Not a Strike!
5 TIPS TO HELP YOU DURING AIRLINE STRIKES
Turbulent — extremely turbulent — is the best way to describe labor relations in today's airline industry. Four major carriers — Northwest, Delta, United, and American — could simultaneously reach an impasse innegotiations with key unions. This would cause major havoc.
These days, strikes are almost inevitable. But there are steps you can take to make them easier to navigate. Following are some tips that will help you survive an airline strike, offered by iJET Travel Intelligence, an Annapolis, Md.-based intelligence firm for the global travel industry. For updates on the potential strike situation, and airline travel alerts from around the globe, go to www.ijet.com.
Ask for a paper ticket, not an electronic one. It's convenient because you don't have to remember to take it with you, but an e-ticket cannot be honored by another airline.
The early bird catches the plane. Book flights that depart early in the day; they tend to be less crowded. And less crowded means there's less of a chance that you will get bumped.
Will another airline honor your ticket? Find out from your travel agent or the airline if there is an agreement in place with another carrier to honor your ticket if a work stoppage or strike takes place.
Two tickets are better than one. Buy one ticket on the airline in trouble and buy another unrestricted, fully refundable ticket on a competing carrier. If there is no strike, use your first ticket and get a full refund on the second.
Think globally. Consider flying on a foreign air carrier if no U.S. air carrier can get you to your destination. A quick check with Canadian airlines can often get you from Point A to Point B.
Weapons to Win the Jet-Lag War
Every time the business traveler prepares for a long flight, she prepares to wage war against jet lag. If she doesn't win, she may suffer from any number of ailments: extreme fatigue, nausea, headache, reduced memory, attention lapse, and disturbed sleep patterns.
Some survival tactics include staying hydrated, walking and stretching while on the plane, and sleeping. In addition, a number of companies offer products to help you win the jet lag war. Five of the hottest gadgets were recently featured by the business travel department of about.com (www.businesstravel.about.com).
Jet Lag Eliminator Developed by chiropractor Dr. “Mick” MacKenzie, this $19.95 kit contains a CD-ROM and instruction booklet that teach the traveler how to apply acupressure to specific points of the body. The traveler then repeats the technique every two hours during the flight. Go to www.jetlag.net.
Dreamhelmet A pillow that covers your eyes and ears and wraps around your head may look a bit strange, but it serves a noble purpose. It helps to block out sound and light on a long plane flight. Available for $29.95, it can be found at www.dreamhelmet.com.
Extreme Noise Buster This headset cancels out cabin noise and helps you catch some sleep during the flight. The Noise Buster lists for $49 and is available through Magellan's Travelers' Catalog at www.magellans.com.
Jet Lag Watch This watch gradually adjusts during the flight to the correct time at your destination. This helps you to “psychologically adjust” to the change, eliminating “time zone shock” — the feeling that the new time isn't “real,” according to the manufacturer. For more information on the $49.95 Jet Lag Watch, visit www.jetlag.com.
Jet Lag Combat Kit A light visor, light-blocking glasses, jet-lag calculator, and instructional booklet comprise this combat kit. Light therapy resets your body clock as you cross time zones. The kit is $339, but the visor can be purchased separately for $199 at www.biobriteinc.com.
WEB SITES Worth Visiting
Check out these Web sites for more information on business travel.
A product of the National Business Travel Association, biztraveler includes a weather search, international travel information, travel surveys, travel advisories, passenger rights, and travel news and bulletins.
Destination information, travel news, special reports on subjects such as fitness on the road and weather around the world
Comprehensive site lists arrivals, departures, and schedule changes for all major airlines.
Bills itself as “the” business travel site. Can find a flight and check flight status. Includes destination information.
Includes travel industry news as well as an area for purchasing world travel guides and atlases.
A comprehensive airport directory that includes hotel and travel information.
DID YOU KNOW?
There really is a better way to track your frequent flyer miles!
Frequent flyer points are as valuable as cash, and an estimated 20 percent of miles earned are never awarded because of administrative mistakes. Don't fall victim to paperwork. Several software programs can help you keep track of your miles.
AirMiles organizes your miles on up to 14 frequent flyer programs simultaneously. A 14-day trial version can be downloaded from www.handshigh.com.
MaxMiles Mileage Miner takes control of your frequent flyer programs. Three-month free trial, then $29.95/year. Go to www.maxmiles.com.
Speaking from Experience
Salk International has been compiling its Airport Transit Guide for 20 years. Frequent flyers everywhere rely on the guide to give them at-a-glance options from airport to city for more than 450 locations worldwide. Taxi rates to the city and outlying points; tipping guidelines; airport transfer schedules; parking rates at the airport; car rental facilities; inter-airport connections; cruise-port transfers; and helicopter services are provided.
“You can't get this information in any other single source,” says Ron Salk, publisher and editor in chief of the guide. He says this year's edition has more phone numbers, Web addresses, and options for travel than any other edition.
Not only is this 144-page pocket-size book a must for travelers, but it makes an impressive client gift.
The 2001 guide is $9.95 and available from Magellan's at (800) 962-4943. (www.airporttransitguide.com)
Corporations can purchase the guide electronically for an annual fee and post it on an intranet.
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