Monthly Archives: May 2016

Ways to Spend Time at an Airport

You are sitting at the airport waiting to board your flight, looking forward to reach your destination. You look at the announcement board at the airport and breathe a sigh of relief that your flight is scheduled on time. However, within a few minutes you hear an announcement, “Attention please, all passengers on XYZ airlines flight 310589 to Chicago, the gate has been changed to 31A. Also there will be a delay in departure. The new departure time for this flight will be 11.45. This is due to heavy snow in Chicago. We would like to apologize for the delayed departure. Thank you for your patience.” Now, this can be an unpleasant experience, unless you decide to take it in the right stride, not lose your calm and enjoy the delay. Well… I know it sounds a little weird, but there are a few creative ways to kill time when things like that happen. Take a look at how to spend time at an airport, in case of a delayed flight.

How to Kill Time at an Airport

Carry your favorite book along…
Whenever you are traveling and especially if you are alone, make sure you carry a book you like or simply a comic book (if you do not enjoy reading intense books). If you have forgotten to carry one, walk to a magazine or book stall at the airport (you have plenty of them there) and browse through the books there. You will find a lot of people at the airport with newspapers, borrow one for the time being and return it once you are done with it. Reading is not the only thing you can do, read the entire article to know a few more interesting things.

Surf the net…
If you are carrying your laptop along or if you have a smart phone, you are definitely sorted. People with such gadgets are never alone and never bored. So, get googling. You can also enjoy a few social networking sites or simply surf the net. Online games are the best to keep you occupied during your stay at the airport. Check your emails, send your friends an email or reply to one. Use the time for yourself.

Listen to music…
A delayed flight can give you a chance to download your favorite music, which probably you have been waiting to download since a long time and listen to. Keep your ipods or MP3 players updated with good music and audio books, trust me they really help you kill time and enjoy the experience, rather than sulking. If you do not have these gadgets, your mobile phones support MP3 format, update your cell phone with some good music.

Window shopping…
Shopping is the best remedy to fight the unpleasant feeling of flight delay. No, I don’t mean go shopping at the airport and shell out cash, but it doesn’t hurt to go and look for things. Just go window shopping! You never know you might like something and would want to pick it up for someone and make them happy. Or even better, end up buying something for yourself making yourself happy.

Pamper yourself…
This is something I did the last time I was stuck at the airport; pampered myself. Massage parlors and spas are very common these days at the airports. Give yourself a relaxed muscle tingling back or foot massage. A rejuvenating facial massage and manicure or pedicure also works wonders to help you forget your delayed boarding time. So, relax and rejuvenate.

Talk to people around…
If there’s something that the airport is rarely short of, it is people. Talking to your fellow travelers is a great way to kill time. If you are traveling with your family nothing like it you get to catch up with them and spend some quality time chatting. However, if you are nervous about starting a conversation with a stranger, simply start with “where are you flying?” and go on. Sometimes you get to meet interesting people at the airport.

So next time with an airport layover, you know what you have to do when your flights canceled to keep yourself entertained and occupied. You can also jot down your experiences and about the different kind of people you met or noticed at the airport. Perhaps even blog about the experience!

Ways to Use Frequent Flyer Miles More Efficiently

If you really thought that airline companies were trying to ‘do their bit’ for society by introducing frequent flyer programs, you were clearly born yesterday. These programs happen to be one among the many enterprising ideas that enable airlines to earn a quick buck on the side, while the unwitting customer goes on a diligent flying spree in order to nail that one free flight to Paris in the summer.

Several thousand frequent flyer miles and as many phone calls later, the customer resigns himself to the fact that a flight to Paris won’t come entirely for free, and that there’s got to be a way to make use of those wretched miles. Well, mentioned below are a few tips that will tell you how to use frequent flyer miles efficiently.

▶ Know your airline partner(s)
Airline partnerships are your best bet when it comes to redeeming frequent flyer miles for plane tickets. For instance, if you are in possession of United Airlines’ miles, book trips with Thai Airways, ANA, Swiss, South African, or Air New Zealand; in fact, you can earn and use your MileagePlus® miles on over 35 airlines worldwide, as a part of the Star Alliance. This obviously widens your choice when it comes to picking routes and destinations. This may not be an outstanding tip in a manner of speaking, but the fact remains that it is hardly ever advertized, and therefore, tends to skip our minds.

▶ Use it for class upgrades
Well, you may not always lay your hands on a low cost ticket, but you can always use your frequent flyer miles to nail a class upgrade. Affording a premium class ticket may not come easily to most of us reading this, so it is rather obvious to make use of an opportunity like this when it presents itself.

There are times when certain airlines offer flyer miles as a bonus with certain tickets, and it would be wise to snap these up, if you have already stacked a decent amount of miles yourself. You can add these miles to your existing account, and choose to go for an upgrade on your next overseas trip.

▶ Keep your miles from expiring
You may have painstakingly stacked up several thousand flyer miles through trips, airline malls, and the airline miles credit card, but you must ensure to read the fine print that comes along with it. Most flyer miles are valid for a period of 12 to 18 months, beyond which they do expire if your account has been inactive. This policy varies from airline to airline, so you need to keep a check, and avoid getting a rude shock when you wish to redeem them after a prolonged gap.

Shopping at the airline malls to keep your account from expiring is a reasonable idea. This way, you’re keeping your account active by spending a relatively small amount, and gaining miles from your purchases as well.

