How to Fly Without an ID

July 13, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s about the biggest inconvenience you can experience when traveling: you arrive at the airport and realize you don’t have your ID. What do you do? For starters, don’t turn around and go home. You won’t make your flight, and may be hit with a ticket change fee.

Here’s what you can do instead.

TSA CheckpointFirst, seriously, don’t panic. It is possible to continue with your itinerary without an ID. Isn’t that good news? The bad news is it’s going to cost you some time, but no money.

Be prepared to provide a succinct summary of your predicament to TSA. You don’t have to hang your head or act embarrassed. This happens enough that they’re used to it, and as long as you are willing to submit yourself to a second layer of security, you’ll be fine. Whatever you do, don’t be cocky — you are in no position to demand anything — after all, you did forget your ID or lost it. You are at the mercy of the system and there is a procedure for this situation, so submit to it, be kind and be patient. The old saying, “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part,” applies here.

Next, be prepared to answer all questions honestly and politely. TSA officers go through behavioral detection training, and while you may be stressed, you don’t have to be nervous. They’re just doing their job.
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Five Myths About Flight Attendants

October 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We all know flight attendants greet us as we board our plane and bring us some snacks and drinks, but that’s only a small part of their job, and definitely not the most important part. A lot of people have misconceptions about flight attendants.

According to a July 2014 USA Today article, some of these include:

  1. Layovers are one big party.
  2. You should tip flight attendants for good service.
  3. Flight attendants are in it for the free travel.
  4. Flight attendants are basically waitresses/waiters in the sky.

USA Today interviewed several flight attendants to debunk these myths and educate the public.

English: A female flight attendant of Air Dolo...

A female flight attendant of Air Dolomiti (Italy) on board an Embraer 195 performing a Pre-flight safety demonstration. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For example, they said layovers are not parties, especially since they usually only last 8 – 10 hours. In fact most flight attendants do quite the opposite. Sara Keagle, flight attendant and The Flying Pinto blogger, calls these people slam clickers. Slam clicking, a popular term among flight attendants, refers to when a flight attendant gets to his or her hotel, ‘slams’ the door, and ‘clicks’ it locked.

Think twice about tipping. Most airlines have policies against accepting tips. Though the gesture is courteous and appreciated, most flight attendants will not and cannot accept it. Interesting fact: most tips are offered on flights to and from Las Vegas. Kari Walsh, flight attendant of 22 years, says she would rather receive praise via social media.

Free travel can definitely be a job perk, but it’s not as easy as you might think. Planes are often packed and sometimes even overbooked, especially around the holidays, so finding room for a flight attendant and family is difficult.

They’re also not there to help people lift their luggage into the overhead bins. While they want to be as helpful as possible, if they’re injured lifting your bag they are not covered by the airlines.

Flight attendants are there to attend to passengers’ needs, but they’re not there to serve passengers. Yes, they bring us our snack or meal, but that’s not the first item on their job description. Their primary role is to keep passengers safe, update us on any delays, turbulence and to actually assist if there is an emergency.

American Airlines Stands Up To Celebrity Bullying

November 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s no secret that celebrities tend to get the red carpet treatment wherever they go. You’ve likely heard of many instances where high-powered individuals have been allowed to skirt the law or gotten away with things the average citizen would be chastised or jailed for. However, unfortunately, for one rule-bending celebrity, American Airlines has decided to put their foot down in order to ensure all of their passengers play by the rules.

Alec Baldwin Tweet about American Airlines and Words With FriendsSeveral months ago, actor Alec Baldwin was booted from an American Airlines flight leaving from LAX for unruly behavior. According to sources, the actor refused to turn off his cell phone. When asked to power down his device, he reportedly became angry, ignored the seatbelt light, and stormed into the bathroom while calling the flight crew inappropriate names.

After being ejected from the flight, Alec Baldwin promptly took to Twitter to publicly express his frustration over the situation, stating, “Flight attendant on American reamed me out 4 playing WORDS W FRIENDS while we sat at the gate, not moving. #nowonderamericanisbankrupt.”

Within minutes of posting this tweet, the actor’s tweet received hundreds of retweets and created quite a buzz online. Unfortunately for Mr. Baldwin, American Airlines quick-thinking PR and social media team decided to put their foot down. Within five minutes of the actor’s tweet, American responded with a message of their own.

American Airlines tweet to Alec BaldwinThe next morning, American Airlines posted an official statement to its Facebook page, and reporters and bloggers were directed to the page for further information. The post went on to receive more than 6,000 likes, 27,230 comments, reached roughly 38 million people, and arguably succeeded in making an important point: everyone should comply with FAA rules and not act inappropriately toward the cabin crew, regardless of their name or status.

Unfortunately, Alec Baldwin isn’t the first celebrity to have created an in-flight disturbance. Other unruly celebrity passengers include the likes of Josh Duhamel, Naomi Campbell, Ivana Trump – and famously, French actor Gerard Depardieu, who caused a two hour delay on a flight from Paris to Dublin after urinating in the flight cabin in front of other passengers.

Do you agree with American Airlines’ response to the situation? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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FAA To Relax Ban On In-Flight Electronics

September 10, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Let’s face it, there are inevitable things in life: death, taxes, and getting scolded by a flight attendant for not shutting off and stowing away an electronic device during flight takeoff and landing. If you’re a frequent flier, you’ve likely overheard a fellow passenger being admonished for breaking the rules (and if you’re a tech rebel, you may have even been scolded yourself!) Fortunately for tech addicts, the Federal Aviation Administration is now reconsidering its rules.

Kindle airplane reading

Kindle airplane reading (Photo credit: Wesley Fryer)

According to recent reports, an FAA advisory group is asking that the ban on in-flight personal devices be relaxed. In a recent statement made to the Washington Post, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said. . .

The FAA recognizes consumers are intensely interested in the use of personal electronics aboard aircraft. That is why we tasked a government-industry group to examine the safety issues and the feasibility of changing the current restrictions. At the group’s request, the FAA has granted a two-month extension to complete the additional work necessary for the safety assessment. We will wait for the group to finish its work before we determine next steps.

So why are passengers required to turn off their electronic devices in the first place? In short, some electronic devices are believed to emit certain amounts of RFI (Radio Frequency Interference), but many experts claim that this appears to be an outdated rule. According to a TechCrunch blog post, the rule was implemented in the sixties, when electronics more easily interfered with the electronic equipment in the plane’s cockpit, posing a clear threat to the safety of everyone on board.

If you’re worried about the implications of allowing electronic devices to be used during takeoff and landing, consider this: a recent survey conducted by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), roughly one-third of airline passengers admitted to keeping their electronic devices on.

If you’re excited at the prospect of using your cell phone undisturbed during your next trip, cool your jets. The new rules (which have been proposed to allow usage of devices such as e-readers) will likely still prohibit cell phone usage. The FAA advisory group is waiting until September to deliver their official recommendations.

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