4 Tricks for a Smoother Flight

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Flying business class or first class comes with its own array of superb perks and amenities. But few people feel that they have much control over their travel experience off the plane, or that airlines even have much interaction with their customers. Thankfully, this isn’t true. There are a lot of ways outside of simply booking first class or business class to give yourself a better chance of an excellent journey.

Say Good Morning to Smoother Flights

For those who break out into a sweat simply at the mention of “turbulence,” there’s very good news. Studies show that the most turbulence and thunderstorms tend to occur in the afternoon. Morning flights have the least amount of turbulence and dramatic weather, meaning a comfy flight for you.

Call Airlines Immediately to Rebook

If you get to the airport to find that either your flight is delayed by hours or its been cancelled altogether, avoid the hordes rushing to the ticket counter and call the airline immediately to get rebooked. Better yet, program the airline’s customer service number in your phone ahead of time and be prepared should the worst occur.

Save on Water – It’s Free!

For those who are really looking to pinch pennies, don’t waste money on incredibly over-priced bottled water at the airport. Bring an empty bottle through security and fill it up at the water cooler once you get through security.

Tweet Airlines for Help

When something goes wrong with your experience, don’t take it out on the over-worked, stressed-out flight attendant or gate agent. Tweet the airline directly instead. Image-conscious companies are very responsive to social media and are likely more than happy to assist you when a concern is brought public.

Top 5 Things To Do in Toronto

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Toronto is more than just a major hub for international business. It’s one of the largest cities in Canada and home to incredible dance clubs, theatre, and excellent eateries. If you find yourself away on business in Toronto, make time to see some of the sights and take in some culture – the city is teeming with things to do.

Here are you top 5 Toronto destinations:

1. Remember Your Fear of Heights at the CN Tower

Once the tallest tower in the world, this skyscraper still towers over the landscape at an incredible 553.33 meters (1,815.4 feet). Whether you simply want to be overwhelmed by the incredible view from the SkyPod level at 447 meters or whether you want to tame your fears by looking down through the Glass Floor level and outdoor terrace at 342 meters, the CN Tower is a clear stopping point between meetings.

2. Take in Some Improv Comedy

Toronto is the home of stand-up comedy and there’s no wonder why if you check out Second City, a comedy club that helped numerous comedians kickstart their careers. Alternatively, you can try out your own comedic talents or discover new potential comedy stars at Bad Dog Theatre Company, a full-time improv comedy theatre where Mike Myers and Colin Mochrie got their starts.

3. Enjoy the Bohemian Market in Kensington

The Kensington Market neighborhood is everyone’s favorite hipster destination in Toronto. Quirky art galleries and counter-culture performances mean there’s no shortage of interesting things to do. Visit any of the local underground speakeasies, cafes, or vintage record and clothing shops and you’ll see why Kensington is one of the coolest spots in Toronto.

4. Learn Something Historical at Black Creek Pioneer Village

If you have a free afternoon on your business trip, head to the Black Creek Pioneer Village just outside of Toronto and be amazed. The fully restored historical village dates back to the 19th century and is inhabited by numerous historical re-enactors in full costume. Learn how the pioneers built, fought, and lived in 19th century Canada, before retreating back to the modern cultural hub of Toronto.

5. Get Your Dance On in the Entertainment District

If you need a way to decompress after a long day of meetings, head to Toronto’s Entertainment District and be amazed by one of the most densely concentrated dance scenes in the world. Boasting 30,000 clubbers every Saturday night, you can be sure that you’re in good company when you take in a cocktail and groove on the dance floor. The Guvernment may be the most famous, but Aria Entertainment Complex has four differently-themed main dance rooms to explore.

What Airlines Rank Highest (And Lowest) In Customer Satisfaction?

The release of the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, a study of over 10,000 United States respondents on 293 different consumer brands, offers the ratings of 10 different popular airlines in the U.S. The poll, which considers an 80 percent or higher to be “excellent” and a score of 70 to be “good,” weighs in on the airline debate.

Sitting pretty at 75 percent customer satisfaction is JetBlue, the highest ranked United States airline in terms of customer experience. With JetBlue’s recent overhaul of its image and the introduction of a new swanky menu and premium private cabins with extra-long beds, it’s no surprise that they’re ranking so high.

