Tag Archives: Hotels

9 safety tips for new flight attendants (and solo travelers)

rsz_1rsz_1rsz_img_09131. “The Gift of Fear,” by Gavin De Becker, should be required reading for all men and women, especially for those of us who travel, particularly for women who travel alone. I’ve recommended this book to more flight attendants and passengers than anything thing else over the years. It’s saved my life more than once.

2. Skip the first floor. They’re easier to break into. That’s why you’ll never find a flight attendant below the second floor in a hotel. There’s a reason for that. It’s in our hotel contract.

3. Leave the lights and television on when you’re not in the room. Put the Do Not Disturb sign on the door. It gives the appearance that someone is occupying the room, so no one will break in.

4. Stay Healthy: Never leave home without a small antibacterial spray. A mini bottle of vodka works just as well. Hit up the remote, the light switches, doorknobs and taps. You don’t want to get sick while you’re stuck at a less than desirable layover hotel.

5. Walk with intent. Walk down the street like you have a place to be, like you know where you’re going and need to get there quickly. Do that and people will leave you alone.



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Photo Credit:  Heather Poole


April 12, 2013 · 2:04 am

5 ways delays are worse for flight attendants than passengers

889452754_8cc5241919This past weekend flights across the northeast United States and eastern Canada were cancelled en masse as a winter storm descended on the region. For the tens of thousands of travelers stranded or delayed, it’s a lousy experience that seems to have no end. But we know it isn’t any better for the pilots and crews scheduled to work the grounded aircraft. To get some perspective on the matter, we turned to Heather Poole, our favorite flight attendant/writer, for some insight on why exactly it’s so lousy for them. — Jason Clampet

You think you’ve got it bad?

Passengers aren’t the only ones suffering when a storm hits town and causes the airports to close. Here’s what happens when flight attendants get grounded.

We don’t get paid

Flight attendants are paid for flying time only. Time on the ground doesn’t count. I’ve been working as a flight attendant with a major carrier for 17 years and from time to time I’ll work an 11 hour day and only get paid for five of those hours. Happens all the time to more junior flight attendants.


All that time between flights goes unpaid. The flight attendant greeting you at the boarding door is not getting paid. Neither is the flight attendant helping you find a spot for your bag. The time clock doesn’t officially start ticking until the airplane backs away from the gate. Needless to say delays and cancellations affect flight attendants just as much, maybe even more so, than passengers.

We can be reassigned to work for days

Once we’re on a trip, we’re at the company’s beck and call until we die or the weather clears up. When airlines are low on staffing, they can reassign us to work different flights as long as we’re legal. The FAA allows us to work a 16-hour duty day, but we have to get at least eight hours behind a hotel door at the end of the day. Between trips we get 11-12 hours off, depending on if it’s a domestic or international route or whether or not we’re on reserve or holding “a line” (schedule).

After flying six days in a row, the FAA requires us to take a 24 hour break. These 24 hours don’t always take place at home. Sometimes they happen at an airport hotel. 25 hours later we could be right back up in the air. Which is tough because there’s just no way to let our families know when we might be home again.



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11 Travel Tips from REAL travelers


Last week Anne Taintor and I teamed up for a holiday travel giveaway.  To be entered into the contest readers were asked to share their favorite travel tips.   I’ve decided to post a few of my favorites…

1.  Make hotel stays more pleasant:  One of my favorite tips for the holiday is tearing out one of those perfume adds that are in all the fashion mags, and place them gently on top of your lamp next to your bed in your hotel room to help take away those miserable stale room smells – Sara Culver-Truby

2.  Pack foil: I have so many travel tips it’s hard to pick just one but I guess my favorite one is to always have foil with you. If you do, you can heat up ANYTHING with an iron! Sometimes our hotels don’t have microwaves and if I have foil, I can wrap up any left over and use an iron to heat it up. I think this would have to be my favorite travel tip! – Leesa Grauel

3.  Get a good night’s sleep: I’ve downloaded a “sound machine” app. on my phone. It’s great for drowning out noise in hotels. – Karen Long

4.  Go left: That was our advice for visiting Disney, and it almost always works. People tend to go to the right, so go to the left for shorter lines – Michele

5.  Move quickly through security: If waiting in a long line, talk politics. Somehow it always moves things along a litle faster. Helps to talk blue politics in red states, red politics in blue states. If you’re loud enough, the people at the counter even seem to move more quickly. – Lisa Hardwick-Cillessen

 6.  Make trips more memorable: choose a new lotion or perfume scent, that way whenever I encounter that scent in the future it will always bring back a wonderful memory of that trip. – Bailey D. Caskey

7.  Get rid of baggage:  excess weight–clean out your purse! Invest in a nice lightweight nylon handbag. You can carry it inside a much larger carry-on totebag that will also accommodate your book, snacks, camera, change of clothes, etc. When you get to your destination, you have a smaller, light handbag for sightseeing, restaurants, etc.

8.  Out with the old, in with the new: For longer trips, I always bring some end-of-life undergarments, sneakers, PJs, etc. I toss them and then have room for those items I purchased. My other must haves are a Swiss Army Knife and a Spork (combo spoon & fork). They are essentials for when you want to make a meal from a food market. – Cynthia Felts

9.  Pack Jewelry: I learned to use straws to put your necklaces in, so they don’t tangle all up. – Maureen Androshick

10.  Stay Healthy:  Never leave home without a small antibacterial spray. Hit up the remote, the light switches, door knobs and taps. Hotels are festering places and if you do any amount of regular travel, this is the only way not to pick up every single greebly bug floating around. – Jean

11.  Plan Ahead:  Mapquest the liquor store in the neighborhood where you are staying to avoid those costly hotel bar drink choices. – Sandy

Photo courtesy of Jen Pollack Bianco


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10 flights, 3 days, 20 hours…



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An important travel tip (TEXT) from The Husband…


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PHOTO OF THE DAY: With airlines and hotels discontinuing amenities to save money, frequent fliers are encouraged to use the ‘fresh remote’ pouch to polish their shoes and then take it with them to use as an air sickness bag on their trips home.

Photo courtesy of @The_Husband

Caption courtesy of Paul Haney AND Jim McDonough  


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