Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tips and Tricks

- Single knot shoes in the morning to make going through security easier...or if you don't mind cold feet wear sandals.

- Don't wear a belt or jacket if possible b/c you have to remove it during security. Sweater is ok.

- Pack everything in a carry-on size bag and check it at the gate. This way you don't have to wait at baggage claim and you can check in a lot faster. Check in for luggage usually cuts off 45 minutes before the flight so if you're late and your bag is too big you're screwed.

- Have a funny picture on your drivers license (Mike Colon taught me this) b/c then when they check it they laugh...airline people don't get many opportunities to laugh during the day so give them one.

- Put a pillow behind your back when seated for a little lumbar support

- On United in First take the window seat. More legroom and nobody will bother you to get up. The aisle seat has the electronic box under it so the leg space is more limited.

- exit rows are colder so grab a blanket even if it's warm outside because at 30,000 feet it's not warm. :)

- exit rows also have more firm seats so if you want more cushion don't sit there.

*usually* avoid the "bulkhead" (front seat of a cabin) b/c there is no under seat storage in front of you and if you have long legs like me you have a wall there. boooo

Avoid the back of the plain (especially if there is a bathroom back there) or you'll have people standing next to you the entire flight...and you get the smell of the bathroom every time someone goes in or out. This can also be true in the front of the plane....just avoid bathrooms in general. :)

Get a Platinum Amex card to get access to a bunch of the Airport lounges and free companion flights. I also have a Red Carpet Club membership and it's totally worth it if you fly a lot. Not hearing the intercoms and the hustle and bustle of the airport is a life saver.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Escape the madness

One thing I've loved is being part of the Red Carpet Club - it's costs some money but if you fly a lot it's worth it.  

Anyway, here's a trick to escape the madness if you're flying through Washington / Dulles and not part of the red carpet club.  In terminal D the check in desk is on the lower level but there is lots of room to sit around on the top level behind the closed doors. So you could come in and just not go downstairs. :)

Saturday, June 16, 2007


My buddy Brett just missed his flight and our buddies wedding (probably because the airline check-in person was a tool) but possibly also because he needed to check a bag on a flight that he was late checking into.

Airlines have to cutoff bag check usually 45 minutes before the flight so they can get the bags on the plane so that's why I always think it's better to take a small bag and send stuff out for laundry midway through your trip rather than lugging around a big bag and risk missing a flight and an important meeting or wedding because you can't get your bag on the plane.

2nd option is to still not check it before security and then gate-check your bag. Some airports try and monitor this with TSA but you can usually tell TSA either what you're doing or just tell them you have permission to take this bag with you and they'll let you through with multiple bags (don't try this in London's Heathrow though) I had to throw a camera bag away there because it's ONE carry on MAX!

Ciao Ciao!

Getting There! and my friend Amy Nave always joke with each other about traveling and so a couple of days ago we were both staying at the Barlows and she was flying out and was just heading out the door and I was like why are you leaving so early. She was leaving at 10:00am for 12:30pm flight. The Barlows live 30 minutes from the airport and so she would've been there two hours early! I slowed her down a bit and it's so fun to watch her stress out.'s great... but then b/c I'm a nice guy I showed her some tricks for getting through O'hare really quick b/c I am a self proclaimed expert.

So today I had my flight out and my flight was at 10:00am. The 10:00am fight through LA is the best one because it's not super early and it allows me to just catch the LA -> SB flight at 2:05 so I still have half the day at home.

So anyway, we left the Barlows at 8:50am which is 1hr and 10 minutes before my flight. Awesome...and Sarah got me to the airport at 9:20 so when I was checking in my flight was actually boarding...but I was sure to take some extra time to get a photo.

I didn't run but I walked real fast and got to the gate at 9:40 which means that I got from the Barlow Inn to my gate at O'hare in exactly 50 minutes!

I've been putting some travel tips up on one of my other blogs so check it out if you're bored.

I'm on the plane right now....gotta fly. :)

Monday, May 14, 2007

First Entry - NOT Chicago

Don't have your first entry to the U.S. be Chicago unless you want to walk for 8 miles to get to customs....I swear it was at least a two mile walk and after you've flown for 10 hours it's not fun! 

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Park and Fly

These are usually great programs.  Just today I was ready to book a room at the Westin in LA for $220 and then have to pay to leave my car at the airport for 7 days which would've cost at least another $100-$200 but instead I called the hotel and for $259 I'm able to leave my car their in their covered lot for only $40 extra dollars and I got an executive room instead of a traditional room.

I've found it's often worth calling the hotel instead of booking online. The people at the desk can usually get you the online rate and sometimes throw in extras too.

Credit Cards

The best way to pay for things while traveling is with your credit card because then your credit card company negotiates the best exchange rate and believe me they can do it a lot better then you can! :)

....but CC companies are suspicious of purchases made in places outside of your typical purchase area so it's always a good idea to let them know where you'll be traveling to BEFORE you leave so your card doesn't get locked up.

It's also good to take multiple types of credit cards. Visa, Mastercard, AMEX b/c if you only take one and they don't take it then you're outta luck!

Lastly, get to the airport early and exchange money before you leave. It's easier to do in the U.S. and there are no guarantees you'll be able to do it when you get there and chances are you're gonna need cash right away.