produce those meals — because this goes for the food you brought onto the plane with you as well — let me share the science those chefs are trying to combat in order to create a palatable dining experience at 30,000 feet.

We read a recent article in Travel + Leisure magazine that said there are a number of factors that contribute to our airline food tasting funny or different.

United Airlines International Economy Meal

United Airlines International Economy Meal

Cabin climate contributes greatly to the ability to taste. The air inside a plane is actually drier than some deserts — only 12 percent in some cases. According to the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, the atmosphere in the cabin can decrease the taste of sweet and salty foods by as much as 30 percent. That’s why airlines serve salty snacks — pretzels, peanuts, and those famous cookies — in order to give you the best opportunity to taste something flavorful.

You’ve heard it a thousand times if you’ve heard it once: stay hydrated when you fly. Did you know that dehydration also impacts taste? Liquids expand and contract as the cabin pressure changes, and that makes wine and other alcohol thin and taste acidic. If you want to consume such beverages and enjoy them inflight, be sure to have sufficient water before boarding and during the flight.

Your ability to smell also takes a hit as soon as you step into a plane, and continues to deteriorate as the plane climbs to its cruising altitude. Decreased ability to smell also impacts taste. If you’ve ever pinched your nose to avoid tasting your cough medicine, you’ve seen this in action.

In addition to the Fraunhofer survey, the BBC reported that passengers noted the increased noise as a deterrent to fully tasting the sweet and salt spectrum. Several ingredients that are unchanged by altitude include those that are bitter, spicy, and sour, so chefs utilize those to perk up the flavors of their dishes. Lemongrass, cardamom, and curry are also unaffected.

If you want to improve your dining experience, stay hydrated and lower your expectations, or bring your own food.

Photo credit: Cudd22 (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons)

Scott Applebee Appears on Rudy Maxa’s World with The Careys

April 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Our very own Scott Applebee appeared on a recent episode of Rudy Maxa’s World with The Careys, the world travel radio show and podcast from travel expert Rudy Maxa.

Rudy Maxa's World Logo

Scott talked with hosts Robert and Mary Carey about the history of Travelpro luggage, and the important role played by Bob Plath in developing the Rollaboard suitcase, which launched our entire company and changed the industry.

They also talked about a recent trip Robert Carey made to our testing facility here in Boca Raton, Florida, and the way we test our bags (including freezing the bag and dropping it from waist height). And they rounded out the segment with the important features to look for when buying a new bag, including looking at the warranty (look for 10 years or longer), testing the retractable handle, and seeing if you can open and close the bag easily.

You can download the entire Rudy Maxa’s World with The Careys podcast episode here, or listen to Scott’s segment below.

Myths about the State Department Travel Warnings

April 11, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent worldwide travel alert issued by the State Department has recently expired, but that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to these as you prepare to travel. On the other hand, you need to read the alert carefully before you decide to cancel a trip that you have planned for months.

Folding MapUSA Today recently discussed five different myths about travel warnings from the U.S. State Department, and we picked a few we thought were worth pointing out.

Myth #1: “Travel warnings and alerts are the same thing.” They’re not. Travel warnings are just that, a warning. The State Department declares some countries and places that US citizens ought to think twice about traveling to because of the chronic state of affairs there, like Iraq or Afghanistan. Travel alerts are time specific and are generally issued when there are events happening in a specific country that US travelers should be advised of when planning their travel.
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Trying to Decrease the “Less” Trajectory in Economy Class

April 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

With the airlines making record profits — a projected $36 million that’s double the number from 2014 — those who work for and observe the airline industry are hoping to see a trend to decrease the “less” mentality that has typified economy class.

Airline seatsInternational Air Transport Association Director General and CEO Tony Tyler sees this as a time when “passengers are benefiting from greater value than ever — with competitive airfares and product investments,” according to a Future Travel Experience article.

But Devin Liddell, principal brand strategist for Teague design group, thinks there’s really a “race to the bottom” occurring. “It’s all about what can we take away,” he says. He thinks customers are going to reach a point where they say, “Enough! This is becoming ridiculous.”
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More DIY Travel Hacks

April 6, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

In order for travel to be efficient and enjoyable, organization of your stuff is key. We’ve read a lot of articles, heard from a lot of travelers, and even spoke with our fellow road warriors. And, of course, we found a great article on Huffington Post about the topic.