▶ Learn to spot a good deal
What amounts to a good deal, really? It is usually when you get a good return on every dollar you spend. Now, you may not be able to extract a profit with your frequent flyer miles, but you can at least avoid being taken for a complete ride. Now, it would seem idiotic to blow 25,000 miles on a domestic trip that costs you less than USD 400. So, how do you avoid settling for less?

It’s simple―always aim for gaining at least two cents per mile. If you manage to score three to four cents per mile, consider yourself quite lucky; but do keep this basic calculation in mind.

Making use of the frequent flyer program requires quite a bit of tenacity and endurance as well. But do your research well, and you stand to gain a lot from programs such as these.

Tips on Booking Air Travel

A long standing debate, among frequent fliers as well as rookies to the playing field, revolves around the best time to travel and the best time to book said travel. Right from finding the cheapest flights to getting them on the days you originally wanted, there are a few factors that affect your travel schedule, especially if you are travelling on a budget.

When To Book

To get the most out of your travel package, you should know when is the best time of book inexpensive flight tickets. According to a recent study, the ideal period to book your tickets is approximately 54 days before domestic travel and 126 days before international travel.

Points To Keep In Mind

When it comes to ideal times to book a flight, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. Not only is it important the number of days in advance you book it, but things like destination and airline are going to determine your end results as well. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when looking for the best time to book your travel.

  1. Keep Your Destination In Mind
    When booking your tickets, keep in mind the place you are visiting. While some countries are prone to have cheaper airline tickets during winter, others tend to have ones that aren’t exactly cheap. For example, the cheapest month to travel to Canada, France, and Germany is November, which is different than that of July for Singapore and Thailand.
  2. Compare
    Sites like FareCompare would serve you well when trying to decipher the best times to travel, thus leading to the best time to book. The days of the week and the time of day affect the airfare just as much as the destination you are flying to. That said, make sure to research and compare prices before taking the leap.
  3. Remember To Be Flexible
    Although some choices may prove to be slightly inconvenient at first, it could save you money in the long run. For example, when you are booking your flight, you come across two choices, one that flies to a major international airport and one that is a few kilometres from the first. By opting for the flight that flies to the regional airport, you open yourself up to the choice of cheaper airfares.

Do Your Research
By planning your travel in advance, you get the option of learning all there is about the place you are visiting. Read about the best times to visit, which will give you an idea about the cheapest months to travel to it. Also, read articles that will better prepare you on finding the best prices in the country for the cheapest flights, if you have crossed the 54-day or 126-day time frame.

Tips on Choosing Best Private Jet Charter Company

Undeniably, private jets are expensive. Until recently, they’ve only been associated with the high-fliers of society, mainly corporate, politicians, and celebrities. However, with all the uncertainty involving commercial carriers, several businesses have opened their eyes to soliciting private jets. Not only are they convenient, but they also add definite savings to the deal, especially when the time factor is logged in.

Which probably explains the number of jet charter companies that have mushroomed in recent years, creating a conundrum among potential customers about making the right choice. The points that follow offer useful tips to let you zero in on the right private jet charter company.

Check its Market Standing
Yes, we all know how expensive private jets can be, therefore, the first recommendation ought to be about the pricing. But no. With the plethora of companies in the market currently, you need to pick one that gives you great returns on the (rather massive) investment you’re making. Which is why it’s very important to pay heed to the company’s reputation.
To begin with, you should be checking out customer testimonials, or better, asking among your associates and acquaintances about the services they may have availed. A first-hand review goes a long way in selecting the right company, rather than focusing solely on the pricing.
Check its Safety and Comfort Levels

Believe me, one can never emphasize enough on the safety aspect of an aircraft, be it commercial or private. Which is why things get a little complicated than booking a seat on a commercial airline right here. While selecting a private jet charter, it is your responsibility to examine the company’s view on safety measures, insurance, and other precautionary features they offer. After all, you need to be able to trust them with your life. Again, it helps a lot to have someone who’s been their customer, rather than reading the fine print on the company’s website or contract agreement. Remember, safety and comfort should always be a priority above everything else.
Check its Credentials
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has the authority to issue an Air Taxi Certification to an aircraft to make it eligible for hiring. This certification can only be issued to a carrier that fulfills the FAA’s stringent security and safety regulations. Insist to view the aircraft’s FAA certification to make sure that it has hiring clearance.
Check its Fleet
Each type of jet has a particular set of functions. Some maybe the last word on opulence, whereas others may simply be steadfastly functional. Examine the structure, size, and floor plan of the jets to be able to shortlist one that suits you. Pick a company whose aircraft you think will serve your needs. Remember that the distance also has a bearing upon the type of jet to be selected. Keep in mind the size of your troupe, and the purpose of your trip(s) in mind while making the selection.
Check the Competition
While making a financial transaction, it always makes sense to compare costs. It has never made sense to dish out a huge sum on a company when you could have easily nailed a competitive deal with just a little more research. Having said that, the pricing should never be placed above safety and comfort.
Check the Brokers Too
As with all businesses, this one too has its fair share of brokers. Air charter brokers have alliances with several operators, thus, providing you an expansive selection of aircraft. These companies also manage to squeeze you in on extremely short notice, and get you where you want to be, in time.
Thus, the very task of picking a jet charter company isn’t too tedious. All you need to do is ask around, and indulge in some online scrutiny. But before you sign them on, do ensure that you have been thorough with all the ‘checks’ mentioned above.