At the bottom end of the ratings is Spirit Airlines, which falls in at a 47 percent customer experience rating. In a recent interview with NPR, Spirit’s CEO proclaimed “We’re not even Wal-Mart. We’re Dollar General. And we like being Dollar General, because we save people lots of money.” Where JetBlue courts its customers with amenities and complimentary snacks and drinks, Spirit Airlines’s business model focuses purely on saving their customers money.

In order, the customer experience ratings of the ten top U.S. Airlines:

1) JetBlue Airlines 75%

2) Southwest Airlines 72%

3) Delta Airlines 69%

4) Alaska Airlines 69%

5) Virgin America 63%

6) American Airlines 57%

7) United Airlines 56%

8) US Airways 55%

9) AirTran Airways 52%

10) Spirit Airlines 47%

In Flight Funnies.

Whether you’re flying first class, business class, or coach, having a competent and attentive flight attendant can make or break your airline experience. When you are a mile high, you want to feel like everything is under control and that you are in good hands.

In addition to a great flight attendant being someone who is calm under pressure, quick on their feet, polite, and has excellent customer service, we have one more quality to add:

HUMOROUS!

If you haven’t seen it already, check out this video of a Southwest Airlines flight attendant giving her version of the safety checklist:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07LFBydGjaM

Although it’s a little silly, it manages to hold everyone’s attention. While most people tune out of the safety spiel, almost everyone on the plane is engaged with what she’s saying because she’s using humor. Not only does this make the passengers giggle, but it can diffuse any tensions or nerves of passengers before liftoff.

To the Southwest Airlines flight attendant who has a promising career in standup comedy: we applaud you!

TOP TEN: Travel Tips & Tricks

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If you’re a seasoned traveler, you could probably write this blog yourself. But most travel wisdom, unfortunately, is learned by trial and error. So, if you’re going to be traveling this summer, take a few tips from us and you’ll probably be glad you did.

1. Bring a collapsable water bottle. If you are traveling to a location that has clean drinking water, bring a collapsable water bottle to fill and repack when necessary. In Rome, they even have water spouts for drinking all over the city, even in the middle of the Colosseum. Hey, if Rick Steves says they are okay to drink out of, they must be okay!

2. Bring clothes that don’t require ironing. If you need an iron to wear a garment, it’s probably not going to get worn. Either you won’t have access to iron, or you won’t want to take the energy and effort to do so. So save yourself some valuable suitcase space and bring something you can grab and put on.

3. Bring a hat. Or two. A hat can save you from bad hair days as well as the sun and they are pretty easy to pack. Depending on where you are going, you may want to get a knit hat for cold temps and a brimmed hat for warmer ones.

4. Take Pictures AND Notes. You’re planning to take lots of pictures? Great. But consider also keeping a travelog. Chances are, even if you’re good about taking pictures, you may not remember just what you took a picture of. Even though the experience was memorable, it doesn’t mean it will be remembered ten or twenty years from now.

5. SNACKS. Do your travel companions a favor and make sure no one has any “hanger” attacks. Nothing can ruin a day of fun like a low blood sugar attack when there is no food for hours. Pack granola/protein bars or fruit to make sure you are able to stay fueled in case you have to wait a while to eat. Seriously.

6. That thing you forgot? Check with the hotel before you run to the drugstore. It’s likely that you will forget something. But it’s okay because it’s also likely that your hotel has a toothbrush/razor/toothpaste/sewing kit, etc. for you to have. FOR FREE.

7. SUNSCREEN. No matter what skin type you have, traveling WILL expose you to the elements like never before. Apply it well and apply it often. You will truly be glad you made sure to protect your skin– especially pesky places like the top of your head!

8. Don’t check everything. When you’re flying, make sure to keep a few emergency items with you at all times. A pair of underwear, toothbrush, an extra set of clothes, and any prescription meds you may not be able to go long without. The chances of ALL your luggage arriving when you do are not very good.

9. Bring TP. If you care about using toilet paper, consider bringing some of your own. Not everyone feels as passionately as we do about providing toilet paper. It’s a cruel, cruel thing to stumble upon, believe me.

10. Bring dryer sheets. Not for doing laundry, necessarily, but to remove static cling from your clothes. There’s also the added bonus of dryer sheets making a stale and sweaty suitcase smell bearable.

 

 

What is a travel tip or trick you’ve learned over the years?

This list was adapted from The Everywhereist.