Here are a few of our favorites.

Travelpro Crew 10 with suiter

Travelpro Crew 10 with suiter

  1. All those lotions, shampoos, conditioners, sunscreen, makeup foundation, and eye creams you use take up a lot of space. Seal off a drinking straw with a heat sealer, fill it with your favorite lotions and creams, and seal off the other end. Label them with tape, and you’ve got some single servings of your different products. It saves space and you won’t run afoul of TSA rules.
  2. If you’re like me, you’re tired of wrestling with all those different charging cables and earbuds you carry around. Rather than unpacking and unraveling a tangled mess every time you need a cable, put them in an eyeglass case you’re not using. The hard shell ones that spring shut work best.
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Travelpro Debuts its New FlightCrew™ 5 Luggage Collection for Travel Professionals

April 5, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Exclusively for Pilots and Flight Attendants, this Collection Incorporates Groundbreaking Technologies and Features

Travelpro, the leader in luggage known internationally for being pilot designed and flight crew tested, is proud to introduce its bold new FlightCrew™ 5 collection. Sure to satisfy the most discerning travel industry professionals, this luggage stands out from the crowd for its uncommon durability, creativity and functionality. Proud of its reputation for innovation, Travelpro is always listening to flight crews for ways to improve its luggage while setting the industry’s highest quality standards.

The FlightCrew 5 rollaboard has a laptop carrier as well.

The FlightCrew 5 rollaboard has a laptop carrier as well.

In keeping with its demand for exacting performance, Travelpro conducted rigorous testing on all features of this 17-piece collection to ensure a smooth ride and unmatched reliability. The testing of the main mechanical parts: the extension handle up and down cycle test, the zipper reliability test of open and close cycles and the wheel high mileage test on rough terrain were all conducted to meet the highest standards. The Travelpro® FlightCrew 5 collection was also examined for its endurance by the 70 lb drop test in below 0°F tempe ratures, fabric tensile strength test, fabric surface abrasion resistance test and water repellency test, all adding to its appeal to the durability needs of the professional traveler.

In addition, protective bumper feet, ballistic nylon fabric with DuraGuard® coating, superior screw construction which allows the luggage to be easily repaired, sealed ball-bearing inline skate wheels that are removable, protective crash-guard components and a new reinforced, gusseted back pocket translates into long-term sturdiness for those who count on their luggage to go the extra mile.

“Travelpro could not be more excited to offer this amazing new FlightCrew 5 luggage collection to pilots and flight attendants worldwide,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands. “Our goal is to craft superior luggage that makes the demanding lifestyle of airline professionals easier, which is why our long history of providing luggage to the airline industry makes Travelpro the ‘go to’ brand for flight professionals. This is the reason why over 90 airlines choose Travelpro.”

Innovation is front and center with features such as a recessed push button, designed to reduce accidental handle activation, “Anti-Crush” handle technology which prevents denting when the back of the bag is impacted and handle stops at 38″, 40″ and 42.5″ to guarantee a comfortable roll for users of different heights. The Spinner model in the line features patented MagnaTrac™ wheels which are a revolution in spinner technology. These magnetic wheels align in any direction to always roll straight, eliminating the ‘drift’ inherent in spinner luggage. The patented Contour grip with cushioned touch points offers even more comfort and greater control.

FlightCrew 5 Coolers

FlightCrew 5 Coolers

High mileage travelers such as pilots and flight attendants will be amazed at the versatility and choices available in this collection. The full tote selection offers totes that protect computers and tablets with padded sleeves and a vertical rolling overnighter which easily rolls down an airplane aisle, with improved armor on the bottom for extra durability. Must-have ancillary pieces include food coolers in large and small sizes for added convenience and a garment sleeve available as a separate item, which has a padded roll bar to keep clothes from wrinkling.

This distinctive collection consists of the following pieces: Crew Cooler, Large Crew Cooler, City Tote, Flight Tote, Deluxe Tote, Multi-Purpose Tote, Suiter Sleeve, Horizontal Rolling Overnighter, Vertical Rolling Overnighter, Expandable Rollaboard®, Slim Rollaboard, Expandable Pilot Rollaboard, several other Rollaboard sizes, and the Expandable Rollaboard Spinner. The Add-ABag Strap with an aluminum J-Hook is included with Rollaboard models and provides efficient carrying options for additional totes and coolers.

The FlightCrew 5 collection gives travel pros total confidence and is supported by a 3-year Commercial Use warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, 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 on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with our customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations.

Among many other honors received, in 2015, the Travelpro® Platinum Magna™ 2 22″ Expandable Rollaboard® Suiter was named the best carry-on bag on the market from The Wirecutter, a cutting-edge source known for promoting the ‘best gadgets and gear for people in the know’ which tested 31 bags over the last three years. The Travelpro® Crew™ 10 22″ Expandable Rollaboard® Suiter received the 2nd place award.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

Technology I’d Like To See: Automation To Solve Travel Woes

April 4, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Here’s a Technology I’d Like To See (TILTS) thought:

Having to make a tight connection is a source of anxiety for many travelers. When our originating flight is delayed, we’ll spend the entire flight rehearsing scenarios, wondering if our connecting flight was also delayed or what gate we’ll have to sprint to. Many of us teeter back and forth between hope and despair, working our stomach into knots.

Trip Advisor mobile appWith the increased automation available within the travel industry, it’s surprising some kind of app hasn’t been invented on behalf of some airline in order to facilitate a better experience for travelers.

For example, a simple email from my airline, informing me of the gate for my connecting flight or letting me know that the flight I’m so desperate to make has also been delayed would alleviate much of my angst and keep me from pressing my call button to pester the flight attendant for information that he or she can’t seem to procure either.
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Five Tips for Getting Work Done While Traveling

March 30, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Most of us file travel days in the “lost” category, thanks to the amount of time squandered getting where we have to go. With the fast pace of business, you really can’t afford to lose days to travel. Here are some suggestions for how to make the most of your time while you’re traveling.

Of course, you need a comfortable place to work too. This is the Oslo Lounge at Gardermoen Airport.

Of course, you need a comfortable place to work too. This is the Oslo Lounge at Gardermoen Airport.

First of all, be smart in how you book your travel. Even if your company has someone responsible for arranging itineraries, it’s worth the extra time to investigate the best options and communicate them to your travel arranger. Don’t let that investigation become a time sink, though. It’s not worth saving $50 if it takes an hour of your billable time to find that savings. Time is money, and your time per hour needs to be invested wisely each day.

Commit to getting to your departure gate at least 45 minutes before boarding begins. This will give you time to check email and stay on top of whatever needs your attention before you’re unavailable for 2 – 4 hours. Running your timeline right to the wire — and showing up to the airport at the last possible minute — creates stress, which makes you less productive. Organize your time so you can have time to be useful to those who need to hear from you.
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The Joys of Traveling without a Suitcase

March 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Some people wax rhapsodic about the joys of checking their suitcase and only traveling through the airport with a small personal bag or briefcase. While we’re not always big fans of letting someone else take our suitcase, we can see some of the benefits of checking your bag before your flight.

Atlantic 25 inch Compass Spinner

You’d need to check this Atlantic 25 inch Compass Spinner suitcase.

  1. You can take everything you want and have options for clothes and souvenirs. If you’re taking an extra long trip, and you don’t want to wear the same pants five times, the big suitcase makes sense. It also leaves you plenty of room to pack souvenirs on the way home.
  2. Once you check your bag, you’re FREE! No more wrestling your bag in the bathroom, or worrying somebody will shout “Abandoned bag! Abandoned bag!” when you step away to throw something in the trash can.
  3. Security is a breeze. Other than your personal bag, you don’t have to have anything examined. No 3-1-1 bags, no leaving personal toiletry items at home, no packing tiny toiletries.
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Five Fastest Ways to Get Through the Airport

March 25, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It seems everybody is busy these days. We never seem to have enough time to do things at a leisurely pace, and that includes flying. Even if we have some extra time, we feel like we have to rush through the airport. But you can avoid that rushed feeling if you use some of these techniques — which we read on Yahoo — to navigate your way through the airport.

Dubai International Airport, Terminal C

Dubai International Airport, Terminal C

  1. Plan ahead. This may sound like common sense, but time adds up when you’re en route to the airport. If you don’t plan for it, you run the danger of missing your flight. Factor in traffic, security checkpoint wait time, and how long it takes to ride the off-site airport parking shuttle to the terminal into the amount of time you allot yourself to get to your gate. It adds up fast!